So here’s the thing. Contrary to what the media, the medical industry, the peak autism bodies. I’m not sick. I am not diseased. To pretend that I am would be discounting all that I actually am. So yes, there’s the thing I am not sick.
Well actually I do have some illness issues at times. I do get a cold here and there, occasionally I get a head ache. But that’s got nothing to do with the fact that I am Âûtistic. Being Âûtistic is not being sick, it is not being diseased, it is not being disordered. It is being different though. Not less. Just different.
I confess I do have an issue with anxiety and depression and I am on medication to manage this. This is an often experienced issue for Âûtistic people, but it is not because of Âûtism but because of how the world manages those who are Âûtistic.
I’ll say it again, here’s the thing. I am not actually sick. I am not actually diseased and I am not disordered.
But wait I here you retort, but it’s called Autism Spectrum Disorder. Oh yes so it is. Just as Homosexuality was once described as Homosexual Disorder, but we would not now say that a gay man or woman is disordered we shouldn’t say an Âûtistic person is disordered.
And here’s another thing. We humans love to describe something different, something we don’t fully understand, can’t fully explain, something we just are not able to put neatly into a box as disordered, or diseased or indeed a sickness. But you know what, that actually does not make it truth, does not make it an irrefutable fact.
Yes I have my struggles, just like anybody else has their struggles. Yes I have my strengths just like anybody else has their strengths. Does that make me sick? I say no. Does it make me diseased and disordered? Not in my book it doesn’t.
[dis-or´der]a derangement or abnormality of function; a morbid physical or mental state. For specific disorders, such as the psychiatric disorders, see underthe name, such as anxiety disordersandpersonality disorders.Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
Disorder is described above as a derangement or abnormality of function. Well there you go. How does one define what the arrangement is, what the normality of function is. Would in not be reasonable to assess this normality or arrangement in terms of the neurology of the person to whom we are considering? Let me explain what I mean. For an Âûtistic person is it not normality of function in relation to their neurological systems to be experience sound in a far more intense way than someone who does not have an Âûtistic Neurology?
So what’s my point?
My point is, that we humans, over time, have been very quick to label difference as disorder, due to no real justification other than ignorance. Just as we labelled homosexuality a disorder out of ignorance, we now understand that it is in fact a difference, most likely with a genetic driver. My point is then it is unequivocally a failing of our systems to call Autistic people disordered, sick and diseased.
I have attempted here to answer briefly the question of disorder and hope that it has at the very least caused thought about the language we use in relation to Âûtistic people.
So yes again I proclaim it. I am not actually sick. I am not actually diseased, and mostly I am not actually disordered.
What am I then?
- Different Not Less
- Not in Need of A cure
- Fine as I am
- Able to Hyperfocus
The list could go on. So many traits could be listed, so many things could easily be said by me or others about positive and negative things about my character, my abilities, my relationships.
No my order may be different to your order but it is not disorder. It works for me and for my neurology, just as I suspect does yours.