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 second thing is what the DSM calls “autism.”

This creates a lot of confusion, a lot of stigma, and a lot of missed opportunities for support.

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.