Autism is an identity.
I identify as autistic. What is an identity? How I understand my own identity if affected by autism.
What’s one example of your identity? Come up with an answer.
How an autistic person answers and an allistic answers is different. It’s very subtle, but it’s important to note. My answers: I am autistic, I write, I founded a nonprofit, and I wear yellow every day.
Did you catch it yet? It took me a while too. My identity has to do with my actions. What I do. While others find identity in relationships. (I am a writer, I am a founder, and yellow is a big part of my life.)
If I call myself a writer but I haven’t written anything in a while- no big deal. If I write, but I haven’t written in a while- big deal I just lost a part of my identity.
If am a good person and I did a bad thing, I’m still a good person. If I do good things and I do a bad thing- identity crisis.
When I identify as autistic and you say “You don’t look autistic.” “I don’t see the autism” You’ve just incredibly invalidated an identity of mine.
My sense of justice. My need to do things a certain way. My need for precision of language. All of these things are due to how different my processing and pattern recognition are. My experience with identity can be so drastically different from someone else that your comment about a small thing I do can deeply impact how I see myself, and my identity as a person.
My actions are my identity.