Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Autistics Speaking Day this year

J. Gray writes Autistics Speaking Day this year

This year for me is very different from Autistics Speaking Day last year.
On the last autistic speaking day I lived about 1,000 miles north from where I do now. I lived with my parents and a sister in a townhouse in a middle-class neighborhood. I had some autistic friends from a local autism group and I didn't have a lot of adult responsibilities to think about then. This year I live in a trailer community, I use the bus for most of my transportation, and live with one other person who is also autistic.

Things have changed over the year though. I attended autreat twice but since then I've missed two autreats and it's unlikely I'll attend any soon do to finance issues. I don't see most of my autistic friends in person anymore, but I have more than ever before online now. Last year I didn't expect much of any of my relationships, and this year I can say I've been happily living with my autistic fiance for over six months.

I've also come to realize though that sometimes being an autistic adult sometimes means it's very difficult or nearly impossible to get married. I live with an autistic man who receives disability. We have no certainty when or if we can ever get married and still afford to pay bills. Even though I get upset by thoughts about being unable to get married, how will I pay for college, or wondering what sort of job would be appropriate for my skills or ability these things are less upsetting than they used to be.

I'm less alone than I used to be on these problems. I've found both autistic and NT friends online with similar issues. I've expanded a lot on including the entire disability community in finding people with common interest as myself. Things are somewhat easier to handle when other people are around to add affirmation to my feelings. My neighbor is not autistic but has some mental health disabilities and the other day out of some unrelated topic just says "I don't think it's right that some people on disability should have restrictions on getting married (okay- these weren't her words, but that's what she meant)". I wish that things like SS restrictions, bullying and abuse in schools and workplaces, exclusion of autistic individuals , etc. didn't exist and I didn't have any message to tell. For now though things like other people's acknowledge and understanding seem like progress compared to the days I was and elementary school or middle school and had people calling me "psycho".

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