Last week I was out to dinner with my Tuesday Night Bookclub ladies and while discussing the fact I resigned from my job I made the statement “being autistic I just couldn’t do the role as it had become 95% Customer Service.” Then I got the dreaded attack that always makes me feel horrid
“You don’t have autism! My ex-husband is an Aspie and he doesn’t have any social skills as soon as he’s uninterested in a topic he just gets up and leaves. So I know you’re not autistic because you can have a conversation”.
I really like B but at that moment in time I was tempted to bitch slap her so hard her head would have done a complete 360º rotation on her neck. After about 2 minutes of trying to convince her I really am autistic I gave up because it didn’t matter what I said she was not going to listen.
This is not the fist time I’ve had this conversation and the over arching theme that connects them all is that the person insulting me knows a MALE who is somewhere on the autism spectrum and my behavioural patterns don’t match the MALE patterns they are used to seeing so there for I am not autistic.
Since coming out as being an Autistic Woman I’ve discovered there is a deep rooted prejudice and belief that if you don’t behave the way a Male with autism would you can’t be autistic. I actually find it kind of amusing and very frustrating because I guarantee if some guy who has identical traits to me said “I’m autistic” the response would not be “NO YOU ARE NOT” it would be “wow you compensate for your disability so well”.
I also love the idiotic statements that people who tell me I’m not autistic make:
- You can’t be autistic you look/seem so normal
- You can’t be autistic only boys can be autistic
- You can’t get diagnosed as an adult with autism
- You can’t be autistic because you’re not retarded I know because I’ve seen……Movie
- You can’t be autistic you have a sense of humour
- You can’t be autistic you went to university
- You can’t be autistic you drive/travel/swim/socialise
- You can’t be autistic you’re to independent
But my personal favourite in the lets prove I’m right and you are not autistic
JUST BECAUSE YOU TOOK SOME TEST ON THE INTERNET AND YOU THINK YOU ARE AUTISTIC DOESN”T MEAN YOU ARE
That is the point in time where I stop being nice and do one of two things. I either hand them a copy of my diagnostic letter from my psychiatrist and say nothing or I smile sweetly and say
Oh I don’t have a Google diagnosis I have a Psychiatric one which took 6 months of testing before my Psychiatrist would even tentatively give the diagnosis of ASD and before I was given a confirmed diagnosis my case was reviewed by two other Psychiatrists who specialise in Autism. But I’m sure your diagnosis that I’m not autistic is what you’ll continue to believe after all you’re such an expert because you know some guy who say’s he’s autistic.
Either of those responses tends to stop the conversation and create an awkward silence. Although I did have one person who was so desperate to not be wrong tell me they thought my diagnostic letter was a fake and my sarcastic responses to her statement that I’m not autistic proved I wasn’t autistic (roll eyes and sigh).