January 15, 2022

In my teens and twenties, I made various friends and acquaintances whom I now realize were undeniably autistic. A few knew it, but most didn’t.

My attitude toward them, usually unspoken, was always the same: “This person is so incredibly cool. Everyone seems to ignore that because of their weird clothing and movements, but everyone …

January 15, 2022

For you, does it make a joke better or worse if someone explains it?

Personally, I love it. If I didn’t get the joke in the first place, then it makes me feel included. But even if I got the joke, analyzing its mechanism gives me new insight into how humor works, and thus how …

January 13, 2022

Your pain is valid. What they said shouldn’t hurt, did.

Your intentions are valid. What they said was malicious, wasn’t.

Your passions are valid. What they said isn’t worthwhile, is.

Your boundaries are valid. What they said is selfish, isn’t.

Your life is valid. What they said is tragic, does not have to be.

More …

January 11, 2022

“Why did I have a meltdown?”

A guide for soul-searching autistics!

Have you ever found yourself crying, yelling, breaking things, or hurting yourself for reasons that seemed miniscule or mysterious?

Mid-meltdown is no time for sleuthing, but a later review can help identify causes and avoid them in the future.

I prefer to call these …

January 9, 2022

Do you get hangry? That is, do you feel hunger less in your stomach, and more in the mind-absorbing, headache-inducing frustration of trying to think straight and not drop anything?

That probably means the sugar in your bloodstream is low. It can happen to anyone who goes a long time without eating, but some of …

January 4, 2022

Diet culture may be harmful to individual dieters, if it leads to comparison and self-loathing. But society also suffers, because a hungry body can’t be as creative.

Likewise, I think it’s wrong to limit yourself to popular and “developmentally appropriate” hobbies, when your real passions might become a great souce of inner strength and a …

January 2, 2022

My last post talked about the vital role of movement to prevent and heal from trauma. Now let’s address the elephant in the room.

Stimming is movement. Movement reduces trauma. Stimming can help reduce the impact of trauma.

Rocking, humming, flapping, and bouncing are excellent ways to release the stress of an intense moment. I …

January 1, 2022

It’s probably wrong, in a technical sense, to think of trauma as energy stored in the body. The human body is made of cells, after all, not electricity.

But, as the saying goes, “All models are wrong – but some are useful.”

By thinking of trauma as stored energy, I can make sense of several …

December 29, 2021

Everyone who knows me can tell you that there’s no way I would give up my autism, if that were ever an option.

But my boyfriend was recently surprised to learn that I also wouldn’t change my sensory sensitivity, one of the many challenges I face as an autistic.

I know autistic people who would, …

December 28, 2021

Nothing about the neurodiversity movement will make sense until you can recognize and rescue yourself from the Neurotypical Fallacy.

It’s actually called the Typical Mind Fallacy, but I prefer the other name because it seems more common among neurotypicals.

Not that neurodivergent folks are immune – cognitive biases are human, and we are not divine. …