Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #actuallyautistic

Most recents (24)

Thread: The job difficulty bellcurve for autistics & other neurodivergents

After my recent thread on time management as people management, I got comments saying things like, "This is why I'm afraid to go back to work or try to get a more advanced job!" /1 #NeurodiverseSquad
That stuck with me, because I worried I was actually demotivating people to pursue work. Employment is already hard for autistics and other neurodivergents. 80% of us are unemployed. I'm willing to bet many more are underemployed. I never intended to make it seem even harder. /2
So I want to be clear: the issues I talked about, the social communication and expectactions management, are advanced-level working issues. I get to deal with them while enjoying every other possible office job perk: fulltime, regular hours, vacation pay, benefits. /3
Read 31 tweets
Thread: autistic time management, or, Say the Quiet Part Out Loud, Please.

I was a fulltime grad student for years and worked retail jobs, then office work. I've been learning a lot recently about neurotypical time management. /1

#NeurodiverseSquad #ActuallyAutistic #autism
For most of my life, I didn't need really good time management skills. Not for school or work. I left things to the last minute, counting on the fact that I work fast and can blaze through tasks in short order. Not everyone has that privilege, and I relied on it too much. /2
For my retail and entry-level admin roles, there was never too much work to do. It was all "on demand" or service work; people ask you to do things, you do them as fast and well as you can. You don't plan. You don't say no. You just do your best under the circumstances. /3
Read 20 tweets
New FB Writing Post:…

"From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—"
~Alone by Edgar Allen Poe

Sometimes in life, we are blind to the demons who have been with us all our
lives, the ones that are hidden in angels wings, in the soothing voice; the ones that meant to love us, to care.

They blind us, then we blind ourselves, we don't want to see because we can't, then we refuse.

Then what to do, when no longer blinded, when life lifts the veil,
and we see the demons for whom the are; the humans they are; not monster, not evil, human. Human, flawed, manipulative, filled with hatred, wether self or others; unable to change their way from time or willful refusal.

What to do when the demons are the humans who were meant
Read 7 tweets
When I got my autism dx, I spent a lot of time trying to understand what it meant for me, my work, my body, and my relationship. My partner has ADHD.

Thread: some of the things I've learned about myself and my partner. #NeurodiverseSquad #teamADHD #ActuallyAutistic #autism /1
My partner and I always knew he had ADHD and I was "weird". We had ups and downs but generally accepted each other. There were things that didn't really hit me until my own dx, though. /2
Like, coming home from work and talking to Jason about my day and having him interrupt me halfway through to tell me a joke that popped into his head, and then go off on a tangent of his own instead of returning to me. It always hurt my feelings and often led to an argument. /3
Read 16 tweets
Thread: Coming out all over again #ActuallyAutistic 0/50
I came of age back when "coming out of the closet" meant only one thing: telling people you were queer. Now the term has been generalized to mean revealing even the most mundane of mildly unpopular things, like announcing you like pineapple on pizza. /1
Coming out and letting people know I was gay was a big risk back then (and still is for many people today), and was an incremental process of self-discovery and pushing limits. Coming out was often scary and sometimes went badly. /2
Read 51 tweets
So #Stimtober has caught on enough that it needs to happen EVERY year.

It’s amazing that for a whole month, we can be aware of our innate ways of self regulating, stimulating and expressing ourselves, whether you’re #ActuallyAutistic or not.
#Stimtober started because I wanted to draw my #Inktober drawings with a theme of stimming, but then @lilririah announced “And thus, Stimtober was born.”

Thanks to her, it felt like the start of something big.
The singular moment I realized that I was autistic, was after watching videos of stimming on YouTube. I realized that I was tearing up, recognizing a part of me that I had long covered up with a mask of normalcy.
Read 15 tweets
I was inspired by @commaficionado's post to think about my own autistic masking. I think the best way to explain it is through one of my work skills: copyediting.

