Author Topic: Autism spectrum -- is there a "non-binary" version?  (Read 660 times)

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Offline Asche

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Autism spectrum -- is there a "non-binary" version?
« on: November 09, 2021, 05:15:21 pm »
There's a fair amount of autism in my family.  My older child (non-binary) was diagnosed as Asperger when they were 4, and three other relatives are similar enough to him that I'm pretty sure they are/were Asperger as well: an older brother, my father (✝), my paternal uncle (✝), and my paternal aunt (✝).

So I have an idea what "autistic spectrum" must look like, and I am definitely not that.

However, the past few days I've been Zoom-attending the Stanford Neurodiversity Summit, and that has widened my conception of what autism/Asperger looks like, and I (and my other siblings) seem to have some of the same characteristics that the people at this summit have which make it difficult for them to fit in in our society or some of the same issues with fitting in.

For one thing, we are not good at changing ourselves to be like everyone else.  You take us as we are, or don't take us at all.  If you try to change us, you'll just make yourself and us miserable.  Peer pressure doesn't make any sense to me, but whether that's innate or just a consequence of having grown up being constantly told I don't belong, so that being ostracized isn't any kind of a threat.

A lot of the people there spoke of "masking," which is the persona that an autistic person creates to appear non-autistic in order to deal with the neurotypical world.  I certainly have that -- I even call it my "mask," which I visualize as sort of a Potemkin village of myself.  Unfortunately, my conscious mind kind of identifies with the mask, so that my real self is hidden even from myself -- that is, it lies in the unconscious, and occasionally speaks to me as what I call my "inner oracle."  My goal for the past two decades has been to heal the split, but I have a long way to go.  Whether that split is due to some autistic trait or just  due to decades of getting slapped down whenever I showed any sort of authentic part of myself, I don't know.  (And maybe they're the same thing.)

I have a hard time figuring out what people expect in unfamiliar situations.  Unlike some autistic spectrum people, I have little trouble picking up other people's emotions, I just don't know what to do with them.

So I'm wondering if there's such a thing as "partially autistic" -- where one has some traits usually considered autistic, but not enough to be diagnosed.  Sort of in between the binary poles of "autistic" and "neurotypical," sort of like how non-binary lies somewhere between the binary poles of "male" and "female."

I don't know that getting an answer would change anything, but "inquiring minds want to know."
"...  I think I'm great just the way I am, and so are you." -- Jazz Jennings

Complex PTSD