How do you feel about self diagnosed autistics
Finally, I made myself a new fundraiser, with indiegogo this time.
More or less, exactly what it says on the label. I need a shit-tonne of money to pay for a wheelchair. The pain from walking is even worse now than during my original fundraiser (which was shut down due to the fact I can’t prove my identity adequately, which paypal requires as per bizarre Australian law, but now I’m using a different account).
If you can’t donate, please share.
Some people say something is hard because they don’t value it and think any effort whatsoever is too much.
Some people say it is hard BECAUSE IT IS ACTUALLY HARD OR IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM.
Yep yep yep yep yep.
I’ve been accused of the first so many times, when it comes to language issues. Especially when it comes to being unable to cut words out of my vocabulary easily, even really bad words that I want to cut out of my vocabulary very badly because I can’t see any reason such words should even exist, they’re so harmful. I still can’t always do it.
And it hurts — badly — to be in any situation where you give everything you have, and it’s never enough for people. Another situation this crops up with is when I’m unable to give a tl;dr summary for my long posts (which is most of the time), or to simply write short posts to begin with. Which is also something I badly want to be able to do, for the sake of accessibility. Lots of people, myself included, can’t read long posts easily. (I can’t even read all of my own posts.)
And it’s one thing to simply not be able to do it. But I’ve occasionally had people accuse me of not trying, of not caring, of not working hard enough, even when in one case, I’d literally worked myself into a head-banging meltdown and lost the ability to function properly for days. It’s not only hurtful on an emotional level, it causes us to damage ourselves in the pursuit of a level of perfection we’ll never be able to attain. And that can be quite dangerous. At one point I basically had someone taunting me about my inability to do it, trying to get me to try harder and harder, and she seemed to almost be enjoying herself, like enjoying making me try and fail over and over again while accusing me of being a self-centered asshole who cares about nobody but myself because if I really cared I’d just summarize my posts or write shorter ones. It was horrible. When I tried to speak up for myself, she’d accuse me of “playing the victim”. I still occasionally get triggered over that experience.
Within three days of becoming engaged, I had already been told that I shouldn’t wear my glasses, because they’re not bridal. I was told my cane wasn’t bridal. I was told my eye… was not bridal. And I realized that if I was going to be “bridal” in their eyes, I was going to have to change who I am. I am proudly disabled.
This photo is giving me LIFE
I am autistic.
That is really important. Many autistic people go through a phase where we almost become a self-caricature — of ourselves, of autism, of our version of autism, etc. — for all kinds of reasons. But I don’t think we can actually be happy until we’re able to just be ourselves, without regard to how it looks.
You don’t have to like being disabled
This is what I think disability acceptance means:
- Facing what your abilities are and aren’t
- Accepting yourself as already having value
- Living your life now and doing things you care about.
- Not putting your life on hold waiting for a cure
But, some kinds of acceptance talk end up putting destructive kinds of pressure on people. And I think:
- It’s ok to like or dislike being disabled. It’s ok to like some aspects of your condition but not others
- It’s ok to want treatment and to be frustrated that it isn’t available
- It’s ok to pursue treatment that *is* available
- It’s ok to work hard to gain or keep certain physical or cognitive abilities, and to be happy or proud that you have them
- It’s ok to decide that some abilities aren’t worth keeping, and to be happy or proud about moving on from them
- All of those things are very personal choices, and no one’s business but your own
- None of them are betrayals of acceptance or other disabled people
The point of acceptance is to get past magical thinking.
It means seeing yourself as you actually are, without being consumed by either tragedy or the need to focus on overcoming disability. It means accepting where you are, and living now, without putting your life on hold waiting for a cure.
Acceptance creates abilities. Acceptance makes it easier to be happy and to make good decisions. But acceptance does not solve everything, and it does not come with an obligation to love absolutely every aspect of being disabled.
Pride Against Prejudice available in free ebook form from Disability Studies at Leeds
This is one of my favorite books on disability rights and disability studies. Not least because it’s relatively easy to read. It’s not dense like some disability studies books. I have a lot of reading comprehension problems, and I found it clear and easy to read compared to just about every disability studies book I’ve ever read, with the exception of things by Dave Hingsburger.
And it’s available on PDF!!!! For free!!!! Jenny Morris’s Pride Against Prejudice:
(Dave Hingsburger writes exactly like he talks: In simple, conversational prose. It’s hard to beat that. Jenny Morris writes in a less personal and conversational style, but it’s still a simple style compared to a lot of academics.)
