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 …

May 1, 2023

In a recent discussion about how parents can help autistic children reach certain goals, my reaction was to question the goals themselves.

Here’s what I had to say about stopping bad behavior, appearing less weird to avoid mockery, independence, and preparing to face a confusing world.

“Stopping bad behavior.”

Some behavior is apraxia, or inability …

April 30, 2023

One interesting side effect of discovering my autism was that people stopped apologizing to me in grocery stores.

For years before that, whenever I passed someone with my cart, they would often say sorry. It happened at least 2 or 3 times per store visit.

It was baffling, because I never felt like they were …

April 22, 2023

Let’s talk about consent and the sunk cost fallacy.

If a child wants to back out of an activity they previously agreed to, and you only want them to stay because you already paid for it, then I believe that you should let them change their mind.

Why? Because the money is gone, regardless of …

April 5, 2023

I once read an article about an autistic girl who wouldn’t eat her hamburger because it was sliced into two halves, and was therefore “broken.”

The article praised the restaurant for bringing her a new burger, understanding that autism makes it harder to handle change and surprises (e.g. an unusually prepared burger).

But that poor …

March 14, 2023

I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but…

You’re not “making things complicated.”

Things were already complicated. You just saw the parts that everyone ignored, the steps that were unclear, the variety of possible options, the many interpretations…

March 2, 2023

I once posted about my zero-shame policy as a former teacher. Since making that post, I’ve realized another reason why it matters.

I have a lot of trouble – both cognitive strain and emotional stress – in conversations where my questions aren’t answered immediately, only at the end of a long backstory.

It’s not impatience. …

February 17, 2023

The more you learn about autistic brains, the easier it is to understand autistic behaviors. So, here’s a brief intro to autistic neurology!


In autistic brains, some neural pathways are weaker. This can make it harder to notice implications, expectations, facial expressions, and body language.


In autistic …

January 24, 2023

I’ve donated What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic to Bookshare, so thousands of students with disabilities can read it for free! is an online library of ebooks, with tools that make them easier to read. It’s designed for disabilities related to reading, but schools that support a variety of disabilities (including autism) …