There has been a glut of people in the autistic community talking online lately about people that say “you don’t look autistic”.
I’m here to say that I agree people are wrong in saying this. I’m also here to say that it is our job as autistic people to then educate them.
We’ve all heard it. “How dare they say I don’t look autistic? What do they know about if I am autistic or not? They are judging me. They have no right to judge me!”
Now, get off your high horse, and let’s look at what just happened. This person, who you may or may not know, just made a judgement using information they believed to be true and whole. The judgement was wrong. But they don’t know that. And it’s not your job to rip them a new one. It is your job to say “let me explain to you why and how I am autistic.”
But NOTHING! You know what it is like to live autism, right? You know what you’ve read about autism so you can sound more informed about yourself, right? I guarantee you that is 100 times more research than they’ve ever done.
So, don’t be a bully. Be a teacher.
Only after you know for sure they are educated, then you can declare they are mistreating you.
Also published on Medium.