Impressive realness… or something.


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.

Tags: adulthood outsideperceptions autism parents


About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods. Crochet or otherwise create constantly and compulsively. Write poetry and paint when I can. Developmentally disabled, physically and cognitively disabled. I'm not really part of any online faction or another, even ones that claim me as a member. The thing in the world most important to me is having love and compassion for other people, although I don't always measure up to my own standards there by a longshot. And individual specific actions and situations and contexts matter a lot more to me than broadly-spoken abstract words and ideas about a topic. My father died in 2014 and that has changed my life a lot in ways that are still evolving, but I wear a lot of his clothes and hats every day since he died and have shown no sign of stopping soon.

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