Sunday, November 1, 2020

Not Special Needs

 Ben Edwards

Not Special Needs

I do not have the need for people to stare at my eyeballs. I do not have the need for people to talk to me about weather, news, or celebrities. I do not have the need to conform to peer pressure, to always have company, or make up lies. I do not have the need to avoid in-depth, complete focus on particular topics or types of tasks. I have the need for people to understand that I cannot do somethings a certain way without being unduly stressed, regardless of my intelligence, college, career, or independent living prospects, without patronizing me or pitying me. I have the need to bring up and respond to issues in the autistic community that not everyone will agree on without being called divisiveness. I have the need for people to stop seeing visibility of needs like that of a blind, wheelchair using, or intellectually disabled person to be the equivalent of the reality of them. I have the need for people to stop being told which autistics my autism makes me qualified to speak for by non-Autistics. I have the need to stop being equated with lightning strikes, car wrecks, cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and combat situations. I have the need same need you have to have non-universal needs respected, even if I don’t have the power to force them on you. As an autistic, I am the greatest martyr, carry the greatest burden, For it is neurotypical needs that I have spent my life caring for, neurotypical needs that held back my career, made me go broke, made me feel isolated, meant my life couldn’t be my own, or I could not be myself. It was caring for the needs of 6 billion children on the neurotypical spectrum that made me be defensive and protective. I spend endless amounts of money, take countless hours out of work, have to schedule and keep appointments with professionals that aren’t covered by insurance to take care of the needs of neurotypical children. I am interrupted over four times a week by an incident involving a neurotypical child. I can’t be myself; my life is not my own. And so many neurotypicals are always easily offended. I can’t speak honestly, talk about more meaningful things than sports, or avoid eye contact without them dogpiling me, contacting my employer, or costing me my job. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. As someone affected by neurotypicalism, I need support, not criticism. Neurotypical needs have caused me PTSD and depression, but in spite of all this, being a neurotypicalism parent, child, and sibling is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. But one thing is certain: I don’t worry what will happen to these kids after I die. #NeurotypicalismAwareness

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