I know this sounds weary, but I am tired of always being the one who has to adapt to any given situation. Because, although people are generally kind and tolerant of those with disabilities, most people don’t even know I have a disability (see previous post). Even when they do, they make no allowances; they still touch me on the arm, joke with me, and expect me to put up with the most god-awful environment without a murmur of dissent. Even my (otherwise supportive) husband groused at me recently, “why do you have to always take things so literally?” Er… hello?
Okay, I accept most people don’t know anything about autism (except what they’ve learned from Rain Man and reading the Daily Mail), and I can’t realistically expect them to understand all the issues I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. But if they’ll go out of their way to help someone in a wheelchair (as they should), I wish they would do it for me, just sometimes. In short, I’m envious of the care shown to those with more obvious disabilities, and wish people could have a greater understanding of how autism affects my ability to interact. All day. Every day.
But, no. I’m expected to fit in, to shut up and put up with it all. Just as the wheelchair-bound used to face narrow doorways, head-high cash machines, and stairs. I applaud society’s gradual drift towards a greater understanding of disabilities, but I can’t help wishing it would be our turn sometime soon. Unrealistic, I know, but I would love it if people didn’t automatically think I was being difficult. I would love it if I didn’t have to explain to my son’s teacher that he was upset not because he’d been told off, but because he didn’t know why he’d been told off. I would love it if those with autistic children weren’t treated like bad parents. I would love it if people said, “Oh, you’re autistic, is the lighting okay in here?”
Feel free to make use of the picture!