I am nothing more than a persona, a well-tailored person suit that I slip into before going out in the world. I am carefully modulated vocal inflection, a variety of appropriate physical gestures, casual and not overly-intense eye contact. I know the rules of social interaction because I have studied them extensively.

At home I am formless, swathed in soft, tagless fabrics; a rocking, stimming thing; echoed utterances and perseverative joy. I make the mistake of thinking that in-jokes are universally humorous. I am known to emit high-pitched and toneless screams when overwhelmed, to even shut down entirely when something goes awry.

What I am is terrified of anybody finding out that I am autistic. People change when they know, and not for the better. I am not your inspiration porn, your high-functioning outlier, your self-narrating zoo exhibit. I do not possess above-average skills in mathematics.

But nobody knows any of this, that's how good my costume is. Neurotypical is a fictional construct, but I'm at the convention, blending in.

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