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Ginger, Volunteer Mentor (@gingerw)

Issues with autism diagnosis and perception

Autism (ASD) | Last Active: Aug 9 2:51pm | Replies (15)

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Hi, @gingerw – I noted one of the issues talked about in another discussion thread in the Connect Autism group came up again in one of your articles here, gingerw – that not all autistic people are alike. How very important to remember. I also see this statement below in the article from The Mighty, and I'm wondering if @auntieoakley @mamacita @usernameca might respond. I also thought that @merpreb @abmac @stephanieann @starkl and @hopeful33250 may have some thoughts on this:

"It’s OK to be autistic. This one might be biased but there seems to be an attitude out there that it’s not OK to be autistic as it’s “wrong” and people with autism / autistic people need to hide who they are or should want to be cured. I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly OK to be autistic; it’s OK to be yourself."

Interestingly, this is similar in many ways to what I found many people seemed to think for the years when I was single, especially ages 23 to about 33 when I began seriously dating and then married my husband. I have remarked to others that single people do not need to be "cured," that they can be just fine and enjoying life as they are. I felt that too many people (well-meaning, of course), seemed to treat me like I needed to be fixed, like I wasn't acceptable as I was, unmarried, and were looking to fix me up with someone.

I do realize that being single in marital status and having a diagnosis of autism are not at all alike, but it touches on a similar issue: Are you okay as you are? Is something wrong with you?

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Replies to "Hi, @gingerw - I noted one of the issues talked about in another discussion thread in..."

@lisalucier There have been many times in my life when people have told me that my line of thinking/acting wasn't "correct". At age 13 when I had decided I would not have children, the reaction was "that's not fulfilling your role as a woman", or "that's un-American", or "why would you want to be childless?". I got that same reaction years later as I tried to find a medical professional for female sterilization. Remember, this was in the early 70s.

When I chose to follow my heart in lines of work I did for careers, the reaction was rarely positive, as those paths were not the norm of the majority. So, being different has been part of my life all along.

I feel great the way I am, and have no regrets for my life choices.