Autism does define me

When we meet someone new, it is expected that we get to know each other to some extent. The context of the meeting tends to dictate the sorts of questions that are typically part of the conversation. Where are you from? What do you do? Do you have any children? There are also some answers that are typically considered to be appropriate, and some answers that will generally attract a negative reaction. Continue reading

Everyone has the right to safety

I talk a lot about my children’s right to inclusion and acceptance. I talk often about autistic people’s rights to be safe, to be free to be themselves. I talk about the rights of neurodivergent people to support that helps them live the life they choose and live it well. Some people would say I mostly write about disability rights, but I believe these are issues of human rights. Today, I’d like to talk with you about another issue of human rights: the rights all people have to safety.  Continue reading

learning from my past

I know we can’t change the past. I know that things in our past help us become who we are, and that is often a really positive thing. I know hindsight gives clarity and we probably shouldn’t spend too much time looking back with regret. But I have to admit I’m feeling angry about something that has happened, and happens to lots of people, that has meant I missed out on something really good for a long time. Looking back could be dangerous if we dwell there and don’t move on, but if we are willing I think there is something to be learned from it.  Continue reading

The lure of indistinguishability

All my life I have wanted to blend in. I have wanted to be understood, to feel safe, to be able to tolerate a bit of vulnerability without needing to retreat for days to recover, and to be accepted for who I am. I have tried so hard to look the part, talk the talk, be one of the gang. It’s possible people do actually perceive that I have achieved that, but in my mind I have not. I have always still felt on the outside and uncomfortable, no matter what I have done to fit in.  Continue reading