Kenyan autistic author Najiita Anne Angasa with children

“AUTISTIC” JUST SAY “AUTISTIC”

8 December 2021 | Autistic Culture

A poem by Kenyan author Najiita Anne Angasa


I know the whole business of political correctness means well
And being a little obsessed with accuracy
I know everything about “correctness”
Let’s say too much also got me here
So…
“Political”
Related to politics
“Politics” is a word I don’t understand
No matter the dictionary I look it up on
Anyway,
Person first language working for you
Not me
I don’t understand why you insist “living with autism”
Tell you something,
If it was something that’s just tagged along like you insinuate
I’d with pleasure leave my autism at home
When I attend weddings, parties, interviews
And perhaps dates
You don’t know what it means to stay married to RSD while single
When you insist on your way you forget like second language acquisition,
I am the native here
I really didn’t want to go there
But…
What is the obsession with autism being a children’s only condition?
I have sat in the back seat and watched you steer
Not saying word
Not wanting to interfere
Acting unstirred
But then you got me so fidgety
And if I held my peace any longer
We’d surely have gone downhill
So let’s get back to autism definition
APA: A complex developmental condition involving persistent challenges with social communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behavior
“Treatment”
“Disease”
“Grew out of his autism”
“Like a normal child”
What are you doing?!
According to abnormal psychology,
We pathologize deviations from the norm
That doesn’t necessarily make it evil
You knew being a genius is considered a disability, right?
Right?
Anyway,
Probably you insist on “person with autism”
Because you imagine perhaps,
That autism gives us a break
That autism is all social & communication issues
Imagining being away from such situations we’re as neurotypical as it could get
I don’t know how politically correct the use of “you don’t look autistic” is
But I think it should receive the award for The Most Resilient Distasteful Phrase
No matter what we say just like a mug that reeks eggs it remains stubborn
Let’s quit oversimplifying autism
We’re not all geniuses
We don’t all have Savant Syndrome
But we could talk about Imposter Syndrome
Rigidity
Social anxiety
Epilepsy
Face blindness
Mineral deficiencies
Allergies
Hypochondria
Synesthesia
Insomnia
Alexithymia
Asthma
Anorexia
Paranoia
Dypraxia
Dyslexia
Phobias
(Pause…)
cPTSD
ADHD
MDD
PMDD
GAD
SAD
APD
SPD
OCD
IBS
You do well to talk interventions
But if it’s in the hope of clearing autism…
Anyway,
Don’t call me High Functioning to ignore me
Don’t think me Low Functioning to dismiss me
I don’t have autism
My life manifests autism
Say “autistic”
Just call me “autistic”, will you?


Najiita Anne Angasa is a Kenyan autistic advocate, and the author of Enough of Being an Alien: Autism Vs ADHD & Christianity [Self-Identification]

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©2021 The Cushite Girl. Used with permission.

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