August 28, 2019

The saying goes that you should always be kind, because you never know what someone is going through.

Well, you never know perfectly. But there can be clues.

If someone is speaking or moving in a way that seems odd or unpredictable to you, there’s a good chance they may be on the autism spectrum.…

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 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 …

April 23, 2019

“You are so cute!”

My boyfriend said this as I was telling him about something exciting, and expressing my excitement in a particularly autistic way – tilting my head, bending my wrists, hiding behind my hands – letting myself move in ways I often resist around others.

It amazed me, as it always does, that …

April 11, 2019

Today, at a high school, I gave a speech on neurodiversity. Here’s what I said…

Good morning! Happy Thursday. I secretly hope – okay, maybe not so secretly – that this will be a Thursday that changes your life. Why? Because I’m here to talk to you about something that changed my own life – …

March 21, 2019

“Let me finish!”

I hear this a lot from autistics, whenever an interruption threatens to derail our train of thought.

I hear it a lot from non-autistics too, but the tone is very different.

Autistics say it out of desperation, begging for permission to rescue the ideas quickly slipping from our minds.

Non-autistics, on the …

February 1, 2019

My last post included the phrase “the depths of despair,” which is a quote from the character Anne of Green Gables. I’m not sure if she’s autistic, but the scene is still worth quoting in full, as an example of a dialogue that aims to bridge the gap between two different neurotypes.

The effort is …

February 1, 2019

Autistics never “overreact.” If you see us react strongly to something, it usually means that we do feel that strongly about it.

A child who sounds like they’re plummeting to the depths of despair? They may literally feel that way.

A teenager who won’t budge when ordered to do something? They may literally be paralyzed …

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 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 …