WHEN I AM COMFORTABLE

I think I am in “top form” and comfortable in my own skin when I am educating. I am not a teacher, per se, but I educate by telling my own personal stories and anecdotes. I try not to get complacent though. I know and understand the importance and significance of what I do. I try not to take it lightly. Yes, I have fun with it, but I am dedicated to my craft.

I take pride in what I do. I am very open and comfortable talking to people, on one condition. They have to be willing to hear me out on what I have to say. If you’re going to be an asshole towards me, you’re not worth my time. I think it has to work both ways.

I think people on the Autism Spectrum and “Normal” people, or as I call them, “boring” can impact each other. I can impact you by telling you my side of the story as a person with an Autism diagnosis. In turn, if I can take any info you give me and use it in my life, you impact me. It’s a two-way street.

Am I pretending to be a know-it-all when it comes to Autism? No, no, no and again…NO! I will NEVER know everything about Autism. Nobody does or ever will. If you think you know all there is to know about Autism and how it impacts each person individually or across the board…you’re a jackass and a total idiot.

I am very comfortable talking about myself, whether it be on my blog or in person. This is my life. My life is Autism and its variables. I love hearing about other peoples’ perspectives on Autism. Whether it be through a parent, guardian, sibling, or the person themselves. My passion is where my comfort is.

My comfort zone is also my work, play, and passion. As well as my life in general. I am at my most comfortable when I know I can potentially change or at least influence how people view Autism, and maybe themselves. People who might not know the first thing about Autism might walk away going, “Wow! I never knew that!”

Or on the flip side, people who are familiar with Autism might be disappointed with what I have to say. “Oh, that self-advocate is full of shit. The person I know with Autism is nothing like that!” Well that’s ok too. I know there are naysayers out there. I accept that. But look, my experiences are mine…NOT YOURS! Who says everyone has to be exactly alike?

Not to sound self-centered or narcissistic, but when I talk to you about Autism, I am talking about myself. It’s about me. That’s why I always make disclaimers every time I do a presentation. “This is about ME AND ME ONLY!” That’s also why I say “I, I, I…me, me, me…” and maybe most importantly “I think…” I say “I think” because what I say about Autism as a whole is just an educated guess. Do NOT ask me about Autism and how it impacts others. I will not answer it. Ask about me. Again, I know how self-centered that sounds, saying “It’s all about me”/ “Listen to me” but I actually think that is a courtesy to others on the Spectrum.

Autism is just that: A Spectrum! It is not a black-and-white umbrella diagnosis. Therefore, do NOT make umbrella statements or assumptions about it. I am very comfortable calling you out on your ignorance. So when are you comfortable and why are you comfortable in that particular setting or situation? Thanks for reading!
-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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