A Different Kind of Autistic
Not that I don't think it's OK to be autistic. But I'm not standard for an autistic person. Yes, I know there's a lot of variation, but the vast majority of autistic people have certain traits in common with each other that I don't have in common with them.
That, in itself, doesn't make me any less eager to be involved with autistic advocacy groups. I don't think there's anything wrong with the way I am, and I don't see anything wrong with the way most autistics are either. But some people seem to think recognizing I'm not like most autistics, and that there is a diagnostic category someone invented that describes me much better than just 'autistic' does, is something I should not do.
If they could give evidence why I'm not different from most autistics, I'd pay attention to it. On other occasions I've misunderstood descriptions of autistic traits and assumed I was different from people because of that. But they haven't commented at all on whether or not I am a different kind of autistic person. They've just attacked the only label I've found to describe people like me. They've just said I'm not supposed to define myself that way.
Why? Well, because it's Pathological Demand Avoidance. And 'pathological' is a bad thing (which is why I've renamed it Newson Syndrome, which they've completely ignored) and 'demand avoidance' is assumed by them to be - I don't know what, but something really offensive, rather than just 'avoiding demands' (which I actually do). And somehow saying I fit into this category is supposed to mean I think I'm pathological and bad.
And they don't even question the idea that PDA is a bad thing. They insist that description can't possibly be a neutral way of describing someone, even if you rename the condition. Somehow, the fact that autism was described just as negatively, if not more so, by Leo Kanner and yet they call themselves autistics doesn't seem to matter. It's OK for them, but not for me.
I finally found kids who sound just like I was when I was younger, and read descriptions of adults a lot like me. And because I tried to look for adults like me among the broader community of autistics, I get attacked. Why do they get to define themselves, but I don't? Why do they get to define my reality for me?