April is generally considered ‘Autism Awareness’ month. I prefer Autism Acceptance. I do not support Autism Speaks. I do not light it up blue. I am not a puzzle piece.
I thought for my second Monday Blog in April. I’d discuss another aspect of my life as an autistic adult.
One of the greatest dangers that face an autistic adult is not having sufficient information to deal with adult issues.
I’ve noticed a trend where non-autistics tend to infantilize autistics as teens and adults. They treat us as though we’re incapable of making decisions and caring for ourselves. And that is definitely not accurate.
It can and often does lead to a number of issues as we grow up.
One of which is sex and sexuality. I can only speak for myself here and my experiences, though. As we always say, when you’ve met one autistic…you’ve met one autistic.
I grew up in a very sheltered environment. I was the adopted child of closed-minded Baptist missionaries. I didn’t even know autism exited until I was in my twenties. I knew I was different, but not why.
Being sheltered and undiagnosed led to a number of issues. One being a serious lack of knowledge about sex. This all happened before ‘googling’ was a thing. I had no access to information–and no idea I needed information.
That, to me, is the most dangerous thing.
All these instinctual things non-autistics seem to grasp.
I had no idea how sex worked. How safe sex worked. I had no clue that there were different sexualities.
It seems ridiculous and incomprehensible, but it’s true.
Education is important. CRITICALLY important for autistics.
I had to learn the hard way. I had to educate myself. I made humiliating mistakes. My dating history is littered with bad decisions I could’ve avoided with a little knowledge.
And I’ve completely lost my train of thought. Thanks, Brain. I’ll end this post here.
Bonus round of unrelated yet related things I wish:
– Society didn’t mock adults looking for information that people consider ‘common sense.’
– People wouldn’t say ‘there’s no such thing as a stupid question’ without meaning it.