Anyway, I just found out, while writing another post, that there is a free ebook edition of Pride Against Prejudice by Jenny Morris, online. If you are unable to afford a print copy (and I already own a print copy I paid for myself, so I’m not worried, personally) I would suggest downloading and reading it.
I would especially suggest downloading and reading it for anyone who has ever believed that ableism is a list of words that you have to memorize and stop saying. For anyone who has ever thought that ableism is just a made-up word, political correctness gone mad, or someone jumping on the bandwagon of legitimate causes to promote a cause that is downright silly.
Jenny Morris uses her background in feminism (and especially the idea that the personal is political) to analyze disability rights issues in a clear and coherent manner. Cal Montgomery once wrote, of Martha Nussbaum’s “feminist” approach to disability:
Nussbaum’s view of disability is truncated by her unwillingness to consider the ways in which the physical and social environments limit our ability to develop human powers and to enjoy liberty and independence, the ways in which human dependence is highlighted or downplayed in a variety of ways. Her view is no more the view of disability than is one that says, “We may not move like you, but we think like you, and that’s what’s really important.”
Her reliance on these three stories, on three books which explore — in various ways — the lives and loves and labors of family and paid caretakers, means that her view of disability, as expressed in these pages, is incomplete. She draws on an old and familiar series of clichés: disability as dependence, disability as innate limitation, disability as political voicelessness. She comes at disability through feminism and commits the traditional feminist errors about disability, rather than reaching for the vitality that a fully realized interaction between feminists and those concerned with disability can offer.
That last part was bolded by me. Pride Against Prejudice reaches for the vitality that a fully realized interaction between feminists and those concerned with disability can offer. And I think, often, it gets there. If you want to read it, go to the following link and save the PDF file to your computer for later reading:
This has been one of my favorite introductions to disability rights, for most of my adult life now. I’ve got a battered, falling-apart copy in my apartment. It sadly seems to be out of print, and I’ve seen copies online run from $2 to $400, so there’s no telling what it will cost if you don’t get the free version. Just don’t use it for commercial use.
Anyway, seriously, enjoy. Even if you already know the basics, I’ve always found this book pleasant to read because it lays everything out in such a simple and accessible way. YMMV on simple and accessible of course — I know my reading preferences are highly idiosyncratic — but I firmly hope that it’s as accessible for other readers as it is for me. Because to me it’s a beautiful work of art when it comes to identifying and describing disability oppression in a way that you can understand even if you’ve never heard of it before.
So if you have the time and are able to read things like this.
And especially, if you don’t know a lot about ableism, and you want to know more.
And especially, if up until now, all you’ve heard of ableism is that there’s certain words you shouldn’t say.
Then by all means try and read it.
Also, I’d really appreciate if people would pass this link around. I’d appreciate if people would pass the link around whenever they hear people saying that ableism isn’t a real thing, or that ableism is just a bunch of words you have to memorize, or that ableism doesn’t really harm anyone.
It’s rare when you can simply point someone at an ebook and say “Here is the perfect way to get into this subject on an introductory level, if you’re really interested in learning more.” And people are always asking for ways to be educated about these things. So if, after reading the book yourself, you think it’s a good one — by all means spread the word far and wide that this exists in free ebook form, add it to your master lists on ableism, do whatever you can to get it out there, because it’s that much worth it.
Pride Against Prejudice by Jenny Morris. Don’t forget the name, don’t forget the book. I am ecstastic that Leeds has put it out there to read. But just in case for some reason they remove it from their website (I don’t see why they would, they’ve got most of her other writings up there as well) I’d advise actually downloading and saving the PDF to your computer for safekeeping.
But seriously. You have no idea how excited I am about this book. It was one of my first introductions to disability studies. It was one of the few disability studies books that I could read without (much) extra effort given my cognitive disabilities and reading comprehension problems. Because most disability studies books are written in dense and impenetrable academic jargon. And this one… I can’t tell if it’s not written that way, or if it’s just written so much less that way that I couldn’t tell. But it felt very simple to me compared to anything else I’ve ever read on the subject, with the exception of Hingsburger. And I’m excited that anyone on tumblr who wants to, can go download this book, right now, and read about ableism and disability rights, the real thing. Not that it’s perfect, I’m not saying that, but… wow, just go read it if you can (and want to), okay? And form your own judgements.
