“We’re all a little autistic”

(On my mind partly because of this read.)

1.  “We’re all a little autistic.”

Really?  You’re okay with saying that?  Then how about “We’re all a little black.” “We’re all a little female.” “We’re all a little Jewish.” “We’re all a little gay.”  “We’re all a little paraplegic.” “We’re all a little homeless.” “We’re all a little bit PTSD.”

Fun game:  See which minority groups you’re okay with disenfranchising from their full humanity!  Are we all a little blind, perhaps?  Maybe we’re all a little deaf, old, mad, depressed, bipolar, schizophrenic?  We’re all a little poor?  We were all kids and teenagers at some point (and our point of view is still the same, I’m sure).  Hey, we’re all a little Native American in there somewhere, right?

So no need to listen to those people.  Because we’re all alike!  We can speak for them!

Do you see what happened there?  It looks like you’re being inclusive, but you’re really just making an excuse to shut people out of discussions and decision-making.  Great camoflauge, there.  You still get your way without really looking like an ass.

2. “We’re all a little autistic.”

Are we all “a little pregnant” too?  What about “a little dead”?

There is no such thing as “a little autistic”.  You are either autistic- ie, you have an innately, fundamentally different neurology (from that of neurotypicals) which corresponds with autism specifically- or you are not. There’s even a word for not being autistic:  alltistic.  You might be neurodivergent even, but unless you’re actually autistic, you’re not autistic, not even a little, and you won’t ever really have the same lived experience as being specifically autistic.  

So, no, there’s no such thing as “a little autistic”.  (Or “a little neurodivergent”, or a little neurotypical”.)

There’s also no such thing as being “a little bit human”.  There’s no degrees of humanity.  You are either human or you’re not.  Really.  All humans are fully human.  Being human encompasses a lot more than we act like it does.  There are many ways to be human, and each way is equally valid, important, and worthwhile.

3.  So, to recap

We are all human, and all our voices matter.  We are all different, and we really have to listen to each other to understand.  We all have important contributions to make, and each one of us brings us to a fuller realization of the beauty and resilience of being human.

Real things do not exclude
because we are all part of each other
in the real world.
Real things do not exclude,
they embrace and
sometimes we wish they wouldn’t but 
we have to accept all of it
in order to work with it and
to be fully alive.

excerpt, “I am of this world”

And also, we are not all a little autistic.

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2 thoughts on ““We’re all a little autistic”

  1. I posted this and then Meryl Streep busts out with “We’re all African”…

    Africa, the continent that most Americans confuse as one single country. Yes, we’re so familliar with Africa, its citizens, and their lived experience. Obviously. Also, this totally clears us of all racial (etc) discrimination and exclusion forever. /sarcasm mode

    It’s painful to see this kind of self-justified ignorance and discrimination operating so openly and proudly in issues that should have been resolved ages ago. There’s just no excuse.

    Like

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