Do you feel like you can spot other Autistics when you’re out and about in public?
I think that many of us are great at passing - not because we’re particularly fantastic actors, but because NT people are only aware of the most stigmatized elements of Autistic “behavior” (obvious stimming, loud voice, repeated echolalia, obvious misinterpretation of social cues etc.)
For me, I find it fairly easy to recognize other Autistics based on their eye movement, gestures, body language, what they are wearing, how they respond to auditory stimulus, conversation patterns, and more subtle stim behaviors.
I have had many interactions, mostly stim-based, with these members of my community, and I get a bizarre and euphoric feeling after these encounters. They have given me a lot of self-confidence, and make me feel connected in a way I never have before. It makes me feel a lot of feels.
But when I try to explain these interactions to NT family/friends, I feel as though I am met with disbelief and anger. This causes me to question my own cognition and my feelings of community, and I am unsure of how to proceed with these feelings.
This all sounds really familiar.
Recognizing other autistic people and interacting in autistic ways is so great.
And then nonautistic people have no idea what you are talking about, because they see autistic differences as just meaningless weird things we do for no reason.
But our movement and other actions *are* meaningful, and being able to communicate with other people that way is *awesome.*
Whether NT folks understand it or not.