I Am Not

(This is another oldie from my old site, slightly modified)

I am not…An Autistic’s Response to Prejudice

I am not an object. Don’t talk about me when you are around me unless you are willing to talk to me.

I am not a child. Don’t make decisions for me – let me have influence over my own life.

I am not an extension of your ego. Don’t make me feel guilty for not acting in a way which reflects best upon you.

I am not a project. Don’t think of me as something you are building, God already built me. He doesn’t need your help.

I am not a decoration. Don’t pretend to be my friend, give me a token board membership seat, or take me to your autism event so you have someone to show off to your friends.

I am not a robot. Don’t assume I don’t have feelings.

I am not (insert famous autistic). I don’t think like him/her anymore than you think like John Wayne.

I am not worthless. Don’t throw me away when you grow tired of me, but value me, my insights, and my feelings. My life is as important as yours.

I am not a criminal. Don’t lock me up when I haven’t done anything wrong, but allow me to walk outside of whatever walls you may think I belong behind.

I am not a monster. Don’t stay away from me simply because I do something you don’t do; you do things I don’t, too.

I am not an experiment. Don’t test your theory on me.

I am not defective. You don’t need to repair or fix me.  Allow me to be the person I am.

I am not a puzzle. I don’t need you to “put me together”. You are as puzzling to me as I am to you, yet no one calls you a puzzle.

I am a person.

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