The Neurotypical Autism Diagnosis

Six different colorblind tests with numbers in each circle.

Imagine that someone is colorblind, yet they have the job of identifying and detecting colors, and everyone around them thinks they are doing a great job getting all of the colors right. There's no oversight or check by someone who sees in color. No one even thinks twice about it really. Imagine those people being …

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.

“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. 

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 …

“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.

Update: Doctors Visits and (lack of) Judgment

I started tearing up, looking at the ground, and didn't speak. They got out of their office chair and walked up to me slightly and quietly said "This is a safe space here. You're okay." 

I really, really appreciated this one gesture. It made me tear up more in relief, because literally no one has ever said that to me. They didn't ask me why I was crying, or why, or how I was feeling. They just said "You are safe here." I was suddenly less worried about expectations to speak verbally or act a certain way.

Doctor Visits and Judgment

This is a draft I wrote to potentially have a doctor understand me. I have no idea if it'll work and it could very well backfire on me. I already had a meltdown after calling the receptionist to schedule the appointment (as a new patient to a doctor) because they wouldn't answer a simple question …

“Pay Attention!”

Pat your head and rub your belly while talking to me and tell me if it's hard to talk. Play the drums, snare drum, bass drum, and high hat at the same time while talking to me, and tell me if it's hard to talk. Read a textbook that is very jargon-y while talking to …

Alexithymia and Interoception

When I realized that wearing headphones had helped me with anxiety in multiple ways/multiple places, I tried to check in with my sensory environment at least every few hours every day. Setting a reminder might help.

Here are some pragmatic things I check to determine my emotional state: