I wish others to tell me that it’s wonderful that I was born.
I feel guilty of existing, tell me I am wrong.
I need to see others talking about how happy they are with knowing and living with Autistic people, not despite of Autism and not only knowing suffering.
I don’t want to be seen as the source of my loved ones suffering. I want to know I don’t ruin anyone’s life, I don’t want to be a burden.
Know I want others to be happy, even more than I wish to be happy.
I wish you were my friend, I wish I have found friends and not bullies and abusers.
When I finally manage to gather my strength to tell you something, listen and know all the effort that costs me, respect what I have to say even if you don’t understand.
If I think or feel differently it doesn’t mean I am wrong, it doesn’t mean you are wrong, it means that there is not right way of perceiving the world and that my brain works in a particular way.
Do not deny what I feel, do not think I am lying if you don’t understand.
Don’t dismiss things as me being too sensitive or irrational.
Validate my experiences.
If I can’t hug you it doesn’t mean I don’t love you or that I am insensitive.
If I don’t talk it doesn’t mean I am being rude.
If I don’t talk it doesn’t mean I can’t listen.
Communication is difficult, talking is really difficult.
If I look angry, it’s not always something I can control.
I can’t always control the tone of my voice, I may sound angry when I am not.
Know I can only focus on one thing at a time and changing focus is hard.
If I am happy and really liking a subject don’t say I am obsessed and that this is wrong.
Things that are easy and automatic for you are difficult and need concentration and effort for me, be patient if I take longer or don’t do something.
I was taught to comply to everything, even what causes me pain and what makes me suffer, I feel guilty when I feel I deserve better, help me understand this is not how things should be, help me understand I can have rights without feeling guilt.
If I can gather the courage to tell you something you don’t notice or don’t feel, if I say that something that it’s simple for you is difficult for me, if I get scared with things that don’t scare you, if I find the courage to ask for a right of mine, don’t say I am complaining, don’t act like I am imagining things.
Don’t laugh of my fears, there is no universal notion of scary, just because something doesn’t scares you it doesn’t mean my fear is silly or funny.
Understand I have too much empathy, I feel too much when I see others distress and pain, so I shut down sometimes.
When I want to confort you I normally don’t know how, believe I am more worried for you than you can think.
I don’t want to bother others because that is the only thing I think I do, I believe I only cause grief, cherish my presence and be happy when I can think I can be treated fairly.
I need to know I have a right to exist, a right to be here, a right to be who I am with Autism and all.
I can’t be forced to act as someone else.
Don’t tell me that everything I do is wrong, that you think every way I act it’s weird, don’t laugh of the things I do, don’t expect that I change everything I need to change for you to think I am worthy of being respected as human.
I need others to recognize the violence of ‘teaching’ me to behave in ways that are strange and painful for me.
I need to be taught self-love, pride, self-respect and self-esteem, not how to look others in the eye.
I need to know there is no normal.
I need you patience when I cannot do things or when I do not understand something.
Just because you don’t see a difficulty it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
I want to you to know that I am sorry for everything, I shouldn’t be.
I need to know that it’s a good thing I am the way I am.
I need to know that it’s okay to be Autistic, that I am not doing anything wrong, that I am not wrong, I am not flawed.
I need to learn how to work with what I have, not wait to have more.
I want to know that you don’t think having a ‘normal’ child is better.
I am not a broken version of a normal me. I don’t want to be someone that you want to replace with a ‘normal’ person.
If we disagree I will respect you, do the same because people are different, we think differently, we have different opinions, but respect needs to be for all.
I don’t want to cure my Autism, I want to honour the beauty and joy it brings without denying the struggles.
I consider Autism to be a pervasive part of me, so I wouldn’t remove it and thinking like this changed me for better.
Just because I say something good about Autism it doesn’t mean I don’t have serious problems, just because I say something bad about Autism it doesn’t mean I think it’s all negative or that I don’t accept it.
I wish to be loved not despite Autism, but loved as Autistic, loved just the way I am.
Understand I have a life to be lived, with Autism. Better to embrace it then to fight it.
Accepting Autism, accepting myself as I am is the most satisfying feeling I know.
I know good things and see beauty because of Autism, understand that just because I focus on the bad it doesn’t mean there is no good, it means I want to improve.
My suffering from others attitude is deeper than any frustration that Autism brings.
Autism is part of me and it molds me, if I wish to love myself, I must accept being Autistic, I already have the scars of self-hatred.
I need to know that you would never change the fact I was born.
I need to know that it’s okay, and things will be fine somehow, that I am beautiful this way and I have a beauty in the deep way I see and feel the world.
Alicia Lile blogs from Brazil at Moonlit Lily.
What I need and want appears here by permission.
[image via Flickr/Creative Commons]