Written in March 2022
This is something many of us hear on a regular basis when we disclose our diagnosis. These reactions are part of the reason we are reluctant to disclose, even when it can benefit us, because we are not believed. If you've read my article on behaviour correction you'll understand that invalidating experiences can be very damaging for us and our sense of self.
When our diagnosis (which often gives us the identity we feel we have been lacking) is challenged or disbelieved, or we are even suspected of some malfeasance as a result of disclosure, this is an existentially traumatic experience.
Here are some things which are not part of the diagnostic criteria, and which do not preclude an individual from a genuine diagnosis of autism. We hear these statements as “you can't be autistic because”, yet...
You can still be autistic if
Please, if someone tells you they're autistic, don't say any of these things. If someone told you they had cancer, would you tell them they can't have it because they have hair? Would you really deny someone's diagnosis (and even their identity) because you think you know better?
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