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…

What’s Your Function?

The difference between high functioning autism and low functioning is that high functioning means your deficits are ignored, and low functioning means your assets are ignored.      Laura Tisoncik If you’re at all familiar with the autism community, you’ve probably heard autistics referred to as either “high functioning“ or “low functioning.” In fact, it…

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…