I’m not a fan of “levels of autism.” If an autistic individual makes a personal choice to refer to themselves as one of these levels, I can respect their decision. When it’s imposed meaninglessly by others, it’s too often disastrous.
Joseph Krauter is an autistic writer and tech worker who was diagnosed as an adult, while serving time at San Quentin Prison in California. We talked with Joseph about how his life could have been different with earlier diagnosis and supports, the difficulty of receiving an autism diagnosis while incarcerated, and how his life has changed since both his autism diagnosis and his re-integration into society.
The thing about PDA or “Pathological Demand Avoidance” is that there are a lot of reasons why someone would resist doing something, and it’s often more complex than it appears on the surface.
This post is about the hundreds and thousands of autistic people who are misdiagnosed everyday by psychiatrists, psychologists, and other professionals.
Parents should tell their children they are autistic in ways that help them understand and feel good about who they are.
After your loved one receives a diagnosis of Autism, people may bombard you with (possibly unsolicited) advice for next steps. One such step you may actually want to consider is to seek the services of a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP).
Emanuel Frowner www.instagram.com/emanuelfrowner Emanuel Frowner (photo courtesy the author) [image: A smiling mixed race man with short black hair in a natural style, and a mustache. he is wearing a collared orange-and-blue Knicks pullover.] I grew up mostly in the Bronx with my dad and my grandmother, and I still live there. The neighborhood was dangerous during my childhood because of fighting and drugs—a few people were killed. Therefore, I could not go out alone (until I was 17) and my folks were very protective of me. I would see my mom on the weekends. Sometimes, I would hang out with my siblings (with my folks). They had a different mom than I did, but we had the same dad and grandmother. Even though my grandmother looked very white, she called herself black, but my dad did not agree with her on that. My mom called herself black as well.…
Photo courtesy the author [image: Blurry photo of a pink ride-on bouncy balloon with an animal face and two “horns” for handles. Overlaid white text reads, “I’m not just socially awkward.” Smaller white text in the lower right corner reads, “@oufoxgloved” and “Autnot.Wordpress.com”] Rhi Lloyd-Williams autistrhi.com When I tell people I’m autistic, it usually goes one of two ways; either they can’t make me fit into their idea of what autism is and completely reject it, or they mark me down as “socially awkward” and leave it there. Autism explains my lack of constant contact, it explains my monologuing about things that interest me, it explains why on social occasions I move around a room like a loose cog in a machine—catching on things, getting stuck in places, jarring against this and that before being knocked into a corner and staying there. Those are the things about me that you…
It’s not okay to dismiss one autistic person’s lived experience as having nothing to do with “real” autism simply because you don’t understand what autism is like for them.
My adult autism diagnosis was, it still is, mind boggling to me. Perhaps to those of you who know me. Perhaps not. To have a paradigm shift in self reflection, and in reflection about my personal relationships. My memories now telling me different stories.