I Need My Space

Brittle, ready to shatter. When I’ve reached those moments, I have a code phrase to let my closest companions know that I’m struggling: “I’m in a bad mood.” My loved ones recognize that this actually means, “I have no idea what’s wrong. I’m overstimulated; I’m confused. I need a little space and time.” These code […]

Turmoil Within

Layered. The times when I seem the least emotional on the outside (quiet, no eye contact, compliant) are usually a sign of deep turmoil within. I cannot determine how to express distress, so I appear aloof instead. When I reach this place, I know that I need some quality alone time. I simply won’t be […]

Unlimited Possibilities

Being on the spectrum does not mean the possibilities for your life have decreased. We have choices, we have opportunities, we have talents, and we have drive. Choose an adventure, and then pick another path if it doesn’t work. Autism causes us to navigate life differently, but that doesn’t change the essential truth: It is […]

Work Space Lighting

If you’re shy to ask for workplace accommodations, an easier place to start is support with fluorescent lighting. Ask to turn off lights during staff meetings and rely on windows and lamps instead. Ask for lamps for your office or for an office with windows. Your work space environment shouldn’t cause you to suffer. 

Descriptive Words Matter

“What do I say? Autistic person or person with autism?” There is no blanket answer for this! If you’re on the spectrum, say whichever makes you feel the most comfortable. I constantly switch between the two. If you are not on the spectrum, my personal opinion is that “person with autism” would be the best. […]

Responding to Disclosure

How do I respond to someone if they tell me they are on the spectrum? This is a great question, and it’s one that only a person on the spectrum can really answer. Of course, the desired response varies person to person. Let’s start with things to avoid saying during an autistic person’s disclosure: “You […]

Disrespect is Not OK

Autistic people truly want to maintain happy, joyful, and calm settings. When high emotions occur (often emitting from us and not others!), we feel emotional backlash. For this reason, when we make accidental social mistakes and hurt another person, we are truly anguished, sometimes for days, weeks, and months just from the single incident. Even […]