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Language Log

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 - 11:15 a.m.

Big autism discussion with the in-laws last night. I think I did ok but by the end I was shaking uncontrollably and wanted to throw up. And not from the illness everyone but me (so far) has.

The usual stuf fcame up: "Do you want her to have a negative label", "I just don't see how it fits her", "they just keep making the criteria wider and wider", "everyone is a little bit on the spectrum", "Aspergers isn't autism". And of course pathologizing language and "it doesn't matter what autistic adults think", which is what really got the shaking going. And I had to give many examples of how autism presents in adults because they didn't understand how my previously non-verbal nephew could still be considered autistic if he was talking and holding conversations now.

SO MUCH EDUCATION TO DO.

I did ok. I referred them to Neutrotribes for starters to help them understand the history of the diagnosis. I told fil that with all due respect, he may not have worked with enough autistic children to really know, because our pediatrician recognized it immediately. And her "play loops" that she has done since she was a toddler are basically identical to those of one child in Asperger's first set of case studies. So if he doesn't see the fit, he's being willful.

I went into a bit of an impassioned speech about the value of a label. I told them how not having a label won't stop anyone from noticing that you're different and excluding you. How having a label helps you understand your own mind and that yes you are different, and why. That it helps you understand and advocate for your own needs without apology. How you have a community of people who are just like you that you can compare notes with and realize you aren't alone. Comparing your stims, asking questions about what those strange NTs are up to with their complex social rituals. Et cetera. I managed to do it all without directly referencing myself. I suppose they will be impressed that I have that kind of deep understanding of the topic just from having read blogs, lol.

MIL seemed moved and open to it. FIL seemed...like himself.

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