When I first heard of the words the autism spectrum or the word autism as a parent and later understood that I was autistic, I started to realise that much of what I had been taught about “autism” was wrong.
The language used about autistic experience was incorrect. A lot of the misconceptions and misunderstandings in my opinion are/were because autism /autistic experience from the outside was being viewed with a medicalised lens.
As an autistic person you are/were viewed as being on the autism spectrum – a linear scale you were either “very autistic or you were a little autistic”, or maybe somewhere in between.
What I know now is that, that information is incorrect.
I think of Dr. Luke Beardon’s theory of “Autism +Environment = Outcome”.
His theory when applied to autistic experience rings true to me. On any given day my autistic experience in the world is impacted or enhanced by every aspect of my environment, by every individual I encounter and by my own innate unique autistic experience.
So when I think about the autism spectrum I envision it as an almost colour wheel of moving disks represents different facets of my autistic self plus the impact of the aforementioned environment and then I can logically and literally understand my autistic experience on the autism spectrum 💜
Every autistic individual is unique so my autistic experience is unique to me.
The autism spectrum is not linear 💜