Is funny when doctors and other peeps act like my problem is that I’m obsessed w/ my disability. Um no. You have it backwards. The problem is I HAVE to be cuz it is a constant problem.
I’m deaf. About 25 years ago, I was working for a little while as a…
There is no should in development
Developmental guidelines for parents often say things like this:
"At around two years of age, a child should be able to have enough balance to jump up, with both her feet leaving the ground. She can climb a staircase holding onto the railing, using one foot at a time. She can make scribbles (straight lines) holding a pencil. She may not have a preference for either the right hand or the left hand at this age, or she may start to favor one hand over another. She can feed herself pretty well now, getting most of the food in her mouth, but she is by no means a neat or willing eater. She can stack a tower of blocks pretty high — at least eight to ten blocks."
This kind of framing is a problem, because it sets families up to see their kids with developmental disabilities or delays as flunking toddlerhood.
You can’t flunk being a toddler. There is no should in development. Kids whose development is atypical are not wrong or broken or failing. They’re doing the best they can, and they need early education to help them to acquire certain skills.
There’s typical, and there’s atypical. There are early signs of disability, and there are indications that a child may need education or support that most children do not need.
(In particular: Kids who aren’t speaking at the age most kids do need help learning to communicate. That shouldn’t just be aimed at getting speech. The goal is communication, not looking normal. I’m not knocking early education for kids with disabilities. I’m saying not to treat them as failing.)
But there is no should. You can’t flunk being a toddler. A kid who has a disability isn’t failing. They’re just disabled.
Children who don’t hit milestones at the typical times have not failed to do what they ought to. They’re ok. Their development is ok. They are not doing anything inappropriate. They just need help and education that typically developing kids don’t need. And the point of teaching them isn’t to cause them to catch up; some kids with atypical early development look more typical later in life, but many more don’t. That’s ok too.
And part of the education they need is learning to be ok with themselves in a world that thinks of them as broken. Talking about atypical development as though it’s a failure undermines that, even if you don’t think your kid understands, even if you don’t think you’re saying it anywhere they can hear. It affects your attitude, and it affects them.
If you think that your kid is constantly failing, they will know. And it will hurt them. They are developing and learning and growing in the way that they can, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They aren’t wrong. Their body isn’t wrong. And they shouldn’t be made to feel like they’re failing before they’re even kindergarten age.
There is no should in development. Atypical is ok. Disabled is ok. Having a disability isn’t a failure.
My parents raised three neurodivergent children. By the time I came around (I was their last kid), I think they’d gotten so used to certain things that they no longer seemed glaringly “abnormal”, although I know they sought help and were rebuffed in various ways for things going on with me. (Like the time I stopped talking and started grunting instead. They were told that was their fault, essentially. After hearing that, they weren’t about to bring that back to a doctor.)
But anyway, I’m pretty sure that all three of us not only didn’t meet certain milestones “on time”, but actually went through the milestones “in the wrong order”. My oldest brother is the one who got the brunt of the “you’re abnormal” stuff because he came first, and he told me that he got sent to this place for “going through the milestones in the wrong order”. But when I look at what the milestones are supposedly supposed to be, it certainly looks as if I went through them in the “wrong” order too, and possibly so did our one nonautistic sibling (who, though nonautistic, is still blatantly neurodivergent and was diagnosed as ‘hyperactive’ as a kid).
There’s a lot of times I can’t stand to read anything written by parents online about their kids not hitting certain milestones, or not hitting them in the right order, or not hitting them in the right way. Because they go on at great length about what an anguish they feel every time they see a child who has hit whatever the milestone is, and how they are always comparing their own child to the typically developing child and finding them wanting.
Which… among other things, they can’t possibly know that this typically developing child is actually typically developing. For all they know that’s another autistic kid with a different form of autism, or for all they know the kid has some other major disability that they’re just not seeing in those five minutes at the playground.
But aside from that, it seems horribly unfair to both kids, to make comparisons like that. When I was a kid, I was hypersensitive to comparisons with other kids, whether the comparisons made me look good or made me look bad. They felt unfair and I’d get angry. I still get angry when people compare me with other disabled people, again whether or not I “come out on top”. It’s the fact of the comparison that makes me angry, the unfairness, the sense that the person doesn’t even know either one of us but is acting like they know all about us.
It also goes back to a thing that happened to me in psych/DD settings where I’d make a friend. And the friend and I would decide we had a lot in common. And the staff would do everything they could to persuade us that we actually had nothing in common, and that we were not really friends, and that we could have nothing in common because our diagnoses were different (or some subtlety of our diagnosis was different, even if our diagnoses were the same), or something else along those lines. And it felt like staff wanted to be able to control everything right down to who identified with who else.
