May 10, 2021

I’m trying to pay closer attention to my harmless urges to move in unconventional ways. Sometimes I might follow them, and sometimes not, but at least I want to notice them.

Today I noticed, as my boyfriend told a complex story, that I was imagining all the nouns in the story as invisible blocks, floating …

May 9, 2021

My body knows what it needs. But I’ve spent most of my life fighting it, because if I give in, people might perceive me as a threat.

Percussive movement, such as stomping my feet or whacking my palms on my thighs, is threatening because it looks like violence.

Sudden movement, such as stretching out my …

May 5, 2021

I enjoy occasionally flabbergasting my autistic students with insights into the neurotypical mind. It feels like being a tour guide on a safari.

One such insight, which I learned quite recently myself, is that some people correct factual errors as a power move. That’s one reason they might get angry when you do it to …

May 1, 2021

As an autistic person begins to trade the heavy armor of hypervigilant self-preservation for the spinny sundress of safe authenticity, each step forward may seem like a step back.

They may look “more autistic,” as they embrace the calming power of natural movements.

They may request more support, as they recognize the cost of facing …

May 1, 2021

I came across a list of personal goals from 10 years ago, and one of them was: “Make better eye contact.”

I didn’t write that because of any negative feedback I’d received. I certainly didn’t write it because of any so-called autism therapy – no one knew I was autistic at the time, including me. …

April 29, 2021

If you’re a failure-fearing go-getter like me, then it may be easier to try new things if you explicitly set a goal to fail.

Like the writer who tried to get 100 rejections from magazines, and ended up with many articles published, because he wasn’t afraid to pitch his ideas.

Like the pottery students who …

April 28, 2021

At my sixth or seventh birthday party, while opening gifts, a hilarious coincidence happened – or so it seemed, to little me.

The first gift I opened was something I already owned. Then, when I opened the second gift, it was also something I already owned.

I began to laugh. I laughed and laughed, doubling …

April 27, 2021

A few years ago, a friend asked if I wanted to see their notebook collection. I readily agreed, because notebooks are portals of possibility that cause my imagination to soar.

I was not disappointed. Crowning a corner bookcase, like an altar, was a neat row of spines. Perusing each one, leafing through its bare pages, …

April 24, 2021

I remember, as a teenager, being at a lake with some other teens. The boys kept trying to push the girls off the dock – except me, whom they ignored – and the girls kept squealing and running away.

Unexpected water is torture to me, so there’s no way I’m going to let a fellow …

April 24, 2021

Fascination with a topic is all well and good. But what happens when autistic fascination gets directed at another person, who may or may not be autistic themselves?

If it’s reciprocated, I call that love. Mutual fascination creates a safe space to express desires, communicate boundaries, and explore each other as complex, flawed, evolving humans. …