Thread! #ActuallyAutistic #NeurodiverseSquad #autism /1
I have an English literature MA and am a lifelong bookworm. I've been editing for friends since I was in high school. I was a TA for 5 years, marking papers and teaching persuasive writing. I'm a freelance writer and editor.

The point is, copyediting is my jam. /2
Here's what copyediting looks like before masking comes into play:
1. See error
2. Fix error/revise sentence
3. It takes as long as it takes
4. No additional comments

Here's what it looks like after a whole bunch of negative experiences and masking adjustments: /3
Read 21 tweets
My name is Clo, I'm #ActuallyAutistic and 19 years old. As a nonbinary person, I use ey/em pronouns (the specific set is ey/em/eir/eirs/eirself).

I was diagnosed with then Asperger's in 2014.

After being dragged along by French psychoanalysis for the first 14 years of my life, *knowing* was such a huge relief.

I am extremely grateful for my parents, who to this day do not stop fighting for better awareness.

I don't think I would have gotten this far if it weren't for them, and... I don't think I tell them that often enough.

It's desolating that, even with an official diagnosis, many people do not take autism and other mental disabilities seriously.

Read 14 tweets
Try to remember that you won't always know who's autistic, who's disabled, etc. Which is why you need to be accessible, open-minded, and accepting to everyone. Don't be the person who only makes the effort if we out ourselves as disabled to you.
We too often have to reveal that we're autistic (or anything else) for people to stop being ableist and to give us even basic accommodations. It's unsafe and uncomfortable. Accessibility and consideration should be the standard way we all treat each other.
Again, I think it comes back to that idea people have that allistic / neurotypical = default, and they forget / ignore that anyone around them could be autistic unless we specifically tell them or conform to the stereotypes about autistic people.
Read 33 tweets
At our RAC @CalSCDD meeting last week, another committee member (a parent of an autistic son) delicately brought up a concern w/ me that companies only recruit a certain slice of autistic people.

“Don’t be shy!” was my response. “Autistic people are loudly speaking out on this.” An image of my hand writing notes on council paperwork. Other council members and staff can be seen in the background.
This frustrates the #ActuallyAutistic community, as well as those being recruited. Autistic people have a wide range of talent and abilities. Almost every autistic person with a desire to work could be if companies were more equitable, accessible, and supportive.
We talked about how there are opportunities for the “top of the top” as well as opportunity for those who can and want to do basic remedial labor (I’m not knocking...I’ve done a lot of that and loved it). The vast majority of autistic people are lost in the middle.
Read 6 tweets
A thread about empathy.

It is true that SOME autistic people struggle with empathy cognitive, effective, or both. But this is NOT true for ALL autistics.

Some experience typical empathy, and many are even hyper-empathic.

I want to talk about how autistics may EXPRESS empathy.
First of all: some autistic people express their empathy similarly or even exactly the same as non-autistic people.

They may sit with a person, listen to them, offer them physical affection etc.

It‘s just that other expressions of empathy are more common with autistic people.
One way autistic people express their empathy is to look for practical ways to help a person in the moment.

If someone is crying, an autistic person may not hug them, but offer them a tissue.

If there‘s a problem, an autistic person may jump straight to working on solutions.
Read 18 tweets
It really bothers me when someone acts like I “owe them something”. I’ve never been one to live my life based on the expectations of others.
I also tend to let people make assumptions about me, and generally don’t bother to correct people when they get it wrong because - it’s not my problem when people jump to conclusions.
Maybe it’s because I don’t care what people think of me, but people who assume wrong can leave.
I’ve been misunderstood my entire life. I don’t have time for people who are intent on misunderstanding me. #ActuallyAutistic
Read 7 tweets
Thread: How I told my boss I was autistic. #autism #ActuallyAutistic

We were talking one day, and I slowly spiraled into an anxiety-fueled outburst. I didn't realize how bad it was until she followed up with me to ask me to please not yell at her in front of our team. /1
We debriefed, I tried to rationalize where that anxiety came from with some success, but I still felt concerned. Why didn't I know I was yelling? Where did that reaction come from, anyway? How did I know I wouldn't do it again?

