Pete Wharmby Profile picture
Autistic author, speaker, parent. First book coming Summer '22! He/his. Book me through my website. Tip jar at https://t.co/MdwQiqFVke
late_dx Profile picture Anna-Maria Bromley Profile picture 3 added to My Authors
Jan 26 21 tweets 9 min read
Things you might be doing every day that might be harming the autistic people in your life... A thread. 🧵🧵🧵

1. Demanding eye contact - "look at me when I'm talking to you!": can be very damaging to autistic people who tend to avoid it because it's so horribly uncomfortable. 2. Assuming limitations - thinking that because they are autistic, that certain ambitions, activities, ideals, lifestyles, jobs are beyond them. Often based on outdated preconceptions. #autism #autistic
Jan 24 8 tweets 2 min read
Whenever it's mentioned that the life expectancy of autistic adults is so low (late 30s) there are invariably attempts to rationalise it and try to make it it's not as bad as all that.

But in doing so they tend to focus on those with other conditions, 'bringing down the average' As if that somehow makes it all OK.

It doesn't. In fact it makes it worse. It's identical to those people who say Covid death rates aren't so bad cos it's disproportionately disabled people who are affected.

It's gross.
Jan 24 6 tweets 2 min read
Reminder that autistic people globally are suffering as a result of not being understood, believed, adjusted for, or 'fitting in'. Reminder that as a result of this, and other issues, rates of depression and worse are too high in the autistic community. Change can only come if non-autistic people listen and act to improve things. I've been doing this for five years and I'm not seeing much evidence of an increase in non-autistic people engaging with stuff (with lots of exceptions of course - I'm talking generally.)
Jan 21 4 tweets 1 min read
Loved going out when I was younger. Spending all night struggling to follow conversations in loud places, drinking more than I should to overcome the anxiety, ending up miserable in a corner with only the promise of a bad kebab keeping me going.

Ah, those were the days. To be scrupulously honest, I love kebabs more than almost anything else, and I liked spending time with my friends. But my goodness late night bars and clubs were awful.
Jan 15 14 tweets 2 min read
Reasons why autistic people can make excellent parents, despite what stereotypes say - a thread.

Please read and share. 1. We tend to have autistic children, obviously, so we're in a great place to understand how they see the world and help them through, giving them a positive environment.
Dec 23, 2021 21 tweets 7 min read
Things you can do to make #autistic people around you more comfortable this Christmas - a thread. Please share!

1. Allow them time to decompress alone if they need it, especially if you're having a big family get together. Don't make them feel bad about needing this. 2. Be flexible with food. Tradition is no reason to force an autistic person, whose dislike is likely to be very real and visceral, to eat something they don't like. Issues with taste and texture are often way more extreme for us. #autism
Dec 2, 2021 7 tweets 1 min read
If someone tells me something bad has happened to them, my first response is to share a similar experience I have had, as a way to show solidarity and remind them they're not alone. /1 This seems to be a widespread way that autistic people show empathy to others, but unfortunately it goes against what non-autistic people seem to want when they share bad experiences. /2
Dec 1, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Please don't judge people who don't make eye contact or don't like physical contact - there's a good chance you're dealing with an autistic person, so stop the immediate judgement. In much of Europe and the US, especially in anglophone countries, a lack of eye contact can be interpreted as rude, belligerent or untrustworthy.

This is so discriminatory to autistic people.
Nov 30, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Just so I get my say here, because I'm very unhappy with being misconstrued like this, I am not approaching this from an exterior position of 'compliance' but from an interior position of 'why do I react like this' We're not talking unreasonable requests. It's not even just requests. *Suggestions* can trigger it, even, and I hate not being able to discuss it openly without being accused of aiding and abetting abusers.
Nov 30, 2021 8 tweets 1 min read
Still thinking about the experience I have with being asked to do things, as I'm feeling like I was shouted down about my own experiences the other day, which is not OK. If I named 'it', I'd call it Immediate Request Refusal or something like that. The reason is because its not about rebelling or how unreasonable neurotypical people are - not this time. The requests can be totally minor, from anyone, ND included, and inconsequential. But my brain and body still immediately refuses.
Nov 26, 2021 14 tweets 3 min read
What happens when an autistic person drops the mask?

