“My son is on the severe end of the autism spectrum.”
“We’re all a little autistic– it’s a spectrum.”
“I’m not autistic but I’m definitely ‘on the spectrum.’”
If only people knew what a spectrum is… because they are talking about autism all wrong.
Let’s use the visible spectrum as an example.
As you can see, the various parts of the spectrum are noticeably different from each other. Blue looks very different from red, but they are both on the visible light spectrum.
Red is not “more blue” than blue is. Red is not “more spectrum” than blue is.
When people discuss colours, they don’t talk about how “far along” the spectrum a colour is. They don’t say “my walls are on the high end of the spectrum” or “I look best in colours that are on the low end of the spectrum.”
But when people talk about autism they talk as if it were a gradient, not a spectrum at all.
People think you can be “a little autistic” or “extremely autistic,” the way a paint colour could be a little red or extremely red.
But autism isn’t that simple.