Remembering My Autistic Self
My advocacy… my activism… Well, it’s kind of been non-existent. It’s been bothering me for a while. I keep talking to a few friends about it. And I know I’m a needed voice, but struggle to find how and where I can restart.. I think a lot of it comes from remembering myself.
I used to be a good activist. I used to put myself out there. I used to put my thoughts on my FB, on here, in blogs and websites. Then I started working. And I had to watch myself. Watch what I said. Make sure all my thoughts were part of the right messaging.
I remember the wonderful conversations I used to be part of online. Some of the scary ones too, like what were called “the dialogues” on TPGA. I remember people actually coming to me. That doesn’t happen any more… not unless they’re already friends of mine.
I think I remember what I lost.. I lost being an Autistic parent. I don’t remember when I suddenly became an Autistic adult. I was no longer an Autistic parent. I think it’s important because being a parent is just as much a part of my identity as being Autistic. I’m not just a parent, but an Autistic parent to Autistic kids.
I remember having this conversation ages ago. I remember trying to have this conversation when I was working as well. I cannot distinguish which of my beliefs come from being an Autistic person and being an Autistic parent. I immersed myself in Autistic culture at a time when I was also experiencing being an “autism parent” for the very first time. Sure, I used my Autistic traits to figure out what I wanted for my autistic children, learn how to do it, but it all came from a point of being a parent too.
I don’t pretend to speak for all autistic people.. I don’t pretend to speak for my autistic children… I don’t even pretend to speak for all autistic parents. But I do know this, I want to become the activist I once was. It’s not just for me.. or my children… but for all autistic parents.. and autistic children. I want everyone, autistic or allistic, to do what’s in the best interest of all autistics’ futures, and that starts with me, with you, with people listening not just for autistic adults’ perspectives, but autistic parents’ perspectives.