January 14, 2019

There were a lot of things I didn’t realize as a teenager.

It wasn’t anyone’s fault. There simply wasn’t enough awareness about autism – true awareness from actual autistics. There’s more now, but still not enough, and I’m trying to help change that.

As a teenager, I didn’t realize how large the gap was between …

January 10, 2019

A few times, I’ve lost my ability to speak. It only happens during the most intense emotions (good or bad), and never lasts long.

But this “selective mutism” has shown me, very briefly, what it feels like to be nonverbal. It’s enough to make me wonder what life would be like if I ever lost …

January 9, 2019

Two years ago, I was diagnosed as autistic. It seemed to explain all the mysteries of my life, and it helped me find better words to describe my experiences. Since then, many parents have told me that my writing helps them understand their kids better.

On the one hand, this encourages me a lot. Understanding …

January 6, 2019

Many autistics find eye contact painful. I usually don’t. It’s the multitasking that gets to me.

I can only do two of these things at once: Look, listen, plan.

If I look and listen but don’t plan, then I’ll hear what you’re saying, but won’t have a response ready when you stop talking.

If I …

January 6, 2019

I’m smart. I can learn anything.

But if the information is new to me, I can’t absorb it quickly. I need time to mull – to turn it round and round in my mind, letting it sink in deeply.

As new knowledge permeates my thoughts over days and weeks, I can begin to make connections …

January 3, 2019

I work in an office, and I find that I get along better with coworkers if they understand a bit about how my brain works. These are the top things I’ve found it helpful to explain.

    I have a disability, which is also in some ways a superpower. It affects how I process information, which

January 2, 2019

I’ve written about how it can be challenging, and sometimes damaging, to camouflage autistic traits. But I want to clarify something.

Autistic camouflaging isn’t evil. It’s a language – a way to communicate.

Yes, it can feel stressful and unnatural to speak a new language. It requires extra concentration, and it’s easy to make mistakes. …

December 31, 2018

Do you try to look less autistic?

In my last post, I said that a questionnaire was recently created to identify autistic “camouflaging.”

Here are the questions it includes, if you’d like to try answering them! They were originally statements, but I’ve reworded them as questions.

If your answer is “sometimes,” then give yourself half …

December 30, 2018

When autistic people hide our true selves, what happens?

Recently, a scientific study tried to answer that question. The results were published in a paper, which you can read here: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3792-6

The paper is awesome, but it’s long and technical, so here’s a summary.

When we try to act less autistic in front of others, …

December 16, 2018

When I read advice for autistics, I notice that it’s often worded differently than the same advice for other people.

The rest of the world shares “life hacks” for “productivity.” Autistics share “coping strategies” for “executive functioning.”

Some examples:

“Tackle a big task by breaking it down into small parts” vs. “Make a checklist of …