We’ve Been Here All Along: Autistics Over 35 Speak Out in Poetry and Prose

Two of my poems, “You Don’t See It” and “Tribe”, were published in We’ve Been Here All Along: Autistics Over 35 Speak Out in Poetry and Prose. The anthology, edited and published earlier this fall by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg (also the creator and webmaster of Autism and Empathy), features writings by twenty-two autistics speaking about, as Rachel put it in the description on her website, “issues as growing up without a diagnosis and coming to understand themselves in adulthood through the lens of autism”.

“You Don’t See It” is probably my best statement about what having Asperger Syndrome is like. “Tribe” (unpublished until this anthology) is a statement of pride, a recognition of how autistics throughout history have shaped and colored our world. And I am the frizzy-haired little girl on the upper right corner of the cover.

I am 36 years old and on the younger end of the age group in which the contributors are, but I share some things in common with some of the other contributors: late in life diagnosis. When I was growing up, the conventional wisdom was mostly that girls weren’t autistic and autism wasn’t that well-known…so the “gifted and weird” or “difficult” labels were slapped on me. Couple that with Asperger Syndrome not being an official diagnosis until 1994, the year I graduated high school. I went undiagnosed until age 34.

I have not had a chance to read except a small portion of the book, but from what I have read you will find intelligent, beautiful, eloquent, glaringly truthful, and sometimes painful writing, all from autistic writers. I strongly recommend reading the anthology and what we have to say about autism…from the perspective of the autistics themselves.

-Nicole

Autistics Speaking Day Is Tomorrow

As you probably know, Autistics Speaking Day is tomorrow, November 1. Many of us on the spectrum have chosen this day to speak out instead of shut down, and The Coffee Klatch will be hosting a 24-Hour Chat on TweetChat tomorrow for Autistics Speaking Day. Also, other events and stuff may be happening too: feel free to check out the Autistics Speaking Day event page on Facebook for more info.

And I will be doing what I do best — poetry. I will be sharing some new poems I have written just for Autistics Speaking Day on here and Raven’s Wing Poetry, as well as sharing some other poems I’ve written in the past. I will post a list tomorrow of all of the poems here as well (so you don’t have to go a’diggin’) as well as Tweeting and posting on FB as much as possible. I look forward to joining everyone speaking out tomorrow in the Interwebs and Blogosphere and am honored to be part of such an event. Be LOUD and be PROUD on November 1!

-Nicole