Please stop assuming that autistic self-advocates have no understanding of, or proximity to, so-called “severe” autism.

In fact, many of us were (or are) ourselves labeled “severe” ; are parents of children labeled “severe” ; and/or are caregivers for people labeled “severe.”
Many autistic parents of autistic kids have children with high support needs and communication challenges.

I know of many all-autistic families, where each child has vastly different traits and needs.

This complexity is often erased in conversations about the ND movement.
Detractors of autistic self-advocates often insinuate that we are “not like their children” or that we have no understanding of “real autism.”

But those ideas are flimsy and they fall apart upon closer examination.

You just have to be willing to pay attention.
I have been a caregiver and aide to many autistic people with support needs higher than mine.

I know what meltdowns and self-injury and accidents look like.

I also know that most of what I’ve seen in classrooms, I’ve experienced myself.

Meltdowns and all.
I had frequent, extreme, violent meltdowns into my mid-teenage years.

For hours I would hit, scratch, scream, throw things, and kick doors so hard that they broke in half; while lying in a puddle of my own drool, mucus, and tears.

Does that sound like “severe” autism to you?
I’ve watched classroom aides use the same restraints on students that my parents used on me.

I’ve seen pain, and anguish, and suffering. I’ve lived it, too.

I still don’t believe that autism can or should be cured. I still believe autism is a natural part of biodiversity.
Leo had a speech delay and went through early intervention as a toddler.

I have severe sensory issues and meltdowns that have left me with lasting trauma.

Laurel and Abby have both been with me during meltdowns, and had to keep me from hitting, biting, and pinching myself.
So many autistic parents of autistic kids have similar stories of hardship that they could share, but choose not to out of respect for their children.

None of this detracts from, or contradicts, the message of the neurodiversity movement.

It actually deepens the message.
When we can say three things at once:

1. Autism is a disability that presents unique challenges and hardships

2. Autistic people are whole, complete, and valuable for who we are, and

3. Disability is a natural part of the human experience

...That is when change happens.

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More from @autisticats

5 Apr
The other day, Abby found five white hairs on my head in the span of about five minutes. It was slightly unsettling, because I’m only 19 years old.

So last night I did some research on premature greying, and found this article:…
Persistent activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) can turn hair grey, because hair follicles are highly connected to sympathetic neurons.

I have POTS and several anxiety disorders, on top of being autistic and having lasting trauma from childhood experiences.
All of those factors mean that my SNS is basically in a constant state of alarm (hence the grey hairs).

I wanted to better understand how all of the dots connect, so I did some more research and specifically focused on autism.

What I found is important.
Read 9 tweets
31 Mar
I have made so many posts about the fact that most autistic people prefer identity-first language, but a lot of non-autistic people still leave comments like this when I use the word “autistic” in my writing:

“*People who have autism. Person first language is important 🙃”
Comments on our Instagram page are limited to people who follow us (to limit abuse and ableism).

So, whoever commented this ostensibly considers themselves an ally to autistic people.

But they are still acting in a way that betrays their arrogance in this space.
I’m not going to explain why people should use identity-first language for the 100th time (you can just go to

Instead, I’m going to explain why it’s totally inappropriate for anyone to “correct” an autistic person on this issue.
Read 8 tweets
29 Mar
Today is the first day of #AutismAcceptanceWeek, so I have a request for everyone who interacts with autistic people (particularly nonspeaking autistic people):

Don’t talk about us while we’re right in front of you as if we’re not there, and don’t infantilize us.
I used to volunteer at a school for disabled people, and we had a lot of autistic students.

Almost all of the teachers would talk to each other about the students, and even complain about them, while they were right there in the same room.

It was so viscerally wrong.
I knew for a fact that the students understood what was being said about them. I watched as their facial expressions and body language changed.

But the teachers didn’t really seem to notice or care.

I was afraid to tell them to stop, in case it would cause me to lose my job.
Read 10 tweets
25 Mar
April is just a week away, which means autistic people everywhere are bracing ourselves for what is known in non-autistic circles as “Autism Awareness Month.”

Here are some things you should know before all of that starts, and misinformation/propaganda start being spread:
1. Autism Speaks (AS or A$) is a corporate, eugenicist group that has done immense harm to autistic people.

They are widely viewed as a hate group by autistic people.

Do not give them your money, no matter how convincing you think their rebranding is. It’s all fake.
2. Autism is not a disease or a tragedy.

It’s a lifelong, genetic developmental disability. And it is also one of many ways of being in this world.

A$ and similar groups will try to profit by manufacturing fear and grief. Don’t fall for their lies.
Read 10 tweets
23 Mar
Yesterday I did an interactive experiment in my online psychology textbook. The section was about “concept hierarchies.”

The experiment measured my reaction times when categorizing objects in their superordinate, basic, and subordinate levels. Image of a chart of about c...
According to the textbook, most people are faster at categorizing things at the basic level, and slower at the subordinate level.

But when I did the experiment (several times to make sure it wasn’t a fluke) my results were totally reversed for those levels. Graph of my results compare...
My pattern of results seems to be in line with the local processing bias of autistic perception.

Autistic brains tend to process things from the bottom up.

So it makes sense that I would be faster at recognizing things at the subordinate level.
Read 9 tweets
19 Mar
Hi everyone, I’ve received a lot of feedback on the thread I made the other day with the story about Liza.

I want to apologize to anyone who was upset by it.

A lot of people have been asking for clarification on what I meant, so that’s what I’m going to do here.
I actually agree with all of the critique that the thread received.

There was nothing I read from an autistic respondent to the thread that I thought was untrue.

A lot of people were just responding to things that I wasn’t trying to say. (Hence why I agree with them)
The main issues arose from the fact that Twitter has a strict character limit, and the fact that I hadn’t fully considered how everything I said might be perceived.

I didn’t know what to clarify until people asked, basically.

So that’s what I’m doing now 😅
Read 13 tweets

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