Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Non-Disabled Friend

Warning: Discussions of ABA, "recovery" criteria

Neurodivergent K got me thinking about this with her post about indistinguishability from one's peers. (Other conversations with her may also be relevant. Probably are.)
And. Well. At least one non-disabled friend.
That's one of the things listed for indistinguishability from one's peers. Placement in general education (yup, I had that always) and at least one non-disabled friend (pretty sure I always had at least one.)
Yeah, I've met those two criteria since basically forever. I was in typical preschool starting when I was 3, typical classes all through, sometimes honors and AP classes. I'm the only person from my year and school who managed to pass the AP exams for Chemistry, Biology, and both parts of Physics C. [Physics C ran my junior year, but not my senior year. And I was the only junior in it. So I can also say only while just talking about Physics C. Haha.] That's actually a lot more than just being in general education.
I got bullied a ton, too, but I always had at least one friend. Sometimes only one, but there was one.
So according to this idea, I'd be indistinguishable from my peers, right?
Hahahahahaha noooooooo.
I stuck out like a sore thumb. Still do. The 4th grader in the math club? Me. The kid who wears the same dress to every math competition from 7th grade through college? Also me. That one girl who joins the (boys) Frisbee team? Yup, you guessed it. Me. I even joined tenor bass choir. This is not a joke. One of the classes I was in that I was ignoring prerequisites for was tenor bass choir. That's the boys one, by the way. Which is kind of the prerequisite I was ignoring. [I broke at least one class prerequisite every year in high school. Usually because of having skipped math or science classes.] I wore homemade skirts and dresses to school most days. In fact, I can tell you exactly how many days in my junior year of high school I did not wear a homemade skirt, shirt, or dress: 16. That's math meet days plus one. I was absent more days of high school than I wore pants or shorts to school. I made chainmail in class for two years. When I told my high school friends I'd been diagnosed autistic? They were surprised... that I hadn't been diagnosed before. Like I said, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was pretty blatantly and obviously distinguishable.
But I had nondisabled friends! By high school, they was even plural!
Ok... so maybe they weren't so "typical." One had Marfan's. One had an ADHD diagnosis from when he was younger (he thinks that's inaccurate) and his mother was convinced he had Asperger's (which he also thinks is inaccurate.) I don't think either of those things is the answer, but I also don't think he's neurotypical. Another had NvLD. One was never diagnosed with anything, but I would put money on not neurotypical. I think the last of my close friends from the lunch table is nondisabled. I think. But they were all in general education, and that's the same thing, right? Or the one person who might actually be nondisabled counts for all of us.
Yeah, I think the whole thing is a pile of nonsense, and also that I was pretty easily distinguishable. It's not like the entire high school knew who I was or anything /sarcasm.


  1. Pretty sure the only nondisabled friend I have I've known since I was pretty much born...she's the daughter of my mom's best friend LOL

  2. I'm still not diagnosed so I can be my friends' non-disabled friend! Awesome. *rolls eyes*

    I wonder. Do they have that criterium for kids in wheelchairs too? "Must have at least one friend who is not in a wheelchair." Oh wait, people actually recognise that as insulting these days.


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