September 24, 2023

I want to bust a myth about brains. All brains, not just autistic brains – but I don’t think you can fully understand autism without understanding this first.

Most people think that a brain works like a computer: First you get input from your senses, then you process it, then you act on it.

But …

September 20, 2023

Rushing to make decisions can be a form of masking.

If I’m afraid I’ll make someone impatient, I wouldn’t necessarily call that masking. But it’s masking if the thing that I fear is how I’ll be seen as a person.

My stereotype of an intelligent person is not slow. So I wear the mask of …

September 16, 2023

Trying to stop an emotion – in yourself or someone you love – is like trying to stop a wave.

I speak from experience as someone who has tried to stop a wave, for fun, just to see what would happen.

You dig your toes into the shifting sand, eyeing the rising crest, bracing for …

September 14, 2023

Anne of Green Gables said, “I never make the same mistake twice.” I find that inspiring, but impossible to imitate with the limits on my working memory.

Instead, I keep an ongoing list of things I did that turned out badly, and what I wish I’d done instead. Others might see it as a list …

September 13, 2023

Some insults are as easy to spot as a villain announcing their evil plans. Other insults are more subtle and insidious.

Here’s one: Implying that I’m incomprehensible.

It’s okay if an individual person doesn’t comprehend my motivations or behavior. Maybe they tried, made no progress, and decided not to try any further – if so, …

September 7, 2023

I am happy, but there were many times in my life when I wasn’t. Looking back, I think my unhappiness was usually a combination of two things: Unmet needs, and the belief that those needs could only be met in one impossible way.

For example:

    Needing compression, and believing that nothing would ever feel as

September 5, 2023

I think the main difference between “loving” and “people-pleasing” is what might happen if I don’t.

Not loving feels like missing an opportunity to lighten someone’s heart – to make it feel more bright and buoyant. It’s a choice where all options feel safe.

Not pleasing feels like putting myself in danger of someone’s anger, …

September 3, 2023

Have you ever gone to a restaurant with a group of friends, and after the meal, everyone left without you? Or at least they would have, if you hadn’t jumped into action and scrambled to catch up?

This happened to me a lot in my teens and twenties, and now I understand why.

First, I …

May 18, 2023

My friend Michelle drafted an amazing request for direct communication, with examples. When she showed me her draft, I asked if I could share it here for others to use as a script, and she agreed.

These are her words:

Would you be willing to agree to take every question I ask as a request …

May 5, 2023

Autistic people tend to prefer explicit communication. But even if other people want to support us in that way, many of them struggle to break (or even to recognize) their habits of implicit communication.


I suspect that in many cases, tucking a message between the lines feels safer for them. It protects them from …