How Autistic People Hear the World: auditory chaos and the search for silence

acoustic drum set being played

I just watched the movie Sound of Metal and it is by far the most relatable experience of my hyperacusis and auditory sensitivity that I have ever seen and heard on film.

Neurotypicals: Listen to Our Words, Not Our Tone

White person with brown curly hair covering up his mouth with his red shirt collar.

There are a few assumptions neurotypical people have when it comes to tone of voice when anyone talks. I'll clarify them here.

Talking Yourself Up in a Neurotypical World

Notebook with black heart on the front of it

The difficulty of this task has real consequences for autistic people and contributes to our high unemployment rate, including autistic people with high educational backgrounds. We often undersell ourselves, but only because many neurotypical people have no problem embellishing their traits.

Autistic Anxiety

Picture of palm of someone's hand with a blue background and light spots. Hand has a button in it that's painted purple and says you are loved in white letters.

Honestly, this misinterpretation of my signals is one of the things I have struggled with the most for my entire life. It’s caused me a lot of fear and pain. And so many non-autistic people don’t see it. They don’t see the problem and they don’t see how they misinterpret me. To them, I don’t have a disability, I am just judgment #1, judgment #2, and judgment #3.

The Intersection of Queerness and Disability

aerial photography of cars on the road. A truck in the middle of a big yellow X above a busy intersection.

No matter what, people will make assumptions. Both ableism and cisnormativity are baked into our brains and our society. The things people have to do to accommodate us and acknowledge us involves unlearning their preconceptions.

The Spoiled Brat Stereotype and Autistic Children

Person with green jacket and jeans sitting on a dock with long hair, face looking away from camera.

My autistic traits were obvious! But the Spoiled Brat archetype worked against the assumption that I needed support, and instead adults believed I needed chastising or ignoring.

Dear Autistic Kid, on being at home

inside house looking out a window with a sunset painted on the wall

It's okay to be not okay, and to take some time to adjust to everything. For many of us autistic people it may take a lot longer to adjust, and that's okay!

Dear Autistic Kid, on meltdowns and shame

Person standing far away with a circle of life above their head and orange sparks flying like a fountain off of the circle.

Remember that it’s okay to be autistic. It’s okay to wear headphones or sunglasses, or use weighted blankets or fidget toys (lots of us autistic adults do!). It’s okay to want things a certain way. It’s okay to not look into people’s eyes. It’s okay to be you. Don’t let people, or society in general, take that away from you.

Dear Autistic Kid, on school and isolation

Someone holding a red backpack out of frame wearing white shoes next to a crosswalk.

I want to let you know that autistic adults are here. Autistic adults exist. Most of us have had tough experiences in elementary school and junior high school. Personally, I felt rather isolated growing up in school.