April 23, 2022

Lying awake at night, knowing nothing about neurodiversity, I sometimes got a strong urge to rub my feet together like a cricket. So I did.

But partway through, I always paused, just to prove I could. Then I continued.

For some reason, I thought the behavior was acceptable if I could stop it, and not …

April 1, 2022

April Fools’ Day is designed for telling lies where people expect truth. But my idea of fun is to tell truth where people expect lies.

In high school, one April 1st, I wrote the word “gullible” on a small piece of paper and taped it to the classroom ceiling.

I was hoping that someone would …

February 6, 2022

Why does autism create such a wide spectrum of traits?

Because autistic brains are hyper-connected. You can see it on an MRI scan. We have neural pathways that others don’t, like secret passages all over our brains.

This results in a torrent of information to process, including physical sensations and pattern recognition. By default, everything …

February 3, 2022

There’s autism, a neurotype with a cluster of predispositions. From birth, it makes some things enjoyable and other things hard.

Then there’s autistic distress, which is the way that neurotype interacts with stressors. It varies over time, based on the environment and any co-occurring conditions.

The first thing is what most advocates call “autism.” The …

February 2, 2022

Can you be the calm in the storm, when someone you love is having a big reaction to a seemingly small trigger? Can your emotions be an anchor for them to flail around, until they’re finally able to collapse into your peace?

If not, that’s okay. They have the right to express their feelings, but …

February 2, 2022

Yesterday, I reshared my post about the concept of “overreacting.” I believe it’s rarely done by autistic people – or maybe anyone, but autistics get accused of it more often, so that’s what I focused on.

Some autistic people commented that they do overreact sometimes. So, I want to explore the concept a …

January 30, 2022

I’ve seen quite a few memes about the neurodivergent tendency to get nothing done for half a day before an appointment or event.

The tone is always playfully self-deprecating – like, “Haha, who else here gives in to the illusion that an item on the calendar casts a spell of uselessness on the preceding hours?” …

January 21, 2022

Do you relate to the song Surface Pressure, from Encanto? One part makes me tear up nearly every time: “Give it to your sister – it doesn’t hurt her.”

I can count a few specific memories of being told something wouldn’t hurt, when it actually did. But only a few. So, why does that line …

January 15, 2022

In my teens and twenties, I made various friends and acquaintances whom I now realize were undeniably autistic. A few knew it, but most didn’t.

My attitude toward them, usually unspoken, was always the same: “This person is so incredibly cool. Everyone seems to ignore that because of their weird clothing and movements, but everyone …

January 15, 2022

For you, does it make a joke better or worse if someone explains it?

Personally, I love it. If I didn’t get the joke in the first place, then it makes me feel included. But even if I got the joke, analyzing its mechanism gives me new insight into how humor works, and thus how …