April 24, 2018

“How are you doing?” I asked, curious how she was feeling about new responsibilities at work.

She flapped her arms in classic autistic fashion, her face looking overwhelmed but full of hopeful determination, like a baby bird trying to make it out of the nest, or a fish trying to swim upstream.

“Staying afloat,” she said. “It’s just… I’m staying afloat.”

And I thought, how beautiful – that’s what we’re all doing, all the autistics who flap. When we could so easily sink under the weight of our senses, the complexity of our thoughts, the expectations of others, and the beauty of the universe… we flap, and it keeps us afloat.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.