Facial Expressions and Intent

happy black son and father sitting in park smiling at each other

Essentially, by not providing that social response, people can read whatever they want into my still/unsmiling face. This explains to me why I often become the backboard of people's emotions and assumptions.

Anxiety Looks Like Anger

[Disclaimer: This post is targeted towards parents, as I have been seeing a lot of parents recently ask about what to do about their child's behaviors (trying to figure out what is best for them, and asking autistic people). Similar versions of this can happen as autistic adults, especially when people misinterpret us as complaining …

Disclosure, Jobs, Networking

[My current personal experience on disclosing: I have luckily never had to officially disclose to anyone in my lab, as everyone is honestly very supportive and understanding of my hyperacusis in general. If I need to, I just say "sorry I'm literal, do you mind rephrasing that?" or tell them I just have a hard …

AutCollab Mosaic

I don't have a blog post this week, but I did send in a piece to an AutCollab project. The project is to have lots of autistic people write about "what constitutes the essence of autism." It seemed like a very vague question, but I felt like answering it for some reason, so I had …

“Sensitivities”

What do I need to do to make non-autistic people understand that we have different sensory experiences than them, and have had different sensory experiences since birth? They can be overwhelming, unpleasant, and painful. They can be beneficial in some circumstances, and honestly, debilitating in many neurotypical environments. They can be both. But one thing is certain: They exist, and are real. 

Leadership Skills

Once, I took a class about leadership, but really it was a presentation class. Every class period, we learned to be more aware of what we were doing, how we were sitting, how it felt. I was waiting for them to say what I was doing wrong, how I wasn't speaking well, or not making …

Autistic Burnout, “Regression,” and Identity Crisis – #TaketheMaskOff Week 4

Part 1: Autistic Burnout - Playing on the Social Field Autistic burnout = I literally can't pretend and devote 90% of my energy to being on your social playing field anymore. Metaphorically, I have to go lie down in the grass because I've played too many games on the social field. No one will have …

Online Communities, Happy Autistic Stories

White person playing Minecraft on the computer with red backlit keyboard.

"I think we understand that everyone else is trying just as much as we are to form friendships and connections, and that autistic people's neurotypical-based social skills don't correlate to effort. We know we are always trying even if it doesn't look like it to other people."

“Just Be Yourself” – #TaketheMaskOff

And hopefully, we can slowly remind people that we're still human beings, even if we don't look you in the eye, even if we might only whisper or shout, and even when other people act like we are less human than they are.

Accepting my Autistic Self – #TakeTheMaskOff

If I acknowledge that masking wasn't always necessary, it means that I equally have to acknowledge the mental turmoil I lived through as an autistic masker. And daring to even go down that rabbit hole within myself means acknowledging how truly emotionally broken I was. How emotionally cut off from life that I was.