Adieu Autism Awareness

As another Autism Awareness month is over, I’m feeling silent. Acceptance or not, I shall carry on being here. Diagnosis or not, I shall carry on being who I am. Noticed or not, I shall still be.   

Wasn’t it Descartes who said, “I think as an autistic, therefore I am an autistic”? Or something like that, I may have paraphrased slightly. 

I do wonder if I have a way, a lever big enough, and somewhere to stand to wield it, in order to wedge autism into the public consciousness. 

Using a lever is a satisfying power. It takes so little effort when you know where to push. 

What do I want? More time to think about it all. When do I want it? Now. Always now. 

I am comfortable with my autism. It just is. It’s not a value, or a judgement, it’s a dull old fact of life. It’s mostly not relevant, except when it is. It’s just me. 

I’m even comfortable with other people feeling uncomfortable about my autism, so long as they are coming from a good place. I have heard all the cliches, I have heard all the clumsy attempts to soften my autisticness; “I never would have guessed”, “you’re actually pretty good socially, very good in fact”, “well we’re all a bit autistic at times”. 

I don’t need them. I don’t want them. I shrug them off with a grimace and a raised eyebrow. 

I can hear a cuckoo calling through the open window. The evening birds are doing their nightly twittering. Reminding the world they are still here. 

Perhaps I am a cuckoo, raised by sparrows who have no clue why I don’t behave the way they do. They do their best but cannot see past their sparrowyness to my cuckoo-call. 

I was a kind cuckoo by the way, who didn’t rid the nest of her sparrow-siblings. Am I taking this too literally? I do that. 

So as the evening draws in on a long run of warm, sunny Spring days, I wave my lady-like handkerchief at Autism Awareness. 

Adieu, dearest silly-month. You never quite do what is needed, but that doesn’t mean you won’t next year. 

Yours, ever-optimistically, Rhi. 

18 thoughts on “Adieu Autism Awareness

  1. “Perhaps I am a cuckoo, raised by sparrows who have no clue why I don’t behave the way they do. They do their best but cannot see past their sparrowyness to my cuckoo-call. ” I really loved this – connected with it because that is how I feel about my own upbringing. If I didn’t look like my parents, I’d swear they took the wrong baby home from the hospital.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, my lovely. I’m a big fan of levers. Last week I moved a concrete lintel that weighed twice what I do, with nothing more than a lever. Very satisfying once you work out where to put it 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You have a way with words, Rhi. I love reading your posts.

    I think what resonated with me most from this entry was other people’s ‘attempts at softening your autism’ as you put it, especially this :“well we’re all a bit autistic at times”. I don’t have autism – I have a lot to learn about the spectrum – but I hear this A LOT about my ADD. This kind of comment in isolation is bad enough, but when you combine it with other people insisting that ADD (or anything non-neurotypical) doesn’t exist, it gets me hopping mad!

    Look forward to reading more from you.<3

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Absolutely! So much of what I say applies across the neurodiverse world, because it’s just about accepting other people’s experiences as true, even when you don’t experience the same things.

      Thank you so much

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  3. I love your cuckoo analogy, but it would obviously be silly of me to claim that I’m not a sparrow 😉 I’m not that different to the rest of my family either – perhaps a sparrow raised in a hedge sparrow’s nest?
    “It’s mostly not relevant, except when it is. It’s just me.”
    That really resonated with me. That’s kind of what I feel as well. Love the way you put it. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hedge sparrows.

      Yes. It’s one of those things that isn’t important until it’s important. People often get it wrong. They see the fact of it as a huge thing that should be minimised, and the practicalities of it as a tiny thing that can be ignored. When it’s the practicalities that are the relevant bit, and the fact is just that. But that’s the waffly version. It lacks clarity 😄

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, the practicalities as the relevant thing – exactly what I was thinking! 😄
        I, too, love hedge sparrows. I love all those little grey brown birds that, when you look closely have tiny intricate patterns of many shades of brown on their plumage.

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