Think of when Netflix’s Daredevil was all the rage. Great show. Stellar choreography. Solid first season.
The hero, Matt Murdock: a blind man, yet super-attuned in his other senses, able to overcome that disability to where his other abilities could shine.
Now imagine people.
“I don’t think he best represents the blind community.”
“He’s only blind when it’s convenient for him.”
“Matt Murdock doesn’t speak for the REAL challenges among the blind.”
“He probably isn’t even blind at all.”
Think how patently absurd that is. But y’all, that’s believable. And I feel we can face similar challenges on The Life Autistic.
Autism has a Daredevil problem.
What’s a ‘Daredevil problem?’
It’s when autistic people overcome obstacles, adapt to situations, learn to mask as neurotypical, and articulate their experiences — to the degree that people don’t believe they’re autistic or don’t validate our experience on the autism spectrum.
Yeah. Imagine that.
I’m not as severe on the spectrum as others are, but that doesn’t mean I cannot still voice where I am on the spectrum.
I’ve managed to overcome many social and interactive anxieties; that doesn’t mean they’re “100% gone” or “never existed” or that I don’t still struggle.
I can hold my own in conversations and keep an “almost charming” veneer, but that’s work and I deserve to speak to that work. I’m not invalidated by where I’ve built strength.
I explain how I feel; I’m not trying to excuse it all. I can keep myself from reacting poorly, from doing wrong, but I can’t change how things affect me and my soul: routine disruptions, closed spaces, ambiguities.
There are too many autistic Daredevils out there, who have managed, who may not be as severe, may not be those with the uttermost of need. We may even be totally independent, high-achievers, and *gasp* fun people.
But it is unjust to toss aside our articulations, our adaptations, observations, and our voice by dint of “accomplishment” and “success.”
Are you trying to imply that we can’t be…adjusted and autistic?
Not everyone among us can fight for us.
But we can.