I was recently talking to my neighbor about something a parent had said to me once. I was talking about the real world, and the parent had seemed somehow impressed by the… uh… realness of the situations I was describing for autistic adults. “Realness” is probably a polite word for the kind of situations I was describing, similar to the article I’m linking to here. She made a comment to the effect that I was really living this stuff.
The reaction my neighbor had was something like “Well… yeah. Of course we’re living this stuff. What else would we be doing? If a parent really, really wants to get away from their adult child’s problems, they can stick them in a group home or something, and unfortunately that’s often what happens. What can autistic people do, where can we go when we get worn out?”
The answer is generally nowhere. Or someplace worse than we’re already at. And wherever we go, it’s generally still somewhere in the real world, and we’re still trying to live in it, when we don’t die from it. There are systems set up to give “caregivers” a break from autistic people’s lives, but autistic people just plain live our lives whether or not the “caregivers” are getting a break from us.
So… yes. I live the life of an autistic adult. There’s not really any option of walking away from that life and remaining living, so I’m not sure what’s so impressive about it.