Autistic ‘Success’: Redefining The Neurotypical Narrative

Queerly Autistic

Recently, I’ve been called an autistic ‘success story’. And it made me wonder how exactly we define success – whether in autistic circles or elsewhere – and whether we need to do away with these definitions altogether.

Now, this is just an exercise in projection, but I think I can reasonably estimate which factors led to my ‘success’ label: I’m employed full time, I’m able to stand in front of a group of people and deliver a presentation on my autism, and I’m living a reasonably independent life.

And, although part of me feels obviously flattered, I can’t help but think that it’s just so…problematic and simplistic.

A lot of those things that make me a ‘success’ are without question accidents of birth. Some of the things I’ve been able to achieve have been made available to me due to certain privileges I’ve been afforded: I have always been able…

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