Autism seems to be a specific response to being an outlier.
Autism is poorly understood, even today. Some autistic people are highly sensitive to certain senses — some barely register sensory input. Some autistic people struggle to use language to express themselves, others have mastered communication as a special interest and powerful tool. Some autistic people can hold down jobs and participate in society, others are unable to reconcile their needs with the social environment.
Every autistic trait you can identify will come with a whole slew of autistic people telling you “Actually, I have the opposite of that trait.” And that’s normal.
That’s because, I suspect, Autism is a complex neurological reaction to having various neurological traits in either significantly higher or lower proportion than neurotypical people. There is no one “Autistic’ neurotype — Autism seems to be what happens when your neurotype is sufficiently different that it gives rise to difficulty communicating due to a missing shared context. That’s why it’s perhaps better understood as an umbrella term, and why people squabble so much over who is or is not “really” autistic.
I’m a speaking software engineer who makes a good salary, is married and has bent the English language more or less to his will. Of COURSE I’m nothing like your 6 year old autistic nephew. But when I was 6 we probably had a lot in common.
Tera runs a website that hosts content for and by autistic people. This is a great place for authentic #ownvoices autistic content, and Tera makes sure to foster a diverse set of voices from within the autistic community.
I created this site as a place to house some of my writing about neurodiversity, and it grew into one of the more wholesome online communities I belong to. Currently at about 14k active users this is a great place to ask questions and clarify your thinking.
This was my attempt to “translate” the DSM-IV’s definition of autism into relatable human terms. If you read the diagnosis criteria and thought “That doesn’t sound like me” then you’re not alone, anybody would have a hard time relating to something written as a purely behavioralist description of a purely subjective experience.
New York City locally-focused resource lists (including peer-led groups, professional-led groups, and professional services) and essays about the autistic adult community (worldwide, Anglosphere at least) and its needed future development.
"Neurotypicality Research Institute" (formerly "Save The Neurotypicals!") is a satirical account, whose Autistic author uses to flip ableist language about us and turn it on the Neurotypicals. It's witty to hilarious.
Another intersectional perspective, from Kayla Smith. She is where I first learned about how much Autism & ADHD increases our chances of experiencing violence from police. Our facial expressions are apparently what they're taught as suspicious?
You may have seen Marina Amaral's books. She kinda famous for 2 books she co-wrote with historian Dan Jones, where Amina painstakingly colorized black and white photos, and Dan wrote the back story of the photos. Lots of photos, but also some Autistic & ND activism.
I think I’m pretty great and have interesting thoughts and infodumps. More seriously, I am a late diagnosed AuDHDer who is trained as an ADHD coach. I Tweet a lot about my experiences and realizations. It’s not an option in the neurotypes, but I’m also dyspraxic. Sometimes I talk about being a dyspraxic aerialist and how I do movement things I like while being clinically uncoordinated.
He runs The Life Autistic YouTube channel, where he makes engaging videos about his life as an autistic person, professional and father. His videos have humor and heart, and make people feel less alone.
Rin is an open source software contributor and Technical Community Builder who is multiply neurodivergent. Is an advocate for increasing equity, and accessibility for neurodivergent individuals in tech.
I’m the mostly speaking autistic mother of a partially speaking autistic teen. I’m also one of the editors of thinkingautismguide (Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism), and a non-attorney advocate for disabled children’s education.
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