I do not claim to represent autism as it affects anybody else. No organizations or other entities speak for me, either.
Recent discussion on one of the forums I belong to surrounded self diagnosis and included some very resentful comments about self diagnosed autistic people purporting to represent autism or to speak for autistic others. How dare a self diagnosed person claim to represent autism! How dare they claim to speak for other autistic folks!
I am not sure exactly how the commenting person defines other persons’ “claims” to being a speaker or self representation of autism.
I am not sure of many things in the resentment and anger displayed by this commenting person and some others in the discussion.
The comments created a very long discussion thread regarding self diagnosis, personal claims of being autistic, and defining what is meant by ‘speaking for autism’ ( autistic people).
It is all still very unclear to me, but it was very disturbing to me on many levels, and I want to post this ‘disclaimer’ right here, right now.
I only speak for myself and my own experiences with autism.
We are each individuals with individual experiences and each experience will be different, as will the conclusions drawn from any of them. I think that is probably pretty obvious and an accepted fact, NT, ND, diagnosed, self diagnosed, or not.
Please understand, even though my search for “Official ” diagnosis has been chronicled here and I have tried to share my personal experiences and the things I believe I have learned about autism, I am speaking only from my ‘first person singular” experiences and in no way purport to represent autism in general or to make finite statements about autism in any way.
I started this blog so that people who are just learning about autism in elderly people would have a source of information in one place available to begin with. I have simply compiled the things I believe I have learned about my own autism and autism in general and attempted to share it. Others may/ almost certainly will have a different experience of autism, self diagnosis and attempts to gain ‘official’ diagnosis. Each of us being individuals, that will probably vary greatly.
In no way do I claim to represent anybody but myself and my own experiences as autistic, from not knowing about autism, to discovery of autism, my learning that I am autistic through self discovery, and up to and including the present, through my hunt to find a competent person to provide diagnostic help, and my present “official ” diagnosis.
I have repeated throughout this blog that each person’s experience will be different and that each trait described and discovered can be present in myriad varying ways. Defining autism is still “in the works” in medicine and science, and in society, and will continue to be refined by new facts being learned and the information being applied.
I encourage you to explore autism, learn as much as you can, and make your own informed decisions.
I support self diagnosis because getting an informed diagnosis in the USA in most places is so difficult. “official diagnosis” can also be very mistaken if outdated information is used or information gained through ” professional testing” is misinterpreted.
There are multiple valid reasons for self diagnosis. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself!
Do your homework, take online tests, read blogs, join discussion forums, and realize you are your own best advocate.
I can only relate my personal experiences, ideas, thoughts and feelings, which is what you see here. I only represent myself. Your experiences and insights will most likely vary.
2 thoughts on “I speak for myself”
Hi Deb, I’ve been contemplating a post like this for a long time. I’m so glad you wrote about this subject and your experiences. I constantly get attacked by others, too. I am too the point where I don’t talk to people about it and I won’t. If they think their narrow ideas are the only there is space for “at the table” I leave it to them. I’m too old to fight other people’s ideas of right and wrong and their belief that they have a right to silence me because my view, experience or lacking diagnosis doesn’t fit their narrow world view. It’s the ignorance and inflexibility of youth and it’s really quite laughable. Leave them to it and do you. We both have every right. xx
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thanks Michelle. I think there is info out there for everybody, we can do our own research and draw our own conclusions. Take the info that is useful to you and leave the rest. No need to fight about it. I agree about youth, and of course that autistic trait of inflexibility is not a province of autism alone. Older generations were taught to be tolerant, something I don’t think is practiced as much these days. I appreciate your input!