Ugh. Here we go again. I wrote before about how I don’t see the value in people (including other autistics) questioning anybody’s autism diagnosis or autistic self-identity. And just now I’ve come across it again. This is getting repetitive.
An autistic person commented about a particular autistic advocate, claiming that as their YouTube “fame” grew, so did their autistic traits. That they seemed to “act” and “put on” their autism. Insinuating that they weren’t autistic, not really.
There are so many reasons why an autistic may look “more” autistic than before. Autistic regression is a thing. It often happens due to stress. And I can only imagine how stressful it might be for your YouTube channel to become popular. Suddenly a lot more people watching, commenting, judging. You may find it so much harder to mask effectively.
Or they may have deliberately chosen to mask less. I know they have taken part in #TakeTheMaskOff. So, masking less may be a deliberate part of their advocacy and reflected in their videos.
And yes, it’s a slight possibility that this person is faking being autistic. They may be cat-fishing us all. And making money out of it. It’s always a possibility. But I’m not about to judge someone and make assumptions about their neurology based on them appearing “more” autistic now than they did before.
I’m also not going to judge an autistic advocate’s authenticity if they are being “narcissistic” or “thinking they speak for us all” or “not allowing other points of view”. Or for asking for money or ripping people off. That doesn’t make them not autistic. It makes them human. Some autistic people are selfish, egotistical or into making money off vulnerable people. Some spread myths about autism. Some are divas. That doesn’t make them not autistic. (Obviously I’m not suggesting that advocate is any of those things, they’re just an example of some comments I’ve seen made about them and others)
I’m so sick of this nonsense. No wonder we have such a reputation for infighting.