My question for autti34 is whether you see the irony in your own statement? The point of John's article is that those of us able to communicate and function well skew the public perception of autism whether we want to or not. Whenever I write about my autistic experience I am careful to point out that I am not representative of the population. I have tried conscientiously to not speak for you or represent your experience and yet, as John points out, my words may still do more to shape public perception of your experience than yours because I write more of them or because my writing conforms more closely to standards of grammar and spelling. Having understood and appreciated John's message I'll now carry with me the responsibility of knowing that, regardless of whether either of us is happy about it or not, your public presence and mine both shape the public's perception of the other.

The irony I see in your reply is the notion that you "dont like the self dx". Having never met me, you already don't like me because of an arbitrary distinction. I could go and get diagnosed pretty easily but I'm told it won't help efforts to get funding and I don't need services. It would only serve to provide a basis on which I could be discriminated. But it would take me out of the class of people you arbitrarily don't like.

My philosophy of self-advocacy is that the cultural practice of deciding people's worth based on arbitrary cosmetic distinctions such as skin color are unacceptable. Similarly, functional distinctions such as communication style must necessarily be a basis for accommodation but should not be the basis on which we judge a person's worth or character. It therefore seems ironic, at least to me, that someone advocating for a certain population would do so by expressing dislike for another population. We'll never succeed with compassion-based reforms based on dislike and differences with others. Compassion based reforms come only from finding commonality and reasons to love others despite our differences. At least, that's how I see it.

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