I recently dipped my toe into a project. A project to write a book on the history and culture of Autistic people. As soon as I tentatively, quietly announced this project, my fellow Autistics jumped to ask if they could help. People with blogs that have followers, people with advanced degrees, people who have written on Autism and in general in a professional sense. People who, in short, would know what the hell they were doing writing the history of Autistic culture. Me? I’ve known I was Autistic for 4, 5 years. I’ve done my best to learn as thoroughly as I can, but I’m small.
Standing next to giants.
Maybe they don’t know they’re giants, and maybe they’re not. Maybe they’re a bit smaller– half-giants, orcs, some of them high elves– but to me, the little one looking up, they’re skyscrapers. And right now I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with them.
None of them told me not to do this project. That I wasn’t qualified. They offered help, and I’ll take heaps of it, but nobody even suggested it wasn’t my place.
And there’s that phrase, standing on the shoulders of giants, that implies the giants came before you and paved your way. But in the Autistic community, it seems that the giants kneel down and hand you your bricks and mortar, and right next to you lay down the roads in tandem.
Maybe that’s part of Autistic culture. I’ve heard it referenced before, anyways. That social hierarchies are passé and working together, younger and elder, is how things should work.
Maybe that’s why I want to write this book.
Maybe that’s why I like it here.