Am I “Autistic Enough” to Count as Autistic?

Neurodiversity exists on a spectrum — so where do we draw the line?

Devon Price
Autistic Advice

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Photo by Gavin Biesheuvel on Unsplash

Welcome to the third entry in Autistic Advice, a semi-regular column where I respond to questions about neurodiversity, Autism acceptance, and disability rights from Autistic people and their allies. You can anonymously send me questions via my Curious Cat askbox.

Before we dive in, a bit about me: I am a 32-year-old Autistic psychologist who didn’t realize they were on the spectrum until their mid-20’s. My whole family is full of people with Autism-spectrum traits, and I have been active in the Autism self-advocacy community for about six years. On Medium, I’ve written extensively about my experiences, and the experiences of other adult Autistics whom I’ve interviewed for various projects. Though I am a research psychologist, I am not a therapist, and this column should not be treated as therapy.

My letter today is from someone who wants to know how to make sense of the idea of Autism being a “spectrum.” If many people exist somewhere on the Autism spectrum, they ask, how do we know who counts as actually “Autistic”? They write:

How does one differentiate between a person who displays a few autistic traits, and a person who is actually on the autism spectrum?

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Devon Price
Autistic Advice

He/Him or It/Its. Social Psychologist & Author of LAZINESS DOES NOT EXIST and UNMASKING AUTISM. Links to buy: https://linktr.ee/drdevonprice