Wrote this as a reply to a comment on a friend’s FB page, but it could do with repeating to the general public:
“…autism doesn’t come in condiment varieties (i.e. mild, etc.). Autistic is autistic. Saying someone is ‘mildly’ autistic is misinforming, because the spectrum isn’t a scale… it’s a spectrum. We can exhibit different symptoms at any given time, dependent on the sensory input/output processing requirements and a large array of variables leading to that precise moment in time.”
Stop using functional language. It serves no positive purpose and accomplishes nothing. Each individual human has their own way of being. Autism is a filter through which I experience life. It isn’t a disease or affliction, nor is it something from which I suffer.
Saying simply “I am autistic” is enough to tell you that I process sensory input and output differently and may respond in a different manner than that to which you may be accustomed, if you have limited experience around people with diverse sensory processing capabilities.
If you genuinely want to know my “symptoms”… ask respectfully and give me a scenario, because otherwise the response you get will be a couple dozen qualifying questions, so I can specifically respond to your request… because how being autistic exhibits itself in my life really does depend on a large array of variables, at any given time.