October 2, 2023


Parenting News

New Yr, New Me? My Decision to Cease Masking Autism

3 min read

It’s that point of yr once more when the world screams, “New yr, new you!”

Each January, with out fail, we’re inundated with messages about reworking our obvious less-than-optimal selves into one thing higher. (“Shrink your waistline in 30 days,” and “Energy up your psychological well being with these protein shakes,” learn the topic strains in my inbox, to call just a few.)

I’ve been making an attempt to create a “new” me for many of my life. The “previous” me, based on most, was too quiet, too intense, too awkward, too delicate, and too centered. The “previous” me wanted to sit back out, relax, and cease speaking about my obscure passions on a regular basis. For practically 40 years, I did what I needed to do to remain protected — I masked the true me and have become “new” when others demanded and anticipated it.

That every one lately modified for me after I was identified with autism — an awakening that reworked every thing about the best way I see myself.

So this yr, I don’t need to be a “new” me. I need to be the previous me. The genuine me. I need to shed the masks and begin residing absolutely as myself.

[Read: “Could I Be Autistic, Too?” Signs of Autism in Women with ADHD]

New Yr, Radically Me

In his ebook, Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity (#CommissionsEarned), Devon Value writes, “Refusing to carry out neurotypicality is a revolutionary act of incapacity justice. It’s additionally a radical act of self-love.”

This yr, I need to radically love the wounded youngster in me who believed she was deeply flawed. Who believed she needed to corrode herself to suit the mildew of the world, it doesn’t matter what it took. Who typically thought to herself:

What’s the matter with me?
Why am I like this?
I’m an excessive amount of.
I’m not sufficient.

New Yr, New Us, New World

I’m a part of a rising group of people who find themselves simply starting to find and embrace their neurodivergence (ND) in maturity. As I study my id, I’m additionally studying about my youngster’s personal neurodivergence and serious about his future.

[Read: Why ADHD Masking Is a Form of Self-Sabotage]

In our lives, our houses, and in our hearts, we, the ND mother and father of a brand new era of ND children, get to interrupt the foundations we had been raised to uphold. We get to say, “Not this time.” We get to lift our youngsters to imagine that they’re excellent, simply as they’re. That they don’t have to alter to be accepted.

As Value writes in Unmasking Autism, “We are able to step out of the soul-crushing cycle of reaching for neurotypical acceptance and being rejected regardless of our greatest efforts. As an alternative, we will help and uplift each other, and create our personal neurodiverse world the place everybody — together with neurotypicals — is welcome.”

That is my hope for 2023 — New yr, new world. A world the place everyone seems to be welcome. A world that embraces and celebrates humanity’s inherent neurodiversity, beginning with our personal houses, our personal households, our personal selves.

If you’re to “remodel” this yr, don’t consider a “new” you. As an alternative, be taught to like the true you you’ve been pressured to masks all alongside. This radical act of self-acceptance permits others, particularly our youngsters, to develop up loving their actual ND selves.

So, be the quirky, wild you.
Be the delicate, tender you.
Stay off the usual clock.
Problem the social norms.
Wave your arms while you discuss.
Lose observe of time.
Give honest monologues in your favourite subjects and don’t apologize for it.
Embrace neurodivergent tradition and have a good time neurodivergent folks in your circle.

New Yr, New Me: Subsequent Steps

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