December 9, 2022

I’m autistic – which means I miss what others catch, and I catch what others miss.

I often miss body language, sarcasm, social hierarchies, implied expectations, and the “big picture.”

I often catch visual details, conceptual patterns, logical inconsistencies, and subtle sounds.

Then, facing the consequences of all that I missed and the overwhelm of all that I caught, I soothe my stress with rhythmic movement, familiar routines, and mood-lifting interests.

Some autistics miss different things than I do. Some catch different things. Some soothe stress in different ways. That’s how we can be so different from one another, yet equally autistic.

Sometimes, I can learn to catch some of the things that I naturally miss. But keep in mind that I’m not just replacing one focus of attention with another. Instead, I’m adding new information on top.

The strain of pulling my attention in too many directions might come out in visible ways, or it might remain hidden. You might catch the fact that I’m autistic… or you might miss it.

This post expands on ideas from an earlier post.

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.