Are you sure?

… One of the stranger responses I’ve received when mentioning that I am autistic.

At that point I had actually received an official diagnosis (more on that and dismissive GPs another time) so yes, I was sure, but still. What are they implying by asking that question?

“You don’t look autistic.”

Probably this, or something similar. They are implying that because I don’t fit their stereotype of how an autistic person should look or behave, I can’t possibly be autistic.

How does this stereotype present autism? Non-verbal? Maths prodigy? Male?

I am none of those, just like thousands of other autistic people, yet this outdated view prevails, and all the while it continues to dominate, we are left unheard and unsupported.

As one of the lucky few to have received a diagnosis ‘validating’ my neurodiversity, I’m in a position to challenge this view and to advocate for change, but in the meantime, how many autistic people have been missed growing up, had to struggle and suffer knowing they feel different – and are treated differently – but without knowing why?

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