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Out With Autism by Amanda Graham

Is there anything more annoying than having to take your own advice? One of the great things about getting older is that you get very good at wriggling out of it. But sometimes, you can’t.

This was one of those times.

My family’s packed with lots of things. Like a desperate need for triple cheese on pizza. And an appreciation, nay reverence, for the tv show Cheers. And neurodivergence up the wazoo.

It’s not like we’ve known about this for a long time. In fact, we didn’t. We were just kind of on spectrums of weirdness or eccentricity or overachievement or restlessness or needs-extra-help-at- school-but-we-don’t-know-exactly-for-what. Until my nephew was diagnosed with autism when he was young.

And then my son.

There’s so much insane prejudice and misinformation out there about ASD. You can’t turn on a tv series that features an autistic character (even the “enlightened” shows) without seeing the same stereotypes over and over. ASD people can’t socialize. They can’t walk down the street. They’re inept in relationships. They’re hard to manage. And for god’s sake, NEVER take them to a mall unless you want a meltdown.

That’s what my son should expect his life to be? Oh hell no.

Of course I’m not saying that many autistic people do not have these challenges. Of course they do. But to lump every single autistic person into the same five or six traits?