Autism Awareness Month
Autism awareness month is upon us once more, 30 days of having neurotypicals patiently explain to us what autism really is and how we should deal with it.
Maybe I'm being unfair, as I suspect most of them are doing it with the best of intentions.
Although that doesn't make it any less irritating when you get some plonker confidently telling you she "knows all about autism" because her hairdresser's cat's vet's mother's sister has an autistic cousin living in Outer Fucking Mongolia.
But you know what's just as irritating to me?
My fellow autistics telling me how I should and should not be conducting myself this month.
I've variously been told I "shouldn't" use the colour blue (I like blue), use the jigsaw-puzzle piece (it has meaning for me, personally, and has nothing to do with the vile Autism Speaks thing), and definitely shouldn't refer to myself as an Aspie because it's tantamount to being a Nazi and eugenicist (I like the epithet and it's how I was diagnosed).
And the most irritating thing of all?
Being told "Autism Awareness is wrong"
Apparently, we should be aiming for autism acceptance.
And I disagree.
Not only do I think it's not anyone else's place to accept my autism because it's none of their business, I also don't care about being accepted.
Because their acceptance is a reflection of their opinions, and they are none of my business.
What's more, others' opinions are entirely beyond my control, so why would I waste my time worrying about any of it? Bigots abound in every direction you look and you're not going to stop it any time soon (I'm indifferent enough to it not to want to try, even. You can't fix stupid, after all, and if someone wants to look down on me because I'm autistic, I don't care enough to bother about changing their minds. One of the reasons I run my own business and have ensured Personal Sovereignty in my life is so that kind of idiocy has no material effect on me).
In any case, to me, awareness is the right thing to be aiming for, because then neurotypicals will come to learn the objective facts about autism and how autistics like me see and experience the world.
How they then feel about those facts is irrelevant to me so long as they don't then seek to violate my rights (and neither I nor anyone else has the right not to be offended).
Anyway... this month I'm going to endeavour to write a post a day, each day focusing on a single and often esoteric point.
Five words autistics need to learn
If you start paying more attention to what's both important and within your control I guarantee your life will become less stressful, far more serene, and orders of magnitude happier.
And that's it.
Jon McCulloch, The Evil Bald Genius
Author, speaker, business owner, and autism advocate