any condition that’s just a collection of observed symptoms is an arbitrary categorization of a divergent brain’s characteristics and stress/trauma responses, interpreted through a lens of NT bias. the lines have been drawn arbitrarily and in a way that obscures the truth
i haven’t shared these opinions publicly much yet because it’s a tricky thing to talk about and i don’t want to hurt people who feel an attachment to their diagnoses. but. diagnoses are not real, they are very crappy efforts at describing and categorizing things that are real
this was my very lonely opinion for quite a while which is a reason I didn’t share it bc when I tried the reactions were pretty furious but there is actually research that shows diagnoses are so inconsistent and unreliable they are meaningless…
our current system of diagnosis is not only arbitrary, but it excludes important information. most allistic neurodivergent people and many autistic people don’t realize how much of who they are is bc they’re neurodivergent. NTs subsumed our positive qualities under the NT label
in a system that only attributes trauma and stress responses to neurodivergence, of course it will be seen as disorder, and many ND people think all the things they love about themselves are things NTs share when actually they’re ND qualities & the foundations of their neurotype
i do think the difficulties we face are real but instead of seeing divergence as conditions, i see it this way - your divergence is not what is hurting you. your divergence is what is hurting. it is you.
If a body is damaged, you break bones, you bleed, you bruise. If a divergent brain is damaged, you tic, you have intrusive thoughts, you get anxiety, you get depression, you develop obsessions and compulsions, you have emotional instability, your thoughts race, jumble, and cycle
i think that brains are very insistent on being what they are and working the way they were intended to. the more you try to force your brain to be neurotypical, the more pain it is in, and eventually it starts breaking down. your brain is in the vise that is neurotypical society
is it possible that my brain has autism, ADHD, bipolar, OCD, anxiety, and symptoms of schizophrenia (i hallucinate a lot), narcolepsy, some kind of tic disorder, giftedness, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyslexia,
prosopagnosic aphantasia, & a history of every single eating disorder?
is that possible? is that reasonable? i’m pretty sure medical professionals wouldn’t think so, they’d probably decide i’m a liar or hypochondriac so they could get back to one nice derogatory label to categorize me with. but i think i have an ND brain incompatible with NT society
all the things i experienced that those labels attempt to describe are real, but the idea that i have what would otherwise be an NT brain with 10-20 disorders on top of it is so completely ludicrous it’s like saying deep down i have the skeleton of an elephant.
i am not supposed to “function” the way an NT functions. my brain is not supposed to do the things an NT brain does. all strengths have corresponding weaknesses. in order to do the incredible things my brain does, it will also do some things that are not so incredible or pleasant
if after we accept the essential nature of our neurotypes we want to look at those less pleasant things our brains do and give them names and figure out how to make them easier on us, great. let’s do it for NTs,
too. their brains also have unpleasant downsides.
we have been told we must accept diagnosis as the only validation of our lived experience and our only path to accommodation. but i think we must reject it so we can truly see ourselves and create a universally accessible world where self-determination is a human right

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More from @erikaheidewald

8 Apr
i just started reading this book called Asperger’s Children that’s a history of Hans Asperger and all his Nazi shit and this description of how one of the kids did math stood out to me because this is how i do math. i have dyscalculia but i’m good at mental math this way ImageImage
is there a name for this? is this common for autistic people? i struggled with math until i figured out how to do it my own way and i’ve been really surprised as an adult to find out that i’m better at math than most people are but it’s bc i do it like this. what’s the deal here
are autistic people having to discover for ourselves how to do math? does anyone teach this to autistic kids? why doesn’t everyone do it this way - is it harder for allistics this way? i need math nerd input please
Read 6 tweets
8 Apr
bro i have been dissociating all day and straight up NOT having a good time and i started being mean to ableists online and i feel so much better. my brain fog has lifted for the first time all fucking day
i don’t know how to explain this but my brain literally cannot function if i don’t say what i think. if i try to be polite to people who don’t deserve it, if i stay quiet when people are shitty, it breaks my motherfucking brain. i dissociate, have panic attacks, & meltdowns
the thousands of incessant tiny misogynistic and ableist swipes people make at me online fuck with my brain subconsciously even when consciously i’m not upset about them. it interferes with my ability to think and my ability to think is the thing that makes me feel like myself
Read 16 tweets
8 Apr
i follow an AFAB adult on tiktok who got diagnosed autistic and then had it revoked because they contacted her mom - who she told them is abusive and she is estranged from - and her mom said “nope she was a regular kid!” this just happened like a month ago #AutismAcceptanceMonth
like yes that request is all kinds of discriminatory and fucked up. but when has being discriminatory and fucked up ever stopped the autism industry?
i understand how important medical diagnosis is for a lot of people, i really do. if you need accommodations, your options are limited. and i do not like to shit on people’s hopes. but i hear so many traumatizing horror stories about autism diagnosis. keep your hopes low.
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr
this is me, and there’s a good reason for it - when i’m in an emergency situation, such as being injured, my brain goes into problem-solving mode. feelings are not useful so in that moment, i don’t have any. my brain is using all its power to assess the situation and fix it.
i only figured out the other day why i hate it when people try to comfort me when i get injured, so much so that it will make me angry - having people come at me with concerned voices and hands trying to touch me is literally the most overstimulating thing you can do to me.
when i broke my wrist in gymnastics in high school i immediately stood up and ran away. i ran around the track until i was able to come back and calmly tell them i needed to go to the hospital. i never understood why i react like this until i considered the cognitive processing
Read 13 tweets
7 Apr
gatekeeping marginalized identities has resulted in people feeling like they HAVE TO be cis, be straight, be neurotypical when they are not, because they’re not different ENOUGH and that identity is for the REAL marginalized people.

this is just cisheteronormativity & ableism!!!
this is so bonkers! conservatives were never able to convince me i had to be cishet but feminists did because they used my empathy & justice sensitivity to manipulate me into thinking that was my moral imperative. i didn’t have a right to my own experience bc it wasn’t bad enough
the people who have been outraged at me self-identifying as autistic haven’t been the conservative autism moms, they don’t know i exist. it’s been “progressive” people who say i am somehow harming the real autistics. they call me a fake- i must be NT. compulsory neurotypicality.
Read 15 tweets
7 Apr
I just realized why I dress the way I do, and why I couldn’t explain how me dressing in “girl” clothes doesn’t mean identifying with femininity inside. to me it feels like drag. i have fun pretending to be a girl. i can also enjoy small talk because pretending to be normal is fun
I really connected to that scene in Paris Is Burning - they also dress up like suburban dads and I completely got exactly why that is fun, and why that’s a fantasy.
At home hanging out I wear sweatpants and sweatshirts, I don’t do my hair, I barely remember I have it. So when I get ready because I’m leaving the house or filming a video, I put my girl suit on, and I enjoy it because it’s all self-expression and fantasy. fantasy is expression
Read 12 tweets

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