Self Diagnosis Isn’t ‘Valid.’ It’s Liberatory.
If Autism is a neutral source of human diversity, why the hell would we need to diagnose it?
A few weeks ago, I was forwarded an email that the editor of the publication Artfully Autistic had sent to one of their writers. The writer had just finished working on a piece in support of self diagnosis, in which she referenced my work. Artfully Autistic’s editor removed these references and links, because, according to her, I am faking being Autistic and taking advantage of the Autistic community. The full email is below:
From: Artfully Autistic
Sent: Monday, December 27, 2021 5:01 PM
Subject: “Self Diagnosis Is Valid” / Devon Price
I Published your most recent Story “Self Diagnosis Is Valid” and it is a great Story. Thank you for your Submission.
. . .
A Protocol of our Publication is that we take a light-handed approach to Editorial. For the most part, we very rarely touch the Writing of other Member Writers, unless it violates Medium or Publication Rules.
However, for your particular story something new has arisen that I have to bring to your attention.
You see, I had to delete the part of your Story which Tags and references the Medium Writer, Devon Price.
Devon Price is not actually Autistic. I know with total and complete certainty that Devon Price is an imposter, basically impersonating someone who is Autistic for personal gain. Sort of a sick form of Reverse Masking.
Just in a way that those of us who are actually Autistic may attempt to Mask, and even be successful at it for an extended period of time, inevitably it is unsustainable.
Everyone who attempts to Mask for an extended period of time ultimately will break down when their ability to maintain it has reached its trajectory. It is well known how detrimentally costly to the Mental Health of an Autistic person that Masking can be. The only cure for Masking is to be our authentic Autistic selves.
Although Autistics who Mask may…