September 25, 2022

Curiosity is important to me.

If I think someone is wrong, I try to learn more. If they extend the same grace to me, then we can figure out the truth together.

Sometimes, this causes me to change my mind.

I used to say I’m an aspie. Now I say I’m autistic.

I used to say the best response to a struggle is to be brave. Now I say the best response is to figure out why it’s a struggle.

I used to say autistic people have just as much empathy as neurotypical people, or even more. Now I say we tend to have stronger “affective empathy” (for feelings) and weaker “cognitive empathy” (for thoughts).

I used to say all behavior is communication. Now I say some is communication and some has another cause, like self-regulation. Stimming can be both.

After I’ve changed my mind about something, it usually takes my heart a while to catch up. My gut intuitions remain rooted in the old idea until I’ve had enough practice with the new one.

Like all transitions, this takes longer for me than for most people.

It feels bad when my head and heart are temporarily misaligned, so I’m easily drawn to black-and-white thinking. My brain is trying to protect me from the need to analyze, decide, and change.

But curiosity is stronger. And a curious person is who I want to be.

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.