August 14, 2021

I’m fed up with seeing some autistic people described as “too disabled to self-advocate” or “unable to consent.” It’s cruel, dehumanizing, and false.

First, let me clarify that self-advocacy and consent are two sides of the same coin. Self-advocacy is communicating your boundaries, needs, or preferences. Consent is the same thing, but in direct response …

August 4, 2021

Early in my exploration of autism in women and girls, I learned that it often gets misdiagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.

I never looked into what that meant, because I hadn’t personally been misdiagnosed – before autism, I hadn’t been diagnosed at all.

But recently, I’ve been …

July 28, 2021

For aesthetic reasons alone, I find the word “aspie” delightful. It reminds me of a cute little spy who aspires, and also makes pie.

So, why don’t I use it – or its parent term, Asperger Syndrome?

It isn’t because people unfamiliar with Asperger’s might think I’m discussing an unsavory sort of burger.

It isn’t …

July 28, 2021

When I first began learning about autism, I related to some traits but not others. I thought, at first, that I might be “half-autistic.”

Here’s why I thought the other half of me was not autistic – and what changed my mind.

“I can make eye contact.”

Yes, but not without sacrificing concentration. I’ve written …

July 26, 2021

Like many autistics, I care a lot about justice. This could be due to taking rules seriously, unable to distinguish which ones are worth enforcing and which aren’t. Or it could be aesthetic – when a favor is unthanked or a mistake unapologized for, my world feels off-balance and out of harmony.

In either case, …

July 23, 2021

If your son is autistic, have you considered that your daughter might be too?

Autism often looks different in girls, and can be extra hard to notice if you’ve mostly learned about it through a boy. So, how can you spot an autistic girl?

Notice if she’s unusually passionate about certain activities or topics – …

July 23, 2021

Why do some #ActuallyAutistic advocates make a “big deal” about “little things” like colors, symbols, and terms?

Because those things are like a canary in a coal mine.

A person or organization who isn’t willing to budge on words or images is more likely to resist autistic input on bigger issues, too. If they aren’t …

July 22, 2021

When someone teaches me a new process, I usually ask them to go slow. Historically, this has helped me to stay calm amid an onslaught of new information.

Today, however, I learned that speed is not the issue. What my brain actually needs is a pause at every transition, and the right to decide when …

July 17, 2021

I wish I could be in water, without water being on me.

It feels so good, deep in my bones, to move myself through the otherworldly substance, buoyed up by the rhythm of waves or propelled forward in exhilaration as they crash.

Yet it feels so terrible when wet skin meets the air, and trickling …

July 17, 2021

Technically, I don’t have synesthesia. But my brain does something similar, with extra steps.

Each letter in the alphabet makes me feel a certain way. It’s sort of like an aura, but felt instead of seen. Colors also have auras – an emotional experience on top of a sensory experience. And a letter can feel …