The next time you are tempted to tell an Autistic person their interest is silly, trivial, a waste of time, weird, or pointless, stop—and remember why we love what we love. We are somebody, too, and we must be respected, protected, and never rejected.
I consider my executive functioning difficulties one of the most disabling aspects of my being autistic. I’ve struggled with executive functioning since childhood, but I didn’t have the words to describe my experiences with it until I was an adult in my mid-twenties.
Eye contact, who’s it for? It’s not for the autistic child. It’s for the recipient. It’s for their own validation to reassure them that you know they exist. That you are aware they are speaking that you comply. That you acknowledge them.
I am all about helping parents learn from my mistakes, so they don’t repeat my mistakes. Here are five bonks I made during the early years of parenting my autistic son, and how you can avoid repeating my fails.
This is a mini-guide for parents to think about autistic matters and perspectives they may not know about, and which may help them and their kids live the Best Lives Possible.
Finding gifts autistic kids and adults appreciate isn’t that hard—if you actually find out what individual people like, and you remember that everyone has their own interests and preferences (and that they’re sometimes the exact opposite of other autistic people’s interests and preferences).
For people with sensory access needs (like reactions to scented products), accommodations are not acts of good faith or favors, they are our rights!
“It’s hard a lot of the time to know what I’m supposed to be paying attention to, what’s relevant to that particular conversation. I have to sift through all of the data and consciously keep track of what matters, and what doesn’t.”
I bring a bag of things to do—a book, a journal and pen, a music player and headphones—for when I need to chill out. If I get too overwhelmed, I take a walk in the cold air. When I take enough breaks to disengage, I can enjoy spending time together with large groups of relatives!
On Chanukah accommodations: “All those candles A had carefully placed and lit, he blew them out. Technically that’s a no-no in Jewish rituals. But we march to the beat of our own little yiddishe drummer boy around here, and eternal or not a flame is still a flame.”