Couldn't sleep, so...

Personally speaking as an Aspie, one of the biggest issues I have to deal with is non-autistic people (neurotypicals) always seeming to think they know better than I do about my own condition and state of mind. So I'll get told things like "That's not autism. Everyone gets anxiety" - even though autistic anxiety starts at a point where most other people's has already peaked. Or "Everyone's a little bit autistic, of course." No, they're not - just as everyone's not 'a little bit pregnant.' And then there are the ones who'll say "You shouldn't refer to yourself as 'autistic', but rather as 'a person with autism'" - as if that makes it all seem not so bad after all! As if they'd also say to a gay person "You shouldn't think of yourself as a homosexual, but rather as 'a person with homosexuality.'"
 
The average life expectancy of an autistic person is 54. The main cause of early death is suicide. Aspies are 9 times more likely to die by suicide than the rest of the population. That's a pretty stark and daunting statistic. But when you've spent a lifetime being bullied, ridiculed, ignored, ostracised, dismissed and put down, is it any wonder that the idea of suicide can sometimes seem attractive? Dare I say it - 'comforting', even? That it can be reassuring to know that the option is there, if it all gets too much?
 
If neurotypicals want to do something to try to remedy this situation, they could start by accepting that they DON'T know better. They don't know any more what it's like to be autistic than a tortoise knows what it's like to be a dolphin. Maybe, instead, they could just try to be a little more understanding, empathetic and accepting.
 
And maybe they could pause for a moment before passing on another piece of their superior knowledge about autism and say to themselves, "Hang on a minute. Why don't I just SHUT THE **** UP, instead?"
[Edited by Moderator]
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