I thought, it's time to figure this out. /2
I was 31, I finally had a good stable job, and I was ready to get to the bottom of this issue that had been plaguing me forever. Why was it, when I was at my most controversial or surprising or offensive to people, I had no idea I'd done anything out of the ordinary? /3
Read 25 tweets
Short thread; A positive thing happened at work. #ActuallyAutistic

I was trying to pinpoint a very specific piece of info from a few different lists. I had done it incorrectly a few times already, my head started to hurt & I just couldn't do it.

6 mths ago I would've masked./1
I would've forced myself to sit there quietly until I got the task done, no matter how much I knew I needed a break.

3 months ago I would've gone for a walk. I was learning coping techniques by then.

But now, I've spent some time with a boss who knows I'm autistic./2
She's had a chance to see I'm good at detailed work, process documents, troubleshooting.

So I did something my instincts always tell me not to do.

I told her I was having a hard time.

It sounds simple but anyone who's different knows, it's so hard to be that vulnerable. /3
Read 5 tweets
I probably shouldn’t be pitching right now, but the fact that Greta Thunberg doesn’t put a ton of effort into smiling or putting other people at ease, and that people like that about her, makes me feel really validated as an #ActuallyAutistic woman.
I have somewhat flat affect. Or, as I like to call it, clinically-significant resting bitch face. A lot of autistic people do.

The thing is, when you’re an autistic woman (or someone generally interpreted as a woman), it’s a bigger problem.

We’re supposed to be pleasant.
I’ve been called in to HR at previous jobs because people thought I didn’t like them, or that I sounded condescending. That’s just how my face and voice are.

Some autistic men, particularly white men, get away with it. They sound like “experts,” not shrill harridans.
Read 7 tweets
Thread: How to care for the neurotypical person in your life
#ActuallyAutistic #Neurodiversity #autism

This is a tongue in cheek thread.

Do you have a severely neurotypical person in your life? Do they get upset or uncomfortable for almost no reason? Here are some tips. /1
Don't let your neurotypical person catch you looking at them. That's called staring. If you want to observe a neurotypical person in their natural habitat you must do so covertly. Unless they are talking to you. Then you MUST look them IN THE EYES for an undefined period. /2
Note: research is underway to understand neurotypical needs around eye contact. The current consensus is that this is an irrational demand based on childhood trauma & best trained out of them. /3
Read 13 tweets
Amen! Non-disabled often see disabled people simply as individuals with individual conditions. In reality, we’re people with shared history, language, culture & consensus. We’re a person, yes, but also a people.

Via @ThinkingAutism Cc: @PivotDiversity…
Most programs or services which work with disabled populations get this wrong. That’s understandable, but must change to ensure success. This is crucial. It will not only ensure better individual outcomes, but will grow the impact and influence of the group. It’s also fun to do.
I’ve noticed when disabled professionals and advocates make a point about disability, they’re often countered with “Well, this other disabled person thinks this.” Whenever that’s said, that tells me the person does not get this crucial aspect of disability.
Read 17 tweets
Pro Tip: Vague suggestions or statements are not hard for all autistics to interpret, but they are for most. Couple that with an emoji with a vague expression, and it's even more difficult. It's not that we can't understand that there is nuance. We do. We very much do. (cont)
What we don't know is what the right interpretation of the comment is. Are we being complimented, flirted with, insulted, given a hint, fed passive aggression, asked a question? Is it sarcastic? Ironic? Will we be accused of getting it wrong? What's the tone? (cont)
Is it a playful joke in good faith, or is it meant to hurt? There are all these questions, and more, & then an infinite amount of degrees and complex interplays. It would feel arrogant to "guess," so we get stuck in a loop.
Read 11 tweets
Thread: Why parents and teachers didn't notice I was autistic. #autism #ActuallyAutistic #NeurodiverseSquad

I was late dxed w/ autism at 31. I did school without accommodations, work full-time, live independently, have friends, the whole 9 yards.

