Signs you might be autistic
You might be autistic if you’ve noticed that some mental health professionals pathologize and devalue autistic traits.
As a mental health professional who is also autistic, I’d like to share the difference between describing a “shared trait” and a neurotypified “symptom.” 🧵
Symptom #1: Has difficulty answering questions directly and ends up talking around the subject.
Trait: It frustrates me when the question only allows a yes/no answer, but I see multitudes of possibility.
Symptom #2: Is socially awkward, even when they are trying to be polite.
Trait: Being polite only matters to me if it actually makes sense. I’m not into niceties and I enjoy socializing in autistic ways with my neurodivergent community.
Symptom #3: Has trouble keeping up with the flow of a normal conversation.
Trait: I prefer autistically paced conversation style and or using tech/AAC. With NT’s by the time I have a chance to speak, I have often forgotten my reply.
Symptom #4: Has an unusually narrow range of interests.
Trait: I love to think about one favorite thing and focus on that one favorite thing. My special interests are my love language and make me super interesting. :)
Symptom #5: Thinks or talks about the same things over and over.
Trait: Again I love my special interests. They allow me to deep dive a subject and really take it to the next level. Monotropism is cool.
Symptom #6: Lifelong failure at initiating sleep is as high as 80% in ASD.
Trait: It’s not a disorder. I’m a night owl. I always have been. Yes, sometimes I want to go to bed earlier, but I have some of my best thoughts and creative moments at night. The world is quiet then.
Symptom #7: Is too silly or laughs inappropriately.
Trait: My mind is amazing. Occasionally, these wonderful, delightful, imaginary scenes pop into my head that make me laugh out loud. I love being silly, it makes life better.
Symptom #8: Doesn’t recognize when others are trying to take advantage of them.
Trait: I have a huge, generous, and trusting heart. I like people, even though I need tons of alone time.
Symptom #9: Stares or gazes off into space.
Trait: Sometimes allistics might misunderstand me and think I’m just staring into space when inside I am engaged with thought or listening deeply.
We have so many awesome traits. Even beyond those that have been stolen and devalued into symptoms. And there are “symptoms” of autism that aren’t autistic traits, i.e. we don’t lack empathy. (Double empathy)
BTW, The “symptoms” here come from an autism assessment in use today.
The assessment, in use today, where these pathologizing symptoms come from is called the SRS-2 Autoscore. It is commonly used in neuropsychology evaluations to assess for autism.
I’ve had several messages from people saying “Your tweets are just quirky traits, not autism.”
We can take the power back because these are the exact barameters used to define an “official diagnosis.” Albeit, many of them. We need to demystify the process of autistic identity.
Thread by -@mightbeautistic