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On “Energy Budgeting” and Acknowledging Internal Autistic Realities

Photo courtesy the author. [image: Photo of Anne Corwin, as a child of about 7 years old with pale skin  and dark hair with bangs. She is sitting on a tree branch while leaning against the trunk and looking into the distance.] By Anne Corwin Too many of us (autistic people) grow up knowing only how to run on momentum, and operate in a depleted state much of the time without even realizing it… until we “crash,” leaving us and everyone around us asking, “what happened?!” Regardless of whether we are put through formal ABA programs as kids—or even whether or not we’re accurately diagnosed as children—autistic folks often end up learning the polar opposite of “energy budgeting.” This is partly due to a defect in how our society at large operates, of course—but that’s a whole other gigantic discussion beyond the scope of this article. There are still things…