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Our Right to Self Determination. Another step on the road to Autism Acceptance.

Going back to childhood interests takes us to a safe place and is so beneficial to our mental health and well-being. I have done so many times in my life. It has literally saved me during times of intense anxiety, stress, loneliness and social isolation.

For all the parents of Autistic children (however old they are) reading this, please don't ever try to take away your child's interest, even if it is not considered age appropriate by Society. The toys and games of yester-year are our safe place, and our way of coping with the overwhelming stresses of living in this world that does not accept us. These are our ways to create sparks of magic and light, which shield our gentle souls from the darkness of the outside world. These our our tools to create inner joy and to stimulate and regulate our tattered senses. Do not remove our ways to cope.

No we should not put away childish things, if they help us to cope with stress. No we should not be forced to still our movements because they make others uncomfortable. The sensory stimulation of movement and making sounds can be a vital way to regulate our overwhelmed senses, and to cope with the stressful environments in which we exist in our daily lives. Society must learn to accept Autistic people. Society must be educated to understand that there are good reasons for our actions. And with that understanding must come acceptance.

For those that complain about so called Autistic 'Behaviours', think twice about suppressing or removing our natural coping mechanisms. If you do, then don't be surprised to find you trigger a major escalation in self-harm and a downward spiral in mental health. It is not worth putting your child through this, in the name of trying to fit in with an intolerant Society.

This goes for Autistic adults too. Don't sacrifice your ways of coping in order to fit in with the rest of Society. It will only lead to poor mental health and for you to eventually burn out from the exhaustion.

If the rest of the world is intolerant, then do the things you like to do in private. But do them. Stim, wave your hands, dance, echo, put your music on repeat, re-read your favourite books and binge watch your favourite tv. Repeat and relive whatever experience brings you comfort, whether physical or mental.

If it does no harm to anyone else, then don't care about anyone else judging you for your interests or behaviour. There are Autistic people in the world that will accept you and will campaign for your right to do the things you need to do, to have a healthy and happy life. Be true to your own needs and let your mind dance free. Know that you are valued and accepted always, as part of the Autistic Community.

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