April 5, 2023

I once read an article about an autistic girl who wouldn’t eat her hamburger because it was sliced into two halves, and was therefore “broken.”

The article praised the restaurant for bringing her a new burger, understanding that autism makes it harder to handle change and surprises (e.g. an unusually prepared burger).

But that poor …

March 14, 2023

I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but…

You’re not “making things complicated.”

Things were already complicated. You just saw the parts that everyone ignored, the steps that were unclear, the variety of possible options, the many interpretations…

March 2, 2023

I once posted about my zero-shame policy as a former teacher. Since making that post, I’ve realized another reason why it matters.

I have a lot of trouble – both cognitive strain and emotional stress – in conversations where my questions aren’t answered immediately, only at the end of a long backstory.

It’s not impatience. …

February 17, 2023

The more you learn about autistic brains, the easier it is to understand autistic behaviors. So, here’s a brief intro to autistic neurology!


In autistic brains, some neural pathways are weaker. This can make it harder to notice implications, expectations, facial expressions, and body language.


In autistic …

January 24, 2023

I’ve donated What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic to Bookshare, so thousands of students with disabilities can read it for free!

Bookshare.org is an online library of ebooks, with tools that make them easier to read. It’s designed for disabilities related to reading, but schools that support a variety of disabilities (including autism) …

January 5, 2023

Looking back over 2022, my two favorite memories were days when I visited bookstores. Both times, I was in a blue pinafore that makes me feel like Belle – and also happens to be made from stimmy embroidered corduroy – plus my comfy ear defenders.

The first time, I was researching book covers. My brain …

January 1, 2023

“As someone who knows you, ‘optimizing’ is actually more an underlying philosophy of yours than you may realize, so that in and of itself is worthy of some explanation.”

That was a note from my editor. However, I chose to focus my “Optimizing” chapter on practical applications of that philosophy – things it causes me …

December 11, 2022

Here’s a guided tour through every chapter of my new book, What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic.

In my Introduction, I explain who the book is for, why I believe it matters, and what I mean by “unpuzzling.”

In my Prologue, I imagine going back in time for a conversation with Little …

December 11, 2022

For every autistic stereotype, there are also more nuanced versions. The same underlying cause can create an effect that’s more subtle, hidden entirely, or even the opposite of what you’d expect.

Trouble with eye contact is one example. Some autistics find it physically painful, but the mutitasking is what gets to me.

I find it …

December 9, 2022

I’m autistic – which means I miss what others catch, and I catch what others miss.

I often miss body language, sarcasm, social hierarchies, implied expectations, and the “big picture.”

I often catch visual details, conceptual patterns, logical inconsistencies, and subtle sounds.

Then, facing the consequences of all that I missed and the overwhelm of …