I remember the feeling of relief that I felt when I started reading about autistic spectrum disorders.
I had spent a long time knowing that there was something different about me, whilst at the same time not being able to pinpoint what that actually was.
It was an amazing feeling to realise that I wasn’t alone. There were other people who experienced the world in the same way that I did. Discovering there were words to describe things that I would have invented words for if I had ever been brave enough to talk about them.
I felt a sense of belonging. And worth.
The actual diagnosis process was terrifying because having come so far, there was a chance that I could be denied. That someone might tell me that I didn’t belong. That I was just broken and wrong.
Further relief when my suspicions were confirmed.
I took great comfort from being part of the vibrant online community of people from all across the spectrum.
Not broken, just different. Better at some things, worse at others. But somehow, accepted.
But inevitably, talk of causes and cures. People openly discussing how it should be possible to screen for ASDs before birth to allow for pregnancies to be terminated. Registers for people with Aspergers, just in case we get violent.
Not just different, but broken, wrong and unwanted. Not considered useful to society.
Try reconciling that in your brain.