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

Friday, March 17, 2017

Dear Well-Meaning Autism Mom Looking For A Surrogate Mom For Your Son, Please Don't Assume The Person You Approached Is A Girl Or Straight

Guest post by Elizabeth Rosenzweig. 

So I run an autism meetup. Parents of post-pubescent autistics are not invited. There’s a number of reasons why but one of them in particular has been making the blog rounds: well-meaning but misguided parents who, out of concern for their son’s (and it is always a son, isn’t it?) inability to fend for himself, look to set up a trust fund for him in the shape of a kindly woman savior who will cook and clean and pay his bills for him, forever and ever, amen. The guys themselves can be the problem, too; a person who should be a grown-ass man asks you out and is then shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that you’re just as shit at getting A Job, remembering to pay bills on time, and feeding/picking up after yourself as he is, if not worse. (I, uh, may or may not have very personal experience with that one.)

But I’ve already had two very smart friends I admire address that aspect in plenty of depth, so, well-meaning but misguided parent, let me address another one that you may not have considered.

That long-haired, girl-shaped, pretty, kind person you met, the one you think would look so cute on the arm of your precious manchild (or your precious self), might not actually be a girl. Or straight.
They could be asexual or aromantic - content and whole within themselves. They might be allosexual but gay. They might use she/her pronouns but feel utterly alienated from femininity as a concept. They might be a genderless android. They might be a trans man. You just don’t know!

It’s almost like that long-haired, girl-shaped, pretty, kind person is… hear me out for a second… a person. Not your personal insurance policy, or your uncompensated PCA, or your romantic-comedy-prize, or your glorified German Shepherd, but an entire human being unto themselves, with weaknesses and feelings and ambitions beyond saddling themselves to some cisgendered guy who wants things done just like his mom did them. *They* might be the one needing a PCA! They might maybe sometimes need someone to hold them while they cry hysterically because they foolishly expended all their energy for the day on folding three-quarters of the laundry. (I, uh, may or may not have very personal experience with that one too.)

How do I even address the sexual side of things with you? You, hypothetical mom, have almost certainly had experience with shutting up and taking it while a male partner got his rocks off inside you. Is that how you want your son treating his life companion? Is that how you would want to be treated? I’m certainly sick of it, or worse, being treated as deranged for exploding in frustration after having my own needs go unacknowledged and unmet for years at a time. I got so sick of it that I quit men and went monogamous with an assigned-female-at-birth genderless android. So far, so good. But how would you know that from looking, unless you saw me and my wife together? 

The point is, you don’t consider those things. You think about your own fears, which are visceral and immediate. What will become of my child after I’m gone? When will I have a chance to feel like a person and not a 24/7 PCA - won’t anyone please help me? And those questions resonate so loudly inside your own head that you don’t stop to ask yourself the ones I’ve posed here. That’s not my problem, though, nor is it the problem of any long-haired, girl-shaped, pretty, kind autistic. It’s not fair of you to put your anxieties on us, when we have so many of our own to contend with.

One of the side benefits of running an autism meetup is that you have the opportunity to meet a lot of people of all ages and genders and walks of life. I have quite a few lovely gentlemen who are regular attendees. Let me reassure you, dear, hypothetical mom, that almost all of them have turned out just fine, with the support of agents and agencies who are meant to do the work that you are looking for from that nice autistic at the meetup. It’s actually the ones whose parents have done the most coddling and interfering who are struggling the most.

So please. Stop putting your cissexist, heteronormative expectations on people you barely know, in the name of providing for your own offspring. You’ll start working on real solutions much faster once you do.


  1. hey Alyssa, great post but please don't use the word allosexual when describing gay or bi people. It's homophobic to group us with our oppressors (straight people) for the same reason that they oppress us, our sexuality.

    Also, both aromantic and asexual people can be straight; the bigger issue is misogyny and male entitlement to women, not whether any particular woman is asexual or aromantic. I say this as an aromantic bisexual autistic woman btw.

    Again, great post, and thanks for addressing the issue of sexualized ableism within autistic spaces. It's time someone did.

  2. Don't listen to Radioactive, they're an aphobe who was posting abusive content on my blog earlier. By their argument, calling a cis woman cisgender would be sexist because it's grouping her with her oppressors (men) on the dimension she's oppressed on.

  3. Thank you. I posted this to #metoo. I was driven to feelings of suicide after being bullied by these moms into being with their Autistic sons at Autism meets. I stopped calling myself Autistic because it made me a magnet for moms wanting a permanent caregiver for their manchildren.

    As far as sexually, the way society treats male Autistic sexuality terrifies me. Everything an Autistic man does wrong is covered up with, "He didn't know it was wrong!" As if women should just accept a grown man acting like a curious 10 year old child regarding their bodies. This also contributed to my feelings of suicide. That these were men people would see as victims when told no by a woman. That all they had to is run around screaming "AAAUUTTTIIISSTTTIICCC!" and you'd be the mean woman who upset the manbaby.

    I could not live with the message constantly sent to me, that I was a toy for Autistic men to play with. If I said no everyone would call me ableist. That wanting a non Autistic man made me a horrible woman. All this leading to me having a screaming crying meltdown at a ex-psychiatrist's office the moment she suggested I live in a special housing development. I do not want to be around people who I have to understand can't help being rapey because they're mentally disabled. Told I should understand, or I'm exaggerating.

    I stopped caring about hurting their feelings a long time ago. I am sickened that women have been blamed and shamed for saying no to men who could never get away with this behavior if they weren't disabled. Nobody seems to care for the women who get used like objects by these men. The women are always seen as mean or not understanding. I was nearly punched by an Autistic man at a meeting, no one said or did anything. That's when I realized it was unsafe to be female and Autistic.

    I'm very angry. We have men acting like sexual predators being covered for. Did you see the Holden's Manifesto episode of Law and Order SVU? That's what it really is like, and I cannot thank them enough for bringing it to light at the risk of the Autism community crying about he's the victim. I'm f**king afraid to identify as Autistic and get any support. There needs to be an end to this. I sadly don't see it happening soon if ever. I don't know how to put into words better than this what an extreme horror it is to be trapped as part of a community where you are treated as a pretty little toy ( for Autistic men.


I reserve the right to delete comments for personal attacks, derailing, dangerous comparisons, bigotry, and generally not wanting my blog to be a platform for certain things.