6: It is usually assumed that I have “conquered” or “defeated” autism, and that anything I have achieved is in spite of autism. A phrase I hear a lot is “I would never have known that you were autistic”, as though autism is this hugely negative and obvious thing that a non-expert would be able to pick in a second. (Or, as though society is made up entirely of autism experts). This is well-intentioned but problematic because it carries the underlying assumption that if I have done something considered as “successful”, then this must have been despite my autism. In reality, autism is a part of everything that I do. Autism is not an enemy that needs to be defeated. My autism hasn’t been “overcome”. This issue is also symptomatic of the wider ignorance as to how autism presents – in reality, most of us would not be able to pick an autistic person out of a crowd.