The Wholly Autistic Self

So I was walking down the hall to wait for my next class earlier today. I was feeling a little self conscious, a little bouncy, and happy. A thought occurred.

“This is my autistic self. This is my wholly autistic self.”

While I hadn’t extrapolated about this much in my head at the point, it resonated. I mean, I knew that every fiber of my being was autistic. Logically, I knew. But I doubt myself sometimes, and say “am I really Autistic? I do x, but not y, and z, but not q.”

I think calling myself wholly autistic bridges a gap that I was experiencing. And now I want to extrapolate.

When I bounce my legs beneath my laptop as I type this, I am wholly Autistic.

When I hold a fluent conversation with proper prosody and flow, I am wholly Autistic.

When my mind runs a mile a minute through it’s complex world, I am wholly Autistic.

When I can focus clearly on what’s going on around me, I am wholly Autistic.

When I walk into a room full of people and my vision blurs as I panic, I am wholly Autistic.

When I can walk in front of that room to give an impassioned speech, I am wholly Autistic.


Autism is not a collection of deficits. It is a language, so to speak. It’s a set of rules for how we operate. Sometimes those rules make it hard to do as we’re expected in a Neurotypical world. Sometimes those rules let us do as we’re told. Sometimes those rules let us excel where a Neurotypical system fails.

If, say, there’s a computer program that usually runs on Windows, but you alter things so that you can run it in Linux, that isn’t a Linux operating system being Windows. It might be emulating Windows, but it’s not Windows.

(while we’re talking about operating systems, just because two Autisms look different doesn’t mean one is more Autism than the other Autism. In Linux OSes, you have Puppy and Mint and CentOS and Fedora and Ubuntu and so many I could never name all of them, but while they are all different, all able to rated as better as worse to deal with by individuals, and all more of less more common than each other, they are all equally linux.)

In the same boat, this is why you can’t call one person more autistic than another, or even high or low functioning- Autism manifests in so many different ways, in so many different areas, to so many different extents in those different areas, that accurately classifying any Autistic in a binary method is impossible. Even classifying Autistics like they’re at points on a straight line is overly simplistic and wrong.

Our brains are written entirely in the language of Autism. Even when we look Neurotypical, that’s just Autism emulating Neurotypicality. It’s Autism, all the way down.

In every Autistic.

Every Autistic is wholly Autistic. Every Autistic.

Wholly Autistic.

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