December 11, 2022

Here’s a guided tour through every chapter of my new book, What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic.

In my Introduction, I explain who the book is for, why I believe it matters, and what I mean by “unpuzzling.”

In my Prologue, I imagine going back in time for a conversation with Little Me, who was confused about things that I now understand.

In chapter 1, Discovery, I describe how I found out I’m autistic, overcame my doubts about it, saw my past in a new light, and got a diagnosis.

In chapter 2, Unpuzzling, I describe what’s happening in autistic brains that causes such a wide spectrum of traits.

In chapter 3, Sensitivity, I describe my sensory experiences and how they make life both wonderful and hard.

In chapter 4, Processing, I describe the extra steps my brain takes to handle tasks that others find easy.

In chapter 5, Stimming, I describe various ways I try to self-regulate, including their benefits and risks.

In chapter 6, Relationships, I describe how autism has affected my interactions with friends and love interests, including the impact of masking and heartbreak. (This chapter, like every chapter, is appropriate for all ages.)

In chapter 7, Misunderstandings, I describe various assumptions people make about my experiences and intentions, why they’re wrong, and what’s really going on.

In chapter 8, Meltdowns, I describe what it feels like to face more than I can handle, with words of comfort to heal the shame of past meltdowns and practical tips to prevent future ones.

In chapter 9, Quirks, I describe a few lesser-known autistic traits as well as a nuanced look inside some of the more well-known traits.

In chapter 10, Optimizing, I describe what I’m doing differently now that I know I have an autistic brain with autistic needs, including how I identify and advocate for those needs.

In chapter 11, Uplifting, I describe what other people can do to support my brain and help me thrive, both in general and in specific circumstances.

In chapter 12, Beauty, I describe how the concept of neurodiversity has helped me to reframe my struggles through the healing light of self-acceptance.

In my Thanks page, I express gratitude for those who made the book possible and are continuing to help it spread.

In my Learn More page, I list some topics that the book addressed very briefly, with where to go to find out more.

In my P.S. page, I list some other possibilities to consider (besides autism) if you relate to some but not all of my book.

If any of that interests you, for yourself or as a gift, order here!

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.