I should not be up at this ung-dly hour. But, here I am, using my phone to compose a post.
I would be using my laptop had I not wiped out its operating system, therefore needing to make adjustments to get to work once again. Damn you, Windows 10 updates from hell.
Today is November 1st; the annual Autistics Speaking Day. I don't think I can exactly top what I shared last year, but then again that's not the point of this post.
So, what does this Autistic want to speak about? Personality.
Some folks have called me an "old soul" since my age was in the single digits. More recently, I have discovered that Myers-Briggs Personality Test score is of someone who is Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judgmental (INFJ).
In a world of 7 billion humans, those who sport an INFJ personality make up only 1% of said humans. In other words, if you were to proverbially stick a fork in me, and red juice come through the holes, that's how rare my personality is.
Oh stop, Vera. That's 70 million people who also share your whatever that INFJ thing is.
I know. We're an endangered species.
Speaking of which, having an "old soul" is also a hard to find commonality. Old souls have the ability to share random knowledge similar to dropping the most def mix tape of the year. It just happens. We analyze to the tilt over everything.
What does this personality stuff have to do with being Autistic?
Allow me to counter: how many other Autistics do YOU know that are like me?
And why is that, Dear Reader?
Because I don't commun....itcate....with....um....
....because you don't communicate with other Autistics?
Yeah, I mean no. I mean, well....you know what I mean.
No, not really. Please share with the class.
I mean, I don't know what personalities Autistic people have. Are you suggesting that all Autistic people are Old Soul INFJs?
Nope. I am suggesting that no one knows what personality traits other Autistic folks have because most neurotypical folks (*looks at you*) don't "listen" to us when we do "speak."
Come to think of it, most neurotypical folks don't listen to what Autistic people have to say about what we want and how we want to live our lives, let alone how we identify. I also suggest that Autistic folks not only have personality, but it is as wide and varied as our neurotypical counterparts.
I mean, hell, we don't proverbially bite. (Well, maybe I do because I'm a kinky brat, but I don't bite hard.)
Okay, Vera. What's the best way to "listen" to Autistic people?
Reading a blog like this is a start. Reading blogs ran and/or contributed to by other Autistics. Watching online videos produced by other Autistics. Any communicative medium that has been created by Autistics and/or advocating allies is a great place to begin "listening" to what Autistic folks have to say.
So you're telling me that I'm doing it already?
Yup. Now, all I want you to do is to tell your other neurotypical friends/fam/fans/followers to reach out to other Autistic folks to listen to what we say and what we have to say. We speak all of the time; with our bodies, with our routines, with our precision-cut focused interests, with our souls, with our personalities.
Just because a doctor or an autism parent or some organization claiming it has "experience" in autism, doesn't make them an expert as to what we want and need and desire, unless, of course, they are (exclusively ran by) autistic themselves.
Hear us out.