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 “Tribe” (unpublished until this anthology) is a statement of pride, a recognition of how autistics throughout history have shaped and colored our world.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.