County Assistance Office
Acceptance and Awareness, Dignity & Respect

Making Sure We Can Have the Same Opportunities as Everyone Else in a Safe Manner

When we as autistics try to do things in life as neurotypicals do, it can present challenges for autistics that aren’t friendly to our needs. We as autistics don’t want special treatment, we just want to be able to do things that make it manageable for us. The world also needs to be aware that autism is indeed a spectrum disorder and does not stop the minute a person turns 18.

When we say we as neurodivergent we are not asking for totally physical changes to a facility. However, we are asking for minimal changes that can help in the process of doing business with a certain entity that lessens our anxiety and makes us manage our symptoms with ease.  We have made such technological advances in our world that we are able to do many things, however we still have many government bureaucracies that make many things that are life standards difficult for neurodivergent individuals to do.

I totally understand the need for verification and validation of individuals when these processes are completed. I understand there are people who attempt to beat the system and that there is a thing such as identity theft out there. I understand that as officials that are the gatekeepers as providing services it can be a challenge to know who we are. However, it shouldn’t become difficult for us to know that we too need accommodations just because our disabilities aren’t 100% visible. Just because you can’t see spot on what our disability is doesn’t mean we don’t struggle. We are not crybabies and again we understand there are people out there who try to “beat the system.” However, what we are asking is more likely has nothing to do with the way we want services to be accommodated to us.

We just long to do things just as neurotypical things do. However, many times this is done in a crowded room of people and because while to many we may not have the perceived look of autism, it can be a deterrent to others in our vicinity and puts us in the spotlight of what we are like to complete strangers. While we understand that the world isn’t perfect and there are design flaws to the ways many things are designed in this world, all we are asking for is not to be belittled and given some extra dignity.

While in many situations that many don’t want to be in, we cannot have the feeling that everyone is in the same boat and that we just want it to cheat the system It is just when we are in these situations it becomes more challenging for us to do things that neurotypicals take for granted. We as neurodivergent individuals just want the same opportunity as everyone else to do the same things as our neurotypical peers so that we can have that opportunity too.

While there are a host of cognitive disabilities out there, I also feel that there is a need to get individuals at least in front line government and service positions, more so in the non-profit trained in cognitive disabilities so they are able to best serve individuals to the best of their ability. Again, we are not looking for a pass at things we as autistics and other individuals with cognitive impairments just want things to be made clear when the person delivering the service is delivered to us so we can make a sound decision to the best benefit or our ability. That way, we don’t entangle the process or put us in further peril or shame by not completely understanding what we can completely do and what we need help with. With a better understanding of cognitive challenges, we can better be served and do not cause havoc in your lobbies, waiting rooms, etc.

We as autistics and other individuals with disabilities that are otherwise not 100% visible just want to be able to do things and live our lives to the best ability and to the fullest potential possible. We don’t want to be belittled, catered to or coddles. We just want to be a part of the community like we are supposed to and be law-abiding citizens as the law subjects us to be without making life difficult on those who are serving us and other members of the public.

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