So, Theory of Mind. This "how people think about others thinking" or whatever. It's claimed autistic people can't do that. There are so many different things out there claiming that people like don't have the ability to think about how others think - their thoughts, their perspectives, their needs.
And I teach. I teach neurodivergent people. Frequently autistic. And teach neurodivergently.
And I talk to people about autism.
So I can tell you, people don't listen to an autistic adult. It doesn't matter how interested in autism they are, they don't care at all about hearing voices of an adult who actually lives this life. I tell people about my life and I've been told things like "It doesn't matter that people don't do anything for autistic adults because they do so much for children" (yes, that's a quote, in response to me not even requesting things being done for me). I'm told "that can't be true" (heard that many times.) I'm told that I'm just an exception, so I don't matter. I'm literally spoken over, have people start ignoring my presence, have people start trying to make sure nobody else can speak to me, am followed around purposefully triggering migraines.
People don't listen to an autistic adult.
They do listen to a professional.
I'm someone who works with autistic students? Awesome! I know so much about autism! I'm one of the first people to ask! Question after question comes at me. Can I teach these people with my free time that I don't have?
As soon as I'm seen as a Professional, I'm knowledgeable.
As soon as I'm Autistic, I'm too "High Functioning" to know what Real autism is like"
Professional, help fix this problem of nobody knowing anything! Autistic, you can't know how to work with people. Professional, teacher. Autistic, broken.
Let's circle back to that theory of mind I mentioned before getting into this.
When I'm seen as autistic, I'm seen as not being able to understand autism. I'm seen as not being able to understand myself.
When I'm seen as a professional, I'm seen as being able to understand others.
An autistic professional, I'm seen as necessarily not only having this theoretical Theory of Mind concept that is thrown around in order to kick down autistic people because of us thinking differently, I'm seen as I should theoretically understand others better than I understand myself. I should understand others so well that I can speak for them (which isn't a thing ANYONE can do, but I'm told I should be able to). And yet, I can't speak for myself.
Everything is backwards from what it's "supposed to be". Because both sides are broken and wrong, and I'm able to think about myself and able to think about others, and can be an autistic person who teaches autistic people and it's not contradictory. But, with how I'm treated, you'd think it is.