What makes me *Me*

Edited: 2022. I’ve done an about face on person-first language when  it comes to autism. Almost all autistic adults I’ve encountered prefer being termed autistic.

Own it!
Look on the bright side!
Why fight it if you’re not going to win?

Why, indeed? I just picked a fight with an Autistic dude. If you’re in the know on Person First Language, you might chastise me. Dude with Autism you’d say. My way assigns a label, takes away his identity. My way, he’s simply Autistic. We’re supposed to recognize the person first.

The dude, he took issue with Person First Language. He’s the one who called himself Autistic. He says “Person with Autism” makes it sound like a disease. He says Autism is what makes him Him. Without Autism, he’s just another schlub.

He’s got mild case. He thinks it makes him quirky, gives him an excuse to be a little odd. License to wear colorful Converse sneakers and read comic books. He thinks Autism is a gift, something to celebrate. He says if that’s a disease, I want that sickness!

Jesus Jeff, fight your own battles. You don’t even have Autism.


I compared his perspective to my Tourette Syndrome. I’m sure there are people, afflicted, who think T.S. is great, just fun and games. When I disclose, people tell me Own it. Look on the bright side. You can say whatever you want.

Tourette Syndrome is what makes me Me. Part of me anyway. The part I loathe.

The Autistic dude calls himself an advocate. But he’s only advocating for himself. He chooses not to see the people living in pain.

Somehow, this seems like my battle to fight.

10 thoughts on “What makes me *Me*

  1. So, I think I told you before there were a plethora of posts that are on the burner – if I even dared to touch them. This is definitely one – no matter how you travel you are going to offend someone. Autistic, person with autism – if you notice I do the latter. I went to school for MH and that is how we were trained. We were to never call one of our clients a schizophrenic, but a person with schizophrenia. And believe me, there are a lot more. I think the closest I came to touching anything about some of my frustration was when I was told in a similar situation “it’s not about *you* MOM” and I wrote my post “I am an autism parent.” And THAT is considered offensive because I don’t have an autism diagnosis. But I walked away from that conversation and rarely click on any new similar ones. (I totally follow your “Follow” ideals now – way better, you were right).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyone can only see the issue from one point of view – theirs. Compassion and empathy can only go so far, and, as I understand it, people with autism are in short supply. When I taught school I had students with Tourette Syndrome and those with autism in my classes. The toughest part for me was to figure out when they truly needed a break and when they were playing me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I understand that point of view. I’m not proud of my TS. I dont flaunt it around like something great but i think i can do great things for awarness by being aware that it’s needed. And that it holds its own lessons for me and others.

    As far as the gentleman here, maybe this is just how he copes. Trying to stray from the norm. Sometimes you have to make your own light. Regardless, i can see your side on the topic as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My disgust with this guy (he’s a blogger by the way) is that so many people are working to dispel myths and provide education about autism and he come along and makes light of the whole disorder. Just because he isn’t troubled by his (obviously mild) autism he implies that it isn’t a problem for anyone. Touches a nerve with me because (whether I am on the spectrum or not) I feel deeply for those whose lives are disrupted by it. That all goes for TS too. I’ve read interviews with Tim Howard (US Soccer World Cup Goalie) where he says his goalie superpower comes from tourettes. I once had someone suggest that my (past) athleticism comes from OCD so maybe I shouldn’t complain about it. Well now I’m medicated and the OCD has improved dramatically and I’m far less driven athletically. I’d never give up the meds to get that drive back. Sorry, crappy mood today.


      • I think everyone is just geared to fuel themselves differently. I’d never pretend TS is a fun time. You’ve obviously followed my post and know this.

        Theres a line between positive and being ignorant to the fact that these disorders are very broad.


        • I’m in full agreement with you. For what ever reason, I was harboring a lot of anger yesterday, and it came out in those comments I made. As I lied in bed last night, it occurred to me that I was being an asshole. I apologize.


        • No worries my friend. We all have those days and you sharing that is a reassurance that we are not alone in thst. It’s very heavy some days and can really put a filter on the world around you.

          Liked by 1 person

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