“Well, you don’t look autistic … .”

Neurotypicals do not have a clue and most are indifferent about our tribe. The fact that they are trying to talk to us is a sign that they are communicating on some small level. I’ve had many people tell me they would never know l was autistic and l open up and educate them about autism and myself. Their words were never meant as an insult. They do not understand autism and may not phrase things in the best way, but l welcome their interest. I know exactly what they are trying to say.

Personally, l am like the doorman of Autism. I have one foot in the autistic world and one foot in the neurotypical world. I take it as my job to relate to the neurotypicals, because l had to survive my entire life in their world (63 years) and l am blessed with the ability to look them in the eye, talk, and educate people, who show an interest in us. I have raised two autistic sons and have an autistic brother, as well. The neurotypical world has to be educated in order for us to be accepted into their world. Yes, their world. I make a living in their world and have been very successful. My two kids are living in the same world. Many of our brothers and sisters do not wish to partake in the neurotypical world. How many of them have holed up somewhere, because they chose to remain in their own world. I am not talking about those of us who cannot take care of ourselves. I cannot blame my brothers and sisters for avoiding the neurotypical world. It takes a monumental effort to live in the neurotypical world. This is just my opinion and l am fortunate enough to exist in both worlds. I have adapted and adjusted and l do not mind being a spokesperson for our tribe. It’s no different then an interpreter speaking multiple languages.

My opinion, my decision, and l am comfortable with that. I am not asking anyone else to be what they are not. This is right for me. I support and love my brothers and sisters.

Many on the spectrum have written about this issue, with varying opinions. For another look, we share here a piece written by Connor Long-Johnson, published by The Art of Autism.