May 19, 2022

The most common tips I hear for living your best autistic life are to protect your senses, explore your interests, accept your differences, and ask for what you need.

But there are other, less common tips that also help support autistic wellness. Here are three:

  1. Strengthen your joints. You may not be hypermobile enough to qualify for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, but your joints are still probably looser than the average neurotypical’s. This makes you clumsier and increases the risk of twisting an ankle or dislocating a shoulder. Build up the muscles around your wrists, shoulders, hips, and ankles to feel more stable and secure in everything you do.
  2. Find a hobby that includes improvisation without consequences. Autistic brains are naturally drawn to systematization and planning, to prevent awkwardness and ensure that the support we need is in place. But getting more comfortable with “making it up as we go,” within the safety of a painting or a dance, is good practice for the mental motions required for social interaction.
  3. Figure out what makes your stomach happiest. Use a journal to track the effects of various foods, if needed. I respond particularly well to probiotics, and foods with a low glycemic index. I hate it when ads claim that diets or pills can cure autism, because I’m no less autistic when my stomach is happy. But the grain of truth within the lie is that gastrointestinal issues are super common for autistics, and improving them improves life in general.

What uncommon tips have helped you thrive as an autistic person?

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.