Someone was talking in an online group as to whether their autism was really a disability or not. This is something I’ve thought a lot about lately.
The way I see it, I am disabled, BUT not by autism, only by the ignorance of my teachers when I was a child, by society today, by the busy, noisy environment that affects my hypersensitivity, by judgement of others and from having executive function tested by a world of bureaucracy and complications. All puts my mind in a chaotic spin.
Basically our environment has been manipulated to work for non-autistic people and not for us autistics. If I was living in an autistic friendly environment, one built by and for us, I wouldn’t be on red alert all the time and I’m sure I wouldn’t feel disabled by anxiety and depression along with my burned out traits.
But I am disabled by all the madness.
Somehow, over hundreds of years, we have slipped away from a natural life into a harsh, noisey and polluted existence.
Yes please to a little house far from the madding crowd.
I feel I would have been happier in a tribal community with like-minded folk. I know this from working in the arts community where I felt I was safe and belonged. Never did a student or colleague ever consider me as disabled. I had a lot of respect in my teaching career as someone who listened, imparted information in a way all ages could understand, for my dry sense of humour in class and for my expertise in dance and the body.
Outside the protected teaching environment, in the outer world, my senses suffered the onslaught of overwhelming noise, chemical smells and bright lights. I could plan whole terms of lessons, but could not deal with bank accounts or filing. I could choreograph for the next day and teach a classful of children or adults, but could not organise my living space. My brain just did not cope with the everyday stuff and priortised only what it could cope with.
Had I been living in a small community in a natural setting, with no banks, no bills, just the basics of finding food and perhaps indulging in some shamanic or community dance, then I would not be disabled by life. So to outsiders, I am disabled because I do not conform or fit into their frantic agenda. Therefore, in their eyes, I have failed in life.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of tech and my mod cons, I just feel everything is far too complicated for the autonomous, monotropic, autistic mind.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we autistic folk are an ancient neurology out of our proper time and place. Imagine if we had designed the world to suit us. Wishful sigh…
Wishing you all peace and quiet
Images collaged on Photoshop by me with courtesy of Pixabay