I sometimes see this assumption that people are faking being autistic or lying about it or exaggerating it. This really irks me. What proof do you have that they are faking it? I like to always believe someone is being truthful until I am given hard opposing evidence. Like, there have been cases of people faking autism, but they are most definitely in the minority.
Sometimes, I even see the opinion that someone is lying about autism because they are a girl and girls cannot have autism. I did not know this opinion still existed, considering all of the countering evidence that shows girls can, in fact, be autistic.
I think it is a very negative thought to assume someone is lying about something so integral to their identity. Autism is a huge part of me and I am not more autistic than before I was diagnosed, I just have a reason now to be myself more. I think assuming someone is lying because their autism doesn’t present how you would have expected, or because it presents ‘too much’ like how you expected it to is a really weird opinion to have.
Why do you care so much about someone else? For me, I have severe anxiety, so I am so wrapped up in how I seem to others, I don’t have any time to worry about whether they’re faking a very big part of their life. Sometimes, I wonder if people were misdiagnosed, as that can be common in the autism community, but I don’t say anything to them about it, because I may be wrong or I might upset them, and I would never intentionally cause upset. There are some people that are so different to me, I laugh about the fact we both have an autism diagnosis. Then, I remember, autism is such a broad spectrum and they may be an extroverted autistic (they do exist!).
Autism is a part of my identity, it is a part of many people’s identity, and I don’t think anyone has the right to take that away from them. With just a few stinging words, you can make a person doubt so much. I have seen multiple instances of ‘you’re faking it’ with autism and other conditions. Fortunately, I haven’t been on the receiving end (at least, not to my face), but it would upset me a lot if someone did say it about me. It’s just not nice.
Thank you for reading,
The Autistic Panda