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 challenges alone.
They may react more suddenly to defend their eyes and ears from sights and sounds.
When this happens, please don’t accuse them of faking it, as if they’re molding themselves to match a label. They were always this way on the inside – now, it’s merely coming out.