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… When you compliment me on how “high functioning” I am, or how well I “pass”

… When you remark that you can “barely tell” I’m autistic

… When you shower me with praise for having a significant other and wanting to get married

… When you tell me about your cousin’s friend’s grocery store clerk’s child trying homeopathy/hypnosis/gluten-free/adderall and seeing “success” (IE, acting less autistic) and suggest that I try it myself

… When you give me your diet tips, and wax on how obesity is such a problem with autistic people

… When you say how pretty I’d be if I lost a little weight

… When you tell me the best way to deal with a sensory overload is to expose myself to overstimulation until I learn to cope

… When you tell me that I need to learn to control what triggers me so I don’t have panic attacks

But none of that changes the fact that it hurts me deeply when you do these things. For a variety of different reasons, I get upset when I hear these things. I know that is not your intention. Or maybe it is. Perhaps you think you are giving me “tough love” for a few of these things. I don’t call it tough love. It feels more like hating me “for my own good”. That’s not healthy.

I know how my mind works. I know the toll disablism takes, and these contribute to that. They chip away at the self-worth of many autistics, and devalue them, whether they thrive or struggle in certain areas. Keep these types of compliments, corrections, and suggestions to yourself, unless asked. It’s for the benefit of all of us if you do.

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