This post is a collaboration with an advocate in the UK who goes by Shell Spectrum. Shell has a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome (same as my son's childhood diagnosis) and has been advocating online about autism as an autistic woman for over 20 years. She started a list with this title and I have modified it slightly and extended it with her permission. Shell and I are the 'bad autistics' neurodiversity 'autistics' warned you about. Although I would rather see myself as a 'number 1 badass' (after all 'BAD1' was written in my medical records for 'bipolar affective disorder type 1).
I am on the autism spectrum myself, with a diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) but I choose to no longer call myself autistic, nor an autist. (Although neurodiversity advocates insist on calling me both). I had more prominent autism spectrum features in childhood (as did my son) than as an adult.
Shell and I am both critical of the neurodiversity movement, an identity politics ideology, that has ripped off medical conditions and watered them down into common traits. Then evangelised, recruited and indoctrinated people who have no clinically significant impairments since childhood. Many have profitted from this racket. Anyone who criticises this cult will be abused by extremists.
I have seen people say 'I have bipolar' and others say 'I am bipolar.' Is it just semantics?
Or is 'I am' identity language? For example, I could say, 'I am a woman,' and 'I am a Kiwi (New Zealander)' and 'I am a mother' and 'I am an artist' (even though I'm a 'hobby' artist not a 'professional'). I could say 'I am a merchandiser' (working part-time helps my self-esteem).
I am no longer blogging or vlogging as a mental health and disability advocate. The politics of it is too toxic for me.