AS vs. NT Culture: Two Worlds, One Dysfunctional Family

After several weeks of juggling various projects and generally bumbling the whole executive functioning thing, I’m finally getting around to transforming my presentation on neurologically mixed relationships into a series of blog posts. And I say posts, plural, for a few reasons. For one thing, my presentation was just over an hour long. No one…

The Little Professor is Compensating for Something: Theory of Mind and Pedantic Speech

“That woman is irritating,” Cara says. “What?” I say. “Why?” “She can’t separate herself from her own knowledge[.] […] She keeps saying things like they’re obvious when they are not, in fact, obvious.” (—Veronica Roth, Allegiant) The inspiration for today’s post comes from… a novel I’m reading, believe it or not. I’ve finally gotten around to…

Is Autism a Disease?

This post is an edited version of an email I sent to an autism mom I know who also works in the AS community. After I hit ‘send,’ I realized that this is a topic I wanted to address publicly, but had always struggled to write about. I often find it easier to write when…

Stimming 101, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Stim

Everybody does it. It’s perfectly normal, but often embarrassing—something we encourage our children to suppress, or do in private. Existing on a continuum from healthy, to bad habit, to scandalizing, stimming is as diverse as humanity itself. What is stimming? Stimming—short for self-stimulation—is a term that has yet to make it into any dictionary, despite…

Body Language 101, Part 2: How?

In the previous installment of this series we explored the concept of nonverbal communication, and why reading and using body language is a skill of utmost importance, not to be underestimated. Now comes the next step: How to learn, and where to start. Throughout my post-diagnostic journey into the autism world, the questions most commonly…

Body Language 101, Part 1: Why?

Over these past few years I’ve spent telling my story for interviews, conferences, and workshops, I’ve begun to narrow down my assortment of illustrative anecdotes to a few choice selections. One of the most popular of these, and the one that concerns us today, is the story of how I taught myself to recognize and…