Autistic Anxiety and the Ableism of Accommodation

Ryan Boren

Autistic anxiety is a powerful presence in my life. Its intensity can be unfathomable to a neurotypical mind. I’m 44 years old and have trouble ordering food at a restaurant. I need hours to come down from the adrenaline poisoning of a one-minute phone call. I meltdown in crowds. Adrenal exhaustion is a near-permanent condition. This has been so for my whole life.

This, for me, is a disability. In a context where I’m required to talk and interact at length, I am disabled. If the internet and the web hadn’t come into being as I entered college and the workforce, I would likely have gone unemployed and ended up homeless. I didn’t expect to live to middle age. I expected to eventually defenestrate. “Written communication is the great social equalizer.

Disability requires context. Change the context, and eliminate the disability. The internet changed the context and made…

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Author: Matthew Freeman

Father, Husband, Coffee Lover, Bald.