I am tired of hiding my autistic special interests so that non-autistics will not make fun of me.
I am tired of pretending to not love my autistic special interests so that non-autistics won't accuse me of oversharing.
I am tired of feeling ashamed of my autistic special interests because non-autistics tell me that it's not right to hyperfocus on my passions.
I am tired of feeling scared to talk about my autistic joys because non-autistics will laugh at me or call me annoying.
I am tired of chunking my special interests in a bite-size bits that are digestible for non-autistic social rules.
I am tired of apologizing for my special interests, because I am not sorry for being autistic, even if society wants me to be sorry.

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More from @autienelle

2 Oct
Ever seen one of these emotions charts? These guides are meant to teach people what emotions are. Except, as an autistic person, I could never relate. Chart reads: How do you fee...
I spent hours staring at these emotions charts. I memorized and copied them. I thought emotions were something to mimic. A set of vocabulary I needed to burn into my mind.

Then, I learned a word for my experience that is often used to describe autistics: Alexithymia.
At first, alexithymia, or the inability to recognize my emotions in myself or others, felt like good way to describe my autistic experiences. Until I started taking off the mask.

I reclaimed stimming. I reclaimed echolalia. I reclaimed my authentic facial expressions.
Read 6 tweets
18 Sep
Empty phrases like, "How are you?" are social nightmares for many autistics. Turns out, these confusing greetings are called phatic language, and they drive a wedge between autistic/allistic communication. 🧵
Over time, I've scripted replies to, "How are you?" But no matter how many times I say, "Pretty good," "Doing all right," or just nod, I'm filled with panic. Does this person actually want to know how I'm doing? Why did they ignore me when I responded, "Fine. How about you?"
"How are you" is an example of phatic language. Although it seems meaningless, non-autistics actually build social bonds with this kind of greeting. However, given that autistics bond & communicate differently from allistics, phatic language can be frustrating and even isolating.
Read 6 tweets
19 Aug
Meltdowns & shutdowns are communication. Autistic bodies are telling us & telling others that we've reached a limit. We can no longer mask our pain, force our bodies into situations that harm us, or endure the pressure of doing things that others force us to do.
Autistic brains are working overtime. Our bodies are regulating unsupportive environments. Most environments are designed with NTs in mind.

The result: Overload. Meltdowns. Shutdowns.
When autistic brains reach the processing limit, our bodies respond in ways that are neither good nor bad. Meltdowns & shutdowns may hurt or lead to danger, but they aren't intentional behavior meant to hurt/endanger.
Read 9 tweets
19 Jul
Autistic overstimulation and overload goes beyond the sensory.

Case in point: Emotional overload is when autistics receive feelings-based information from ourselves or others that are extremely difficult to process.
During autistic emotional overload, the emotional information we receive may feel overwhelming for many reasons. However, the impact of the overload may lead to meltdowns, shutdowns, rumination, and anxiety.
It is possible that emotions are overloading autistics merely because we do not receive emotional explanations and supports that are designed with autistic expression in mind.
Read 8 tweets
3 May
I started having less meltdowns AFTER my autism diagnosis. Can you guess why?
Once I discovered my ASD diagnosis, I stopped believing that meltdowns were a personal trait. Meltdowns are actually a sign that I've been pushed too far.
I used to set ridiculously high expectations for myself to be perfect, so the greater NT society wouldn't see my differences and label me "broken." Then, I'd make mistakes, or get overloaded, and I'd meltdown 2-3 times per week.
Read 5 tweets
6 Mar
Undiagnosed autistics often wind up with social anxiety due to social confusion and severe bullying. Then, when the social anxiety becomes unbearable, we seek help. Except, we get diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder instead of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
From that moment on, especially if the autistic is AFAB, we are told that we are anxious and not autistic. But the truth: We are autistics that have developed anxiety.
Autistics with Social Anxiety Disorder can't be treated for one condition over the other. And stigmatizing those with SAD as people who do not understand themselves and their experiences is contributing to this ableist issue.
Read 4 tweets

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