Welcome inside the mind of an autistic woman! In this mix of memoir and manifesto, I share the trials and triumphs of a life before and after diagnosis.

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Book cover for What I Mean When I Say I'm Autistic Unpuzzling a Life on the Autism Spectrum by Annie Kotowicz

What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic:
Unpuzzling a Life on the Autism Spectrum

by Annie Kotowicz

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Welcome inside the mind of an autistic woman! In this mix of memoir and manifesto, I share the trials and triumphs of a life before and after diagnosis.

Have you ever wondered…

  • How might it feel to be autistic? Or, if you’re autistic, what words can you use to help others understand?
  • Why are autistic and non-autistic people so puzzling to one another?
  • How does neuroscience explain the spectrum of autistic traits?
  • And what could you discover about your own mind – neurotypical or neurodivergent – through learning about mine?

This book is for you if…

You are autistic – or might be – and want help with explaining your brain, improving your life, and seeing the beauty of autism.

You love an autistic person, work with autistic people, or otherwise are familiar with autism, and want to nurture those relationships.

You’re unfamiliar with autism, and want a simple but nuanced introduction from someone with personal experience.

Reader Reviews

A remarkable journey to a deeper understanding of what autism can feel like from the inside. Annie Kotowicz's curiosity, wonder, and wisdom will help you connect more deeply with the neurodivergent people in your life. Sarah Wayland, Ph.D., Co-author of Is This Autism? A Guide for CliniciansBeautifully clear, elegant, and precise. It models a creative, positive self-understanding for autistic folks, but it also helps all of us see the beauty, the importance, and the art of learning about oneself. Every page is a gem. Cathy Robertson, Founder and Director of DC PeersI highly recommend Annie's book. It will allow others to both relate to and understand the autistic experience in a better way through Annie's explanation of both theory and her own experiences. Sarah Hendrickx, Author of Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A must-read for any therapist who wants to understand the autistic experience. This is also a must-read for anyone who loves an autistic human, is an autistic human, or interfaces with autistics. Rachel Bédard, Ph.D., Author of Raising a Child on the Autism SpectrumI drank in every page with wonder and delight and recognition. I've read a lot of books about autism, and this is one of the most insightful. It really helped me make sense of why I feel the way I do and how to explain it to others. Dr. Emily Grossman, Award-winning science author, public speaker, and TV personalityThis enlightening book offers a refreshingly clear, concise and inclusive explanation of autism, celebrating the unique joys and strengths of the autistic experience, as well as exploring and explaining challenges many autistic people face. Méabh Collins, Author of Freya Harte is Not a Puzzle

“Wow, this was a remarkable book… I was amazed how often I found myself in her words.” 
Daron Ruckman on Goodreads

“Made it easier for me to explain some of my own experiences, even when they weren’t the same.” 
Kate on Goodreads

“This was a revelation for me. I highlighted something on almost every page.” 
Tina Miles on Goodreads

“Annie’s words are incredibly relatable, and so easy to read; it almost felt as though I was reading her journal or perhaps a letter to a dear friend.” 
Shylittlepixie on Facebook

“A thin book, but not a single page is wasted.” 
Suzanne on Goodreads

“The clearest account I’ve ever read of what it feels like to be autistic… She includes plenty of anecdotes and colorful analogies that bring her story to life.” 
Sue Keisler on Goodreads

“Combines the right balance of general autistic knowledge and personal anecdotes to either initiate a newcomer or draw a knowledgeable person deeper.” 
Literally Autistic on Facebook

“For me, this book is a journey to self-discovery. It’s informative, eye-opening, heartwarming, intimate and exquisitely written.” 
Uniquely Autistic on Facebook

“Celebration is really at the heart of this book. Celebration of Autistic beingness, of Autistic joy, and of coming home to the authentic self.” 
Adam Auron Lodestone on NeuroClastic

“As a late diagnosed Autistic person, this book made me feel seen (and I cried more than once reading it).” 
Neurodivergent Emabler on Facebook

“This is the perfect book to explain ME to my husband & parents.” 
marshview on Reddit

“Off to buy multiple copies to share with everyone who wants a better understanding of autism from the inside. Love love love it.” 
Alycea Snyder on Scribd

“I cannot recommend this book enough… It is easy to read, wonderfully heartfelt, and has given me SO much to think about.” 
The Neurodivergent VA on Instagram

“Includes ideas and examples of solutions to some of the challenges that autistic people face. I found this incredibly helpful.” 
Fi on Goodreads

“An authentic, engaging, and informative look at an autistic woman’s inner world.”
Kirkus Reviews


From the Author

Photo of Annie KotowiczI’ve poured my heart and mind into What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic, drawing on stories I’ve written as Neurobeautiful along with memories I’ve never shared before.

I hope this book will give insight and encouragement to every person who wants to understand autism more. It’s an analysis of my autistic thinking, a guide to autistic thriving, and a celebration of autistic brains.

Author photo by Stephanie Vadala Photography

Book cover for What I Mean When I Say I'm Autistic Unpuzzling a Life on the Autism Spectrum by Annie Kotowicz

This book describes an autistic mind…

And if you’re anything like me, it could help people understand you better!

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Also available as a paperback at:

Barnes & Noble
Booktopia (AU)
Waterstones (UK)

Or ask any local bookstore or library to order it!