I even remember a psychologist who told me “Ronnie isn’t really your friend. She acts like your friend because you’re both stuck here together. But she’d never take you out clubbing in the real world. Your social skills aren’t developed enough. You’d embarrass her. So you shouldn’t pretend that you two are friends, when you’re really just two people who are stuck together in a residential facility who would never even talk to each other on the outside.”
That was one of the “You’re too low functioning to be her friend” speeches I got. I also got “You’re too high functioning to be her friend” and “She’s too low functioning to be your friend” with other people. I once made a good friend who was said to have an IQ of around 30, and we had a great time hanging out and doing stuff, and she was one of the few people who could interact with me on a level that was comfortable to me. But I was constantly told that she was incapable of true friendship. Even when she held my hand, petted my shoulder and said “Nice, nice, nice” over and over, apparently that was just “learned behavior” and shouldn’t be interpreted as indicating love or friendship. And gods help me if I identified with her, even though she was the first person in my life who had ever looked ‘three-dimensional’ (i.e. “like me” and therefore able to be read on all levels instead of on a handful of levels). I was not supposed to identify with her at all, and that was a great offense to the order of things.
(There was this whole Thing where they got to choose who was like who, and none of us got to choose whether we were like each other, and they were greatly offended if we tried. So greatly offended that it came out in great waves of rage directed at any of us who dared to actually voice the idea that one of us was like any other of us, without permission.)
But anyway, I really hate the comparisons that grow up around milestones. I hate reading things where people basically piss and moan about the imagined superiority of other children over their own. Especially when they know next to nothing about the other children, they just fill in the blanks. I can totally picture a parent looking at me as a child and thinking that I’d hit all the milestones ahead of their child, when I actually hadn’t even hit half of their child’s milestones yet.
I actually remember times when not having hit certain milestones was taken as a sign of maturity — and then all hell broke loose when I did hit those milestones… ten years too late and with nobody expecting it. I’m thinking particularly of spontaneous pretend play, here. Didn’t have much of it as a young child — had to be led along by the hand. Suddenly got the ability as a teenager, and suddenly I’m psychotic and twenty other things, even though when I read books on child development I was doing nothing different than a toddler does when they first discover the ability. So at first not having pretend play made me look ‘mature’ because it made it look as if I’d ‘already grown past that’, and then once I actually grew to that point, it terrified everyone around me because they didn’t know how to take a 15-year-old who insisted on this elaborate fantasy world being absolutely real, in the same way a little kid does when they are first learning to pretend.
And I’ve heard of that scenario — that exact scenario — happening to a lot of autistic people in adolescence.
I honestly think there are a number of developmental trajectories that are as normal for autistic people as the “normal trajectory” is for nondisabled people. As in, certain things happen at certain ages for certain kinds of autistic people, and they do so with such regularity that I think there must be a pattern there. We must have our own sets of milestones, we must have our own specific developmental trajectories that are perfectly normal for us, and there must be quite a large number of different ones for different types of us. (And I’m talking throughout an entire lifespan, not just in early childhood.)
There have been times I’ve heard an autistic child described, and been almost certain I knew the age of the child long before anyone told me, because I knew what age things normally happen at for autistic children.
For instance, age four is a very common age for us to start talking. So common that if a child isn’t talking by the age of three, I am not even concerned yet that they won’t talk ever at all. Not that I think that would necessarily be a horrible thing, but I’m no more worried about a nonverbal autistic 3-year-old being nonverbal forever, than I am about a nonverbal nonautistic 3-month-old.
But parents aren’t given lists of the normal development of autistic people, so they assume if we’re not doing something, we’ll never do it. And some of them get very weirdly invested in believing their child will never do this long list of things, to the point where if you contradict them, they get angry with you and go “What do you know, do you think you know my own child better than I do?” (No, but I think I know more about autism than you do…)
Anyway I totally agree with everything you’ve said here, I just wanted to add a bunch of things that it reminded me of.
any time I see someone refer to all disabled people as innocent little angels with no hate or lust or anything like that in their hearts, I skip raging and go straight to laughing
we’re fucking human we will feel the emotions you claim we don’t. and considering that an overwhelming amount of disabled kids are bullied and abused, you can bet damn sure we feel rage, even if we don’t act on it
disabled people can do bad things. we’re not unearthly beings made of angel dust and fairy whiskers and starlight we are made of flesh and blood, like every other human.
so take your misguided dehumanization and go somewhere where you can put your comedic talents to good use
it’s okay to have a disability/chronic illness and to avoid attending protests and rallies for your own health and safety. it really is okay. you don’t have to apologize to people who don’t understand. not being in attendance doesn’t invalidate your activism. you can still continue to be involved in other ways. your activism is valid.
