Five Things Never To Say To An Autistic

When “compliments” reinforce exclusion

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Photo by Obie Fernandez on Unsplash

1. “You don't look/sound/seem autistic!”

This can only be a compliment if looking/sounding/seeming autistic is undesirable.

2. “Calm down.”

This one is a trigger for me —from decades of failed attempts to convince the world (and myself) that an outspoken trans male autistic assigned and socialized as female from birth and labelled ‘mentally ill’ before high school graduation could carve out a path best suited to fulfil their full potential.

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Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

3. “Everyone’s on the spectrum…”

At best, this is a lazy attempt to empathize with us. At worst, it’s a deliberate effort to erase autistic bodies, voices and lived experiences.

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Inspiration Porn 101 (censored by author) [insert disability euphemism here]

4. “Maybe you should [insert earnest advice that works for non-autistics here]”

Bonus points if you append again to that sentence.

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Photo by Slidebean on Unsplash

5. “I think of you guys as the next stage of evolution!”

Another “compliment” that positions autistics only insofar as our value to others, rather than our inherent value. The only context in which we are promised humanity at some undefined point in the future is one in which our humanity is denied today.

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Photo by Wylly Suhendra on Unsplash

“This was a lot darker than I expected for a listicle…”

I know, and I'm sorry about that. A sense of urgency underpins my work for two reasons:

Autistic/queer activist & race traitor reporting critically on autism, gender/LGBTQ+ issues, politics & White supremacy | MSW | ko-fi.com/namekkin

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