I shudder at the thought of it being an option to other vulnerable young autistic people, never giving them the chance they deserve to come through it and learn a sense of pride in who they are.
'Autism Awareness' has been created without autistic people, and even though the door is being nudged open to let us in, we're still stuck at the back of the room whilst the rich powerful neurotypical people hog the stage
Cooperation between autistic and neurotypical people is important. But we must be vigilant against the attitude that autistic people are obligated to educate.
Because we live in a culture that doesn't talk about death, I am innately curious. It's the ultimate unspoken thing -final, unchangeable, ridiculous - that my brain wants to unpack and understand.
In an age where cuts to support are justified by shifting the goalposts of 'need' , the Paralympics are held up as an example of what all disabled people 'could' achieve with a little bit of spunk and a can-do attitude.
The next week (or so) has been bequeathed from hell to challenge me.
Mainstream political concern about mental illness, neurodivergence and the relevant support systems exists only as a cover for calling out white male violence.
As women, we are taught that we must shoulder the emotional burden of being okay. As autistic women, the burden of okayness becomes even heavier. We are always okay. Except when we aren't.
My mum is and always has been my safe place to fall. And as I get older, I'm becoming more and more aware that some day I won't have her there.
I feel like an imposter in my own neurotype. And, in a room full of people I know I belong with, I find myself thinking: but what if I don't?