A lot of times people could look at me and not think that I’m Autistic. I am telling other family members that I am Autistic, but I am not telling people that I don’t know very well. I’d rather keep invisible than face a whole bunch of stigma. It is one of my goals to be openly Autistic, but I fear the stigma surrounding Autism. So many times people don’t see my struggles, even hearing loud music a couple rooms away can overwhelm me with my auditory hypersensitivity.
So why do I pass for “Neurotypical” well firstly I act like a neurotypical around people I don’t know very well. I don’t stim a lot (it’s very subtle) and I mostly just listen to conversations. People will see me as “Introverted” or “shy” which I believe I am introverted and I think the word “shy” should be turned into “social anxiety” for me.
I try to observe the behaviours of Neurotypical people. But, I can never seem to quite get the hang of it. Neurotypicals find it so easy to start a conversation, but for me it’s very hard for me to come up with a subject to talk about, and I have social anxiety, it’s awkward, awkward, awkward. I sometimes wish that I could be openly Autistic everywhere without there being stigma with Autism.
So many Autistic people tend to hide their Autism, and if their Autism is “Visible” then they can feel ashamed for it. We suppress our stims, we hold in our anxiety, we have meltdowns or shutdowns, most of us have sensory issues, and we sometimes experience the overwhelming feeling of sensory overload.
My greatest hope is that someday, we will not have to pass for “Neurotypical” anymore. My hope is that someday we will be able to stim freely and be understood. 🙂
photo credit: Βethan <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/37163656@N06/4503870694″>Ooh Flare</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>