You don’t have to apologize for being autistic

don’t apologize for being autistic

Growing up, my most frequently used word was “sorry”. Sometimes, my saying sorry could have been deemed appropriate; bumping into someone, being a few minutes late, or being unclear in my communication.

More often than not, however, I was simply apologizing for being ME. I said sorry when I felt overstimulated. I said sorry for not making eye contact. I said sorry for being sensitive. I said sorry for wanting to know the plan ahead of time. In truth, I was never really sorry for these things.

The word “sorry” exists to acknowledge you’ve done something wrong without intending to. It’s a very important word, one that allows humans to communicate effectively and solve problems efficiently. Apologizing is a wonderful thing - but only when something is really worth apologizing for.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your unique needs as a neurodivergent individual. Your brain is simply DIFFERENT, and part of what makes you YOU. Just as you shouldn’t apologize for being a certain gender or coming from a certain country or having a body, you shouldn’t have to apologize for being autistic.

So stop saying sorry for doing what you need to do to live your best life. If taking extra space means you can think more clearly, take all the space you need. If knowing the plan ahead of time gives you clarity, map out every single detail. If rocking back and forth calms you down, buy a fucking rocking chair. Do what you need to do to embrace that beautiful brain of yours - and give yourself permission to be unapologetically YOU.

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