So maybe this is me being a bad disability person but
I don’t have any problems with the ALS challenge. But neither does my (step) Abuela, who has ALS herself. sure it’s a bit wacky, but people are donating money.
Never worry about being a “bad disability person” when lives are on the line and you’re sure you’re doing something important. Reality trumps ideology, every time.
I just had a semi-hypnagogic revelation that is important for once and not just silly.
I was reading words on a typed screen. They said something like, “Watch out when you hear one person telling another, "you didn’t even get that right, real autistic people flap their hands top to bottom, they don’t shake them." When people start telling you that your expression of your own disability is inauthentic. More importantly, though, when you hear someone gloating like that about another person — “Ha ha, they tried to get it right but they totally failed, real disabled people don’t think/speak/move/act like that” — that is a warning sign. It’s not a warning sign against the person who supposedly “couldn’t get it right”. It’s a warning sign to get the hell away from whoever is spreading gossip like that. Don’t believe their claims to expertise on how “real disabled people” operate. Just stay away. Don’t repeat their claims. Don’t believe their claims. Speak up about it if you see other people believing them. Because they are bullies.
And they are bullies that are using a tactic. They are saying “I am smart enough to see through this person’s act, and if you’re smart too, you can see through it. If you can’t see through it, you’re stupid and gullible.” And that is a tactic that people who’ve been called stupid and gullible our entire lives are very prone to falling for. Don’t fall for it. If someone tries to manipulate you by saying you’re stupid and gullible if you don’t believe them, something is wrong. With them. Not you.
My hypnagogic hallucination was more pithy but this will have to do.
abled persion or disabled person who doesnt have reading comprehension issues:
*writes 10 paragraph long dissertation on ableism, each paragraph 8-12 lines*
*doesnt put a ‘tl;dr’ at the end*
That’s not actually fair.
I know at least one person who writes really long…
Oh for the -
I’m out of spoons, can someone take this please?
Because all I’m hearing is “not all neurotypicals!!!”
Oh my God.
I have ADHD. The person I was talking about is autistic.
What I’m saying is that having good reading comprehension has nothing to do with writing ability.
Comprehension is not the same thing as expression, and vice versa.
That is literally all I meant. I’m pretty sure that’s what I said.
I didn’t say reading comprehension had anything to do with writing ability; what I meant was that the people who write these dissertations, abled or not, do not take into account those of us who would really like to read them but literally can’t because of the way they’re FORMATTED.
Except that saying that people who have good reading comprehension make these posts that are formatted with really long paragraphs is implying that comprehension is linked with writing ability, which isn’t true.
Like I said in my first response, there are people who write long posts with long paragraphs who have trouble reading their own posts because of how they’re formatted, but that’s how they were able to say the thing and trying to say it differently isn’t a thing they are able to do either.
I myself have ADHD, and I often can’t read long paragraphs or even long posts (even if they have short paragraphs) because while my reading comprehension is good my attention span isn’t so hot.
I try to keep my paragraphs short, or at least to vary their length, but I can’t always do that because the only way I can say a thing in the moment is the way I’ve written it. On my personal blog, I can try and rephrase things for people if they ask but most of the time I need the question to trigger different words.
Basically, sometimes people have disabilities that interact poorly with other people’s disabilities, and sometimes people have multiple disabilities that interact poorly with each other (like, in the same person).
Yes, people need to remember that not everyone can read long posts that have long paragraphs. At the same time, we need to remember that not everyone who needs short posts and paragraphs can actually WRITE short posts and paragraphs.
I write things.
I can’t summarize long things to make them shorter.
I can’t “pad” short things to make them longer.
They come out the length they come out.
This is EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE.
This is not READING COMPREHENSION.
My reading comprehension sucks.
I am totally incapable of reading most of my long posts.
This factors into my total incapability of summarizing my long posts.
