Just because you can’t see our autism, doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges

January 4, 2019

This guest post is by Ryan Lee and Bekki Semenova, two rising autism self-advocates. To learn more about Ryan, view his YouTube channel and website.

Autism affects each person on the spectrum differently, meaning some can be affected more than others. Still, the lack of understanding of autism can lead to rushed judgments. For us, because we don’t look or act a certain way that makes our autism obvious people sometimes expect too much of us.

Ryan and Bekki - bloggers

As with any other person with autism, we still have significant challenges in our everyday lives that stand in the way of us living a comfortable life or succeeding in school and work.

Having an invisible disability is challenging in many ways. It’s not fair that the world keeps on telling us to improve, keeps on telling us to change, and keeps on saying that we need to be more “appropriate”. We are different, and they need to not discriminate against us like that.

They think that the autistics, such as us, need to be more aware of certain things; but just because we can talk, say sentences perfectly and have verbal language, that does not change the fact that we are STILL autistic.

It may be hard for us to find the right words to express what we want to say. Sometimes, we might even have trouble understanding what others are saying. For example, it is difficult for us to understand when people talk too fast, use long sentences, or instructions with many steps at once.

People with autism are special just as everyone else is special in their very own way. We need understanding and acceptance from other people and wider recognition of how different each person on the autism spectrum can be.

It is important to remember that autism is autism. People with autism whose disability can be invisible can be very aware of their own difficulties and extremely sensitive to others’ negative reactions. Autism is how our brain functions and that way should be respected.

Also, some people just don’t understand what it’s like to be autistic. They assume the worst about us autistics; like we’re stalkers, violent and other stereotypes even when we just want to be friends. They always assume we’re in the wrong; it hurts a lot and is infuriating.

They should get to know us and not judge us on how we act on the outside.

Need Help?
Autism Response Team Chat
There are no available agents at the moment. You can also reach the Autism Response Team by phone or email: 888-288-4762, en Espanol 888-772-7050, or familyservices@autismspeaks.org.