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 …

December 9, 2018

How to be me at a party:

Step 1: Stand around awkwardly for an hour, wincing at the noise and accidentally being in everyone’s way.

Step 2: Start an interesting conversation (or string of conversations).

Step 3: Oops, where did the past three hours go? 😛

Then head home and take time to recharge!…

December 6, 2018

I believe in the virtue of bravely and intentionally facing sensory discomfort – once in a while. Most of the time I try to minimize it, because for autistics, even little discomforts can add up to a lot of stress over time.

Today, while cringing at the thought of putting my cold groceries away in …

December 6, 2018

My grocery store has new shopping carts! They go smoothly and silently around corners, like a mermaid swishing and swiveling through a maze of coral.

When something gets easier on a sensory level, it gets easier on an intellectual level too. I made all my decisions much faster without the distraction of forceful turns and …