Monday, April 13, 2015

Autistic Acceptance Challenge 8: Responding to Stuff

For Challenge 8, practice your responses to the kinds of things we hear all the time. From "You must be very high functioning," to "stop making excuses," we've heard them all. Watch this video and leave your best response to one of these questions in the comments here. Responses can be educational or snarky. No slurs against any group permitted.


  1. Re: But there's nothing wrong with you:
    I know! Now help me convince everyone else.

  2. Aren't we all just a little bit autistic?
    No! Everyone is not a little bit autistic! You are either autistic or not autistic!
    I tend to cringe a little every time I hear "on the spectrum" too, because I know people are imagining a line going from "barely autistic to super autistic".
    Something else I heard twice in the first month that I was diagnosed was "don't let it define you". This is one people have used when I set a boundary that isn't convenient for them. To that I just say autism is a part of what makes me ME! -Jennifer V.

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I sometimes use "spectrum" as a sort of compromise with people is settings where person-first language is expected, but I agree with you that the concept is problematic. The characteristics that make up autism are certainly not well represented as linear, and reinforcing that idea enables people to continue with their functioning label nonsense. Good responses!

  3. I've written about a few of the common ones- person first language, functioning labels, etc. I'll share my most recent one though.

    All a little bit Autistic?

    1. Thanks for posting this, Michelle. I appreciate what you've written, and it definitely works for this challenge.

      "If someone says they think everyone is a bit Autistic they are dismissing the lived experience of Autistic people and making light of the very real challenges they face living in a world that by and large does not accept them as valuable and is not set up to support their needs."


  4. Posting for Judy Endow: "Everyone being a little bit autistic is like everyone being a little bit pregnant - IMPOSSIBLE !!! Either you are or you are not."

  5. "You have autism? It's going to be okay."
    (Uh, yes, it *is* going to be okay. It was okay before I told you about it, too.)
    Autism isn't a sickness or a fatality. I'm happy, and fine as I am. But thanks for your concern...

    Another lovely comment I got a few times was :
    "Don't worry, you look normal."
    (Uh, I wasn't worried, or need reassuring from your "normal expert" point of view!) The quest for normalcy isn't on my radar, I'm not interested, or worried. In fact, I think weird is good. Let's talk about kindness, love, energy, art and knowledge instead.


Squawk at me.
Need to add an image?
Use this code [img]IMAGE-URL-HERE[/img]