You say it’s time to listen

You say that autism speaks

You say you care about “people with autism”

So maybe it’s time to actually listen

 

We don’t want your awareness

What we need is acceptance

For you to see us as we are

And accept us, autism and all

 

We are not puzzles missing pieces

We are full, complete human beings

Just because you don’t understand

Doesn’t mean that we are incomplete

 

All of us communicate

Yes, even those who don’t speak verbally

We communicate through many means

We sign and type and point and emote

 

We communicate with our bodies

Through those movements you deem pointless

Our behavior is communication

Are you willing to listen?

 

We are as diverse as you

Each autistic their own shade

Of the beautiful rainbow of neurodiversity

None eclipsing the others

 

We are not an epidemic or tragedy

We are not burdens to be bemoaned

We are people whose brains work differently

And we are just as human as you

 

We need your acceptance

We need you to understand us

We are hurting and we are dying

Because we are not accepted

 

Autistics are speaking

But will you listen?