‘I’m like that too’ (nothing wrong with that)

I know that a lot of autistic people absolutely hate when they try to explain to a neurotypical person how they see the world or what issues they experience and the neurotypical person suddenly is like ‘You know? I’m like that too!’ Although I understand this may be said in condescending way to mean ‘you’re not really autistic, you’re just making all of this up’ I am sure that most of the time it’s not meant like that.

That happened to me today, when I explained to the podcast lady that I’m rather worried I’d start talking nonsense if she asks me a question that takes me off guard and she said, she’s like that too because her mind needs more time to think that her mouth to speak up. That statement didn’t bother me at all and I didn’t feel any less autistic because of that.

For me it meant that the podcast lady was trying to connect with me in a way that neurotypical people do. Did you not notice that they’re always like that? ‘Oh, I’m like this… and like that too! Oh, look, we’re soulmates!’ That’s what neurotypicals would do the entire day if they could!

I actually find it quite nice. Before I realised I’m autistic people reaction to me was very often the opposite: they were finding ways to tell me that we’re different. It wasn’t very nice.

It’s a bit surprising that people are now trying to connect with me over autistic traits but it doesn’t bother me. Also, it is quite nice to find out that it’s not just us, autistics, that have certain problems. Possibly our are stronger, I don’t deny that, but focusing the entire time on the intensity and exclusivity of our experience is only going to make our traits stronger. I really sometimes think that, although we should give ourselves space to be who we are, we also should stop the fixation on our issues.

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