Behind starburst eyes

It’s Amazing You’re Here At All

Autistic Academic

I tell my students I’m autistic.

Usually, I remember to mention it during the first-day introductions, but even when I forget, they tend to figure it out by the third class, if they’re listening to me at all.  The use of the first person plural when I talk about autistic writers tends to give it away.

I mentioned my autism to one of my students last week, in a conversation about how I got into disability studies.  Student’s reaction: “Wow, so it’s amazing you’re here at all.”

I thought, “Yes, but not for the reasons you think.”

Being autistic, in and of itself, doesn’t make it “amazing” that I’m teaching.  That’s unremarkable, really.   The professoriate has always had more than its fair share of autistic teachers, I’m guessing, and there would probably be a fair number more of us if alternate communication means and assorted other accommodations were easier…

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