I do every, single, fucking, damn, fucking thing I can to make it easier because I HAVE READING COMPREHENSION ISSUES AND I CAN’T READ IT EITHER AND I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE. I do everything I can. Sometimes I have written myself into meltdowns trying to make things easier to read. As in, meltdowns that may have resulted in long-term brain damage, so fuck anyone who thinks I don’t try.
And to be told I’m just not trying is the end. I shouldn’t even fucking write anymore. It doesn’t matter what I say. It doesn’t matter what I write. It doesn’t matter how many times I explain that receptive language and expressive language are totally separate skills and that the ability to have one is not the ability to have another. It just doesn’t matter. I explain it constantly, I explain it constantly. Constantly. And it doesn’t matter. Nobody gives a shit.
All they care about is burying the complicated issue of competing access needs under a pile of “You should be able to do this because I can’t read it so you should just be able to summarize it or do something to make it so I can read it.”
I’ve been trying for years.
I can’t come up with something.
The only thing that works.
The only thing.
Is a community where people set up a translation system where people willing and able to translate, translate from (person who writes what someone can’t read) to (person who wants to read what the first person wrote). This isn’t just about length, it’s also about grammar and lots of other things that can affect both comprehension and expression.
It only works if everyone assumes good faith.
It only works if people aren’t assuming abilities that don’t exist, in people who don’t have them.
It only works if everyone wants it to work and tries really hard to make it work.
And I don’t see that happening here.
Not when someone tells me I have good reading comprehension because I can’t control the length of what I write.
Not when someone makes it “ableist” to write long things when it’s ableist to demand that a disabled person write in a way they can’t write, or just stop writing altogether, because for people like me those are the only two options.
It’s not ableist for me to write things you can’t read. Not when I’m not capable of writing otherwise.
It’s ableist for there to be no system set up to translate.
There should be a system.
We should be organizing a system.
But fuck it all, I’m not going to explain this again, I’m not going to go through the anguish again, I’m not going to go through the utter hell that is trying to explain my abilities when nobody wants to know because my abilities don’t fit what they want me to be capable of.
Bonus: I can’t read what I just wrote. I can’t read what I just wrote. I can’t read what I just wrote. So how the fuck am I supposed to summarize what I can’t even read? Oh yeah, and I can’t read what I just wrote, because I have massive reading comprehension issues. And they’re acting up in particular tonight. I have language comprehension issues in general. I compensated by learning to regurgitate and spit out huge numbers of words, but that does not mean that I have no reading comprehension problems. I can write without being able to read one single word at all. FFS. Please. I can’t take this anymore. Someone make it okay?
I’m Cara, also known as That Crazy Crippled Chick. I’m a disabled activist and blogger currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Disability Studies at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. I’ve been accepted to present at the TASH conference in Washington DC this coming December, but I need y…
I’m raising money so that I can present at the TASH conference in December. My presentation is on how the Internet can advance self advocacy and the disability rights movement and it would be a wonderful example of theory in practice if Tumblr helped me get there! Please donate, and even if you can’t, please signal boost!
I wish TASH was affordable. It’s why I’ve never been there, even though I think I was invited to keynote once. It makes me nervous, because a place that isn’t affordable to get to, especially one as seemingly well-off as TASH is, just… makes me nervous. Their membership fees are so high I had to stop even being a member years ago. Good luck.
Anonymous said to realsocialskills:realsocialskills said:I think that autistic people are autistic whether or not that they have been diagnosed.I think people often know that they are autistic without a doctor telling them that they are. I have absolutely zero problems with someone thinking that they are autistic or wanting help. Even if it turns out that they are mistaken and not actually autistic. That happens sometimes, but I don’t think that’s hurting anyone, and I don’t think it’s a legitimate reason to object to self-diagnosis.I think that people with disabilities need support, coping methods, and accommodations whether or not they’re diagnosed with anything.I think we should move towards a world in which accessibility is seen as routine and normal rather than something people have to beg for access to. As it stands now, support resources for people with disabilities are often drastically limited. That is not the fault of people who identify their problems and support needs without medical diagnosis. Resources are scarce because our culture doesn’t value people with disabilities enough to make support readily available, or to routinely make accessibility and inclusion part of planning in schools, organizations, architecture, workplaces, or anywhere else. That’s the problem. Self-diagnosers who want help are not the problem.There’s this notion that people with disabilities who need to do things differently are somehow trying to get away with something, and that they need to pass an extremely high bar to prove that they can’t help it. That attitude hurts all of us. Hating people who self-diagnose plays into that attitude, and it doesn’t help anyone.