Why didn't anyone know? /1
Of course I wasn't the adult in the situation so I don't REALLY know. But I was the autistic kid, and I have some theories.

1. Personality vs neurology. Once people decided I was a quiet, shy, awkward kid, that personality stereotype covered a whole lot of autistic traits. /2
Being "quiet" was probably one of my earliest and most successful masking strategies. Social interactions didn't always go my way, so I gravitated to reading. It was often allowed when other activities weren't, it was quiet, AND I'd be left alone. A special interest was born. /3
Read 19 tweets
Thread about living with alexithymia #ActuallyAutistic #Neurodiversity #autism

I experience alexithymia. It's one of those anecdotal conditions that autists know we experience, but it's not formally dxed or researched.

It's like colour blindness for feelings. /1
I can tell light from dark, or in this case, positive from negative. I know I'm feeling good or bad feelings.

But it's hard to give them a name. I feel good, but do I feel happy? Proud? Serene? I feel bad, but am I feeling shame? stress? sadness? /2
My psychologist asked me how it made me feel to reflect on the experiences I'd had as an undxed girl.

I was stumped. I tried, but couldn't pinpoint a feeling. I said, "I wish I hadn't spent so much time being so hard on myself." The feeling I couldn't name then was REGRET. /3
Read 15 tweets
Here’s my latest update to the list of Twitter #Disability & #ChronicIllness Hashtags.

- previous update 02.24.19 -

Please share it! Thank you. :-)

@ImageAltText Graffiti background. Foreground in white letters on a  red background to the left reads “Twitter Disability and Chronic Illness Hashtags”
There will be a PDF version up for download on my Ko-fi, likely tomorrow morning. The link is at the end.
Hashtags For Personal Narratives.

These hashtags are for sharing your stories & experiences. Also good for crowdsourcing solutions.

Read 58 tweets
All right guys, since you all are being so amazing in helping me defeat my nemesis, and because I turned 29 last week, I've decided to do a little introductory thread. Just so you all know what you're in for.

29 things about me!
1. I am a writer. I wrote a fantasy novel two years ago and I signed with my agent last February. It's currently on submission to publishers.

Now that you follow me, you're legally obligated to buy it once it's published. Sorry, I don't make the rules.
2. I am a musician. I play guitar and piano, occasionally write my own songs. I love all kinds of music.
Read 30 tweets
I don't usually pin tweets. Certainly not personal ones.
But this one is pinned and it's personal because #Neurodiversity is a real thing in my life and probably yours, too, whether you know it or not.
I'm talking generally now about #ActuallyAutistic #ADD #ADHD + so many others.
This is a thread, a single story only, about one person's relationship with #Neurodiversity

I did a thing I don't usually do. I talked about my personal relationship with it at a thing. I didn't plan it. As many life-changing things tend to do --> it just happened.

Before we go too far tho it's very important we establish that this is only a single story. There are many voices that need to be heard.

Read 15 tweets
1/ Even if you're 100% certain your child's #ABA therapist/school is great and treats your child well, please consider if your kid is *actually learning skills*. We have a new student at my school who came from an ABA school. He will not sit for circle time or to do work because
2/ he has been trained to sit in return for food. We expect that kids will at least try to sit down for some of the lesson. They're rewarded in the sense that they can have choosing time or a favourite activity after doing work, which is what actual life is like.
3/ I know that when I finish work, I can go home and play The Sims, or watch TV, and cuddle my cat. They know when they finish work they can play a game or go for a run around the playground or lie down on the floor if that's what they want to do.
Read 8 tweets

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