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, PHD, Co-author of Is This Autism? A Guide for Clinicians and Everyone ElseBeautifully 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 on the Autism Spectrum

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, PHD, 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. Doctor 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

“An utter delight, and one of the rare moments I feel seen, heard, understood, encouraged, loved, and appreciated all in one pleasant jumble.”
Alex 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

“Heartwarming, intimate and exquisitely written.” 
Uniquely Autistic on Facebook

“Wish I could just hand this book to everyone I met so they could understand me.”
Coen on Goodreads

“Brilliant… part memoir, part self-help, part readable ontology of autistic experience.”
PhebeAnn on Goodreads

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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!

Ready to read?

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Also available as a paperback at:

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Or ask any local bookstore or library to order it!