do it myself

there’s a russ song, “do it myself” that resonates with me every time i hear it or play it over in my head. i could easily write for hours on the multitude of reasons that i identify so hard with that song.

as an autistic human i’ve done a lot of stuff by myself. not because i was alone and had bad social skills (brb vomiting over those stereotypes).

because i solve problems differently. i enjoy the challenge of figuring something out, especially when i’m starting from scratch. especially when the odds are against me or when the problem is known to be difficult. (this applies to patients too i always take over the “difficult” patients from my coworkers when they ask)

i also prefer to do some things alone for avoiding criticism. “why are you doing THAT” “THATS THE WRONG WAY” “hahaha that’s so wrong who would ever do it like that”

i like to do things the maybe not so efficient way; when time and circumstance allows. i feel like so many people (i blame capitalism) are so obsessed with doing everything the best and the right-est and the fastest and if anyone comes up with an easier way it’s this weird competition of perceived efficiency correlating to superiority.

i don’t need or want to be superior to anyone else or beat anyone else out to claim “the best” or “the most” of the things that we all need. this is such a harmful mindset to teach children, because i promise you they will pick up on that.

little kids develop the awareness of younger children and babies around age 4; this is when they learn to be more flexible with younger children and understand that they might not know any better for some things & require some love and understanding.

so as a grown adult i know damn well when an adult is treating me with those patronizing “you probably can’t handle this so let me spell it out for you” attitudes.

autistic people are literally everywhere and we will not be infantilized and we will be listened to.

the same people who treat autistics this way are the same people who think we’re not capable enough to be treated as a full human.

kids aren’t born thinking autistic people are lesser, so where is that notion coming from? kids absorb everything.

i take so much pride in the fact that i have found ways to navigate my life and my autism characteristics by myself for 25 years.

that being said; the culmination of doing everything myself was catastrophic.

i got myself through high school and college and grad school and presented a “productive” member of society while utterly ignoring my mental emotional and physical health. i didn’t have much of a choice in a society that actively does not support my needs as an autistic, chronically ill, disabled human.

here’s to hoping that each educational interaction the actually autistic community has with someone new will lead to one less person doing it themselves.

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