Exposing the common Autistics traits with the power to
overcome challenge, leading to achievement and success…
...and what happens when that success is met with ‘Ableism’.
I am Autistic. You will be some of the few people who learn that about me before you learn anything else.
You see with most people I am compelled to display my strengths before I share that kind of information, a bit like a peacock flashing its feathers in a parade of fabulousness.
Why? Because when most people hear Autism they think deficit, and once they are focussed on deficit, any strengths will be lost on them.
Most people I encounter don’t recognise I am Autistic until I choose to share it, at which point I detect change...
Some start to eye me curiously, searching for the deficit. What did they miss beforehand? Where is the ‘chink in my armour’, there must be one.
Some infer it’s wrong, I must be wrong, or maybe the person who assessed me got it wrong, the fallibility on my side not theirs due to the now likelier deficit in me than them.
Or some do acknowledge it, with the caveat… maybe she’s just not very Autistic or she is one of those ‘high functioning’ ones. Nope, not either!
Anything other than the possibility that my strengths exist BECAUSE I am Autistic.
I predict most readers of this book will in fact be the least likely to do this because most will already be converted. They will likely be Autistic people themselves, or waiting for an assessment, self-identified, or have suspicions they are Autistic, or they may be supporting someone else in this position, or perhaps they are studying Autism or disability.
They might even identify with more than one of these groups. In which case, my book will hopefully add to their allyship or remind them that they are, and always were, people with strengths who are…Au-some!
The reader I most appeal to is the one who has their own deficit, a deficit they are yet blind to, and coincidentally, one that also starts with a bold capital ‘A’. Their deficit is ‘Ableism’.
Like me, if you are willing to transform your deficits into strengths, which is a strength in itself, I’d like to take you on a journey of reducing or even removing ableism from your mindset, and creating the strength that is seeing beyond the pervasive narratives of incapability that permeate our culture and which negatively impact the lives of Autistic people, and ultimately impact neurodiversity as a whole.
Yes, neurodiversity, that’s you, each and every one of you – ableism is damaging for us all!
You can buy The Umbrella Picker: A Lost Girl’s journey to self-identity and finding her neurological truth by Jane McNeice.
---------- About Jane McNeice & the Speakers Collective
Jane McNeice is a member of the Speakers Collective, mental health training business owner, author and speaks about being autistic.
The Speakers Collective is a Social Enterprise. We work together with a shared commitment to challenge stigma, facilitate important conversations and promote learning on a variety of social issues. Please do contact us via email@example.com or call 020 8123 8250 with any enquiries.