Embracing the full spectrum of autism

Here I am 7 years ago, in Taiwan playing flute at a yoga and music therapy session for autistic kids.

Even before then, as psychology and human behavior have always been special interests of mine, I’ve been keyed into autism for some time. I right away recognized autistic beings as powerful wisdom keepers of our spiritual evolution. I honestly wasn’t aware of the negative stereotypes as, in my experience, I felt magic and awe learning about and from autistic people. Retrospectively, this is a great example of mind blindness, where some autistics don’t automatically have a mental awareness of what’s in others’ minds if we haven’t experienced it for ourselves. I assumed that because I was reverentially in awe of autistics, that most people were. However, since my own diagnosis as autistic, I’m now very aware of the insidious misconceptions and judgements of autism as bad or needing to be cured. Since I have begun sharing with others about my autism, friends have dropped away, loved ones seem to glitch on screen like computers struggling to process; or with acquaintances or strangers, the shock and confusion on their faces when I say I’m autistic, is often only laughable.

As a common phrase goes in the neurodivergent community, if you know one autistic person, you know one autistic person. Although we all share a commonality of having a differently wired brain than the masses, our neurodivergences present in such myriad ways that we must let go of the preconceived stereotype of a young white male autistic savant who is lacking empathy and socially disengaged. Let us honor in ourselves and others that awareness that I’ve always had — which is that the gifts autistics possess for radical honesty and for their own unique and refined sensitivities can serve as divining rods for our collective society, ways to orient to new ways being that honor deep and sensitive communion with the environment. A world in which autistics are supported to thrive and aren’t being repeatedly sensorially assaulted and overwhelmed by will flourish in ways we cannot yet grasp as their deep sensitivities, instead of being triggers to melt downs, open and contribute to transforming our world and ultimately our collective elevation as spiritual beings on our human journeys.