A thread.

Please read and share. /1 Autistic people frequently have to hide or suppress their autistic traits and behaviours in order to fit in with established society.

We have very little choice, as the consequences for not masking these things can be severe, whether at school, in employment or even at home /2
Nov 25, 2021 34 tweets 8 min read
A #thread of threads:

I've been trying to collect all of the #autism threads I've written over the years so they're easy to access. Here's the links... Things I like about being autistic

Nov 24, 2021 6 tweets 1 min read
"Everyone is a little autistic"

It's not a cheese board to share; you can't just help yourself to a bit. You don't have any autism cheese. Whereas I'm a block of Wensleydale. "You don't look autistic"

Do I not? Oh damn I'm wearing my 'I'm not autistic' t-shirt again. Silly me.
Nov 23, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
I've found this last week or so that on social media (here, Reddit etc) it's the hostility that just *exists* that's causing me to struggle. Happily, nothing that's directed at me at all, just scrolling and its just nasty people being horrible to nice folk ad nauseum. It must be completely fucking up our collective mental health in ways we'll only really understand in retrospect in textbooks.
Nov 18, 2021 9 tweets 1 min read
My favourite things about being autistic...

A thread.

1. Films and music and video games and art wallop me with such emotional force that I can barely stay standing. I attribute this to the 'everything in extremes' aspect of autism. 2. The intense calm and peace I feel when I'm enjoying a special interest. Like in a minute I'm going to carry on doing my ghost map of the UK and it'll be like sliding into a warm bath.
Nov 13, 2021 11 tweets 2 min read
10 things you need to know about #autism

1. Autistic people *do* feel emotions - we're not robots. Often we may struggle to identify them, though, and we may not show them on our faces.

There's some evidence to suggest that we feel emotions more strongly. 2. Autistic people are usually extremely sensitive to our environment, from sound to light to textures and smells. This is often a cause of our high stress levels.

It's like our senses are dialled up to 11, like Spider-man.
Nov 9, 2021 7 tweets 1 min read
Autistic kids refusing to go to school is a problem for schools to solve, not the kids and parents. Expecting an autistic child, refusing to go to school, whose stress levels see already through the roof (because of school) to adapt and somehow change is just ridiculous.

It's the school that has to adapt to them.
Nov 8, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
Considering it's only 400 metres down, the Britannic is curiously unphotographed. Considering it's whole, on its side and in reasonable condition, that is very peculiar. Just in case you weren't following my internal train of thought that led to that tweet, the Britannic was the third of the three Olympic-class sister ships - the one that was put straight into service as a hospital ship for WW1. Hit a mine in the Mediterranean.
Nov 6, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Apropos of nothing I rank all the places I've lived in my life.

At number 7 is Sleaford.

A sleepy, kind of pointless place, and oh so very Tory, but quite pretty and with an excellent old Maltings building on the outskirts. Number 6 is Coalville.

I mean it's my home town so I have a certain bizarre fondness for it but it is a grim old place. I've heard there's a bit of development happening so that might be nice. Happy, happy memories of the local countryside though.
Nov 4, 2021 12 tweets 6 min read
Ten things you can do now to improve how you interact with autistic people in your life.

1. Don't make us feel bad for having our deep interests. So often non-autistic people mock us or show strange 'concern' for our interests and it's really unpleasant. #autism 2. Don't treat autistic adults and teens like little children. This is so frequent. It's insulting and degrading but often comes from the most 'well-meaning' people. Talk to us like we're grown ups. #autism
Nov 2, 2021 16 tweets 4 min read
Myths about #autism that we just have to get rid of - a thread 🧵🧵🧵

Please share widely as that's the only way it can help. 1. "Autistic people can't make eye contact, so if someone does, they can't be autistic."

It's true that autistic folk don't tend to like eye contact - for many it's quite painful and unpleasant - but we are able to force ourselves, usually. It's a big part of '#AutisticMasking'