July 27, 2019

“Just pick up the phone, it’s so much more efficient!”

It’s true that phone calls are more efficient if you’re measuring from start time to finish time, since most people don’t reply immediately to email. But if you’re measuring by overall time spent, then phone calls take longer for me because of all the steps …

July 25, 2019

One of my deepest desires is to help autistic and non-autistic people understand one another better.

Most of the time, I try to do this directly, by sharing my own perspective and experiences. But today I hope to help facilitate it indirectly, by sharing some tips to have better, kinder, more enlightening conversations with someone …

July 22, 2019

I often come across stories of a stranger who went out of their way to help an autistic child make it through a meltdown. The parent posts the heroic and heartwarming tale on social media, and it goes viral.

But these stories frustrate me, because they usually miss why the child was having a meltdown …

July 21, 2019

I think that all summer camps should have a designated “un-camp” zone, where any camper may go at any time.

So, what would that look like?

Camp is a boisterous crowd, where kids are bombarded by noise and water activities. Un-camp would be away from the action, maybe a sunny clearing in the woods.

Camp …

July 12, 2019

I wasn’t always a fan of neurodiversity. As a teenager, I often believed that my unusual way of thinking was the best way, and that other people were just wrong.

In college, I grew. One turning point was discovering a book by Shauna Niequist, who wrote:

“I have been surprised to find that I am …

July 7, 2019

Everyone’s talking about the casting of the new Little Mermaid, but what I’m most excited to see is the modern portrayal of a nonspeaking Disney princess.

In the original movie, the prince seems to take interest in silent Ariel based on her looks alone. But inability to speak does not mean inability to think.

Thirty …

June 23, 2019

I once read a blog post by a mom who was mourning her son’s autism. One of her main complaints was that all he wanted to do all day was stare out the window at trees.

Upon reading that, my reaction was to applaud the kid’s aesthetic taste, approve of how he spends his time, …

June 22, 2019

“I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t realize there was an autistic pride day,” said my boyfriend – who is not autistic, but who likes the fact that I am. “I would have liked to celebrate with you.”

I thought back to the holiday, which was a few days ago. I had considered posting some …

June 20, 2019

The gym class instructor pauses after explaining a move. “Is anyone confused?” he asks.

Silence all around. He turns to me. “Are you sure? You’re staring at me with such intensity!”

I’m instantly reminded of Jane Eyre, my favorite Victorian heroine, “who always looked as if she were watching everybody, and scheming plots underhand.”

Without …

June 18, 2019

“Your blood pressure is higher than last time,” said the doctor.

“That’s because you were asking me questions as you tested it,” I answered, “and multitasking is stressful. Can you try again?”

She retested it, this time in silence except for instructions about the testing. My blood pressure was fine.

That appointment broke a myth …