November 26, 2018

As the holiday season begins, please remember:

IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO.

If you’re not sure how, here are some ideas…

When you’re running low on spoons at a party: “Just a heads up, I can only stay about half an hour more.”

When someone wants to hang out: “Can you join me at this …

November 23, 2018

The more we learn about autistic neurology, the more we can see how beautiful our brains are. And the more we learn what our brains need to thrive, the more beautiful our lives will become.

Seeing beauty, creating beauty – both of these get easier the more we understand ourselves.

Stories of autistic experiences are …

November 22, 2018

Diversity matters in media, because it’s important for everyone to see that someone like them can be victorious and loved.

With neurodiversity in particular, that doesn’t have to mean labeling characters as autistic. For me, what matters is seeing characters who act and think like me.

Jane Eyre was the first. I read that book …

November 20, 2018

A Thanksgiving Blessing:

May you find safe and happy corners in the midst of any crowd, full of interesting conversation on your favorite topics.

May you find ways that are comfortable for you to be helpful in the kitchen, with straightforward and precise instructions.

May you find, among the feast spread before you, food whose …

November 17, 2018

I can’t think of any situation where it’s helpful to use the word “obvious.”

The problem is that it implies universal understanding. If I happen to not understand a thing that someone else says is “obvious,” it can feel very disheartening.

Instead of “This fact is obvious,” I prefer to hear, “I can tell that …

November 9, 2018

Whenever I drive to a place where I’ll need to act social, I spend a few minutes alone in my parked car before I go in, trying to mentally prepare and gather strength. My dad caught me doing this when I visited recently, and was confused by my delay.

I wasn’t able to explain it …

October 30, 2018

My brain has two settings: Flexible Mode and Safe Mode. I can usually choose which one I want to be in, though it takes some time to switch back and forth. Both have pros and cons.

Flexible Mode means I’m prepared for surprises and interruptions. I know they can come at any moment, so I …

October 28, 2018

This week, two different people sent me long audio clips (over 30 minutes) and asked my opinion on them.

In the past, I would have procrastinated for weeks before finally listening to each thing, and even then I’d have split the task across several days.

But now I understand my brain better, including why I …

October 26, 2018

“It won’t hurt you!”

For someone with sensory sensitivity, who takes things literally, this is confusing and unhelpful to hear.

Before I found out that I take in more sensory data than most people, I wasn’t able to explain that water is physically painful for me. I didn’t “know” that rain hurts my skin, because …

October 21, 2018

“What is one piece of advice that you wish you could give all autistics? How about all non-autistics?”

Someone asked me these two questions today, and my answers were more alike than I expected.

For autistics, I said: Never stop looking for ways to make hard things easier, from social interaction to sensory overload. You …