January 18, 2019

Would it be useful to announce my autism on a medical bracelet? What would that say about me?

Well, I know what I wish it would say.

I wish it would say to police officers, “I strictly follow every rule to the best of my ability. If it seems like I’m not following directions, it’s …

January 17, 2019

Aurelia the Really was no ordinary princess.

Every feeling was a feeling Aurelia really, really felt.

Every flower was a flower Aurelia really, really fancied.

Every frock was a frock Aurelia really, really frolicked in – quite to the dismay of the lords and the ladies.

The rest of the kingdom, try as they might, …

January 17, 2019

Earlier this week, I wrote about some things I wish I’d realized as a teenager. But what about as a little kid?

If I could go back in time, this is what I’d tell my childhood self:

1. Your brain is different.
2. It will make some things easier.
3. It will make some things …

January 17, 2019

I empathize very strongly whenever I hear the sound of a crying child, especially a wailing baby. It seems to me like a very reasonable reaction to the frequent frustrations of daily life, and it feels like they’re speaking on my behalf with sounds that aren’t socially acceptable for me to make.

I believe that …

January 16, 2019

Many autistics object to the symbol of a puzzle piece, because none of us want to be puzzling. If others want to understand us, we want to help.

I’ve found that there are two key principles which enable anyone to understand me better.

The first is this: There is no subtext.

I say what I …

January 15, 2019

My idea of a perfect moment is one that stimulates all of my senses at once – but gently, without surprises. A perfect balance is nearly impossible to plan, but occasionally it just happens.

My favorite example is sitting by a crackling fire, squished between friends on a couch, sipping hot tea, with someone softly …

January 14, 2019

Not all autistics are oblivious to body language. I’m not.

I can tell exactly when a raised eyebrow means I’ve done something odd, a startled glance means I’ve spoken in an irregular rhythm, or a confused look means I’ve spouted too many ideas with too little context.

But I rarely know what to do about …

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 …