Please stop trying to change me.
I read about potential “cures” for Autism with a heavy heart. The very notion that you would want to cure something that is you seems completely alien to me. Why would you want to alter yourself in a way that denies yourself the truth of your very existence ?.
Of course we look at cures as a way of treating bad stuff.
So, is Autism bad ?. Is your Autism bad ?.
And what do we even mean by “bad” ?.
It’s too easy to associate other conditions with Autism; too easy to say that you have X because you are Autistic. But that’s too easy.
I will take myself as an example.
I am depressed. I have chronic depression or, as it’s known, Dysthymia. I get very anxious and stressed easily.
But those are not because I am Autistic.
There is no proof that if I didn’t have an Autism diagnosis I wouldn’t have those conditions. So why do we assume they are inextricably linked ?.
In honesty I was diagnosed with stress; was anxious, long before I had my diagnosis so they were very much viewed as separate conditions because there wasn’t any overreaching condition they were associated with.
And long before I had even heard of Autism I was anxious, stressed and depressed.
So if I was cured would those conditions magically disappear, overnight ?. Would I wake up happy and content, able to cope ?.
Of course the answer is no because those aspects are triggered by a variety of things that are not directly linked to being Autistic. My job, my home life, outside influences.
Now I admit that being Autistic means that I can take a view of things, negatively, that others might not. I admit that small things are more likely to upset me if they interfere with my routine and that such things exacerbate and amplify my stress and anxiety but that is an amplification and not a simple “because I am Autistic I am depressed”.
Would I like to be less stressed and less anxious ?. Yes. Would I like my life to be easier ?. Yes.
But not by losing my identity.
And it is my identity.
I am an Autistic man.
I identify as such.
I don’t want to drink bleach. I don’t want electric currents passed through my brain. I don’t want a “cure” to be beaten into me. I don’t want to be “trained” to be something false; something I am not.
And Autism is different in all of us. There’s that old, and by now very cliché saying that once you’ve met one Autistic you’ve met…one Autistic person, so how would a “cure” work for all of us ?.
I may not be happy.
I may suffer from chronic depression, anxiety, stress and a host of physical things…but..
I don’t suffer from being Autistic.
It’s not an illness. It’s not a disease. You can’t catch it.
Please don’t try to change me.