Trigger Warning – Autistic Abuse mentioned.
So many stories, so much expression of tragedy. So much media full of so many things that are just terrible and speak of ignorance, and negativity. It’s a tragedy, of course. But, I am here to tell you…
The autism glass is actually more than half full…
Parents chaining children to beds, tying them to chairs, murder suicides, but yet…
The autism glass is more than half full…
In the midst of tragedy there is life. In the midst of negativity there is joy and happiness. Pride and wonder.
Yes. Happy. I am happy to be autistic. It is who I am, it is who I always have been and whom I always will be. And.
The autism glass is more than half full.
It really is. This is not some statement of denial about the challenges and difficulties that are faced as an autistic, personally or for others. Yes it’s hard at times to negotiate the world I live in. Yes it’s hard to deal with sensory input that overloads me. To deal with social situations that I do not understand and have difficulty comprehending.
There is no denying that the pressure of living an autistic life in the midst of a neurotypical society brings challenge and difficulty and can be disabling.
There is no denying that the autistic spectrum is real and that there are infinite expressions of autism on that spectrum. But still.
The autistic glass is more than half full.
Being disabled, whether by the medical model or the social model, does not mean that the glass is half empty. It does not mean negativity, disaster and catastrophe.
It does of course mean difference and diversity. But what’s wrong with that. I would contend that is in fact a good thing. Better that we have difference and diversity than all be walking around like identical robots surely.
It’s time. Yes it’s time to declare the truth that the being autistic is not a tragedy. Being autistic is just as much as any state of being a worthy, wonderful, complete expression of humanity.
I or any other autistic are not broken. Sure I am different. Sure I struggle with some things. But the flip side of those struggles are strengths. Yes. Strengths. I have them too, just like any neurotypical person has them.
That’s right. The autistic glass is more than half full.
I have an extremely good memory. I remember things with extremely good recall, I remember the details, the situation, the words spoken, the things seen, the who, the what, and the where. This is one of my strengths. It has certainly come into play in positive ways in the odd trivia contest, but it’s so much more. It assists me in so many areas of my life. It’s a wonderful strength to have.
It contributes to my autistic glass being more than half full.
Just before writing this piece I watched a documentary about Autistic Artist Stephen Wiltshire. He happens to be a Savant Artist. He has incredible talent. When Michael began school his glass was seen by many to be less than half full and to be in fact probably more than half empty, with little hope for a positive outcome of life.
How wrong those thoughts were. Michael surely has a more than half full autistic glass.
The glass half full or less autism narrative has not been good for autistics. It continues to not be good for autistics. It is time to change that. It’s time to flood the public consciousness with the good news stories, the successes, the wonderful things that autistics achieve. It’s time to change the perception of the glass from half empty to half full.
I as an autistic are just as capable of a fulfilled life as any non autistic. In fact every autistic is capable of this.
Say no to the half empty and yes to the half full.
Change can happen, it will take a conscious effort but it can genuinely occur. This narrative can be changed. The glass can be seen as half full. It is to begin with a matter of choice and a matter of will.
It’s a choice to see the glass half full rather than half empty. To look for the positive and not the negative. To dwell on the positive and not the negative.
Yes the autistic glass is more than half full, let’s share that truth with the world at large.