Anatomy of a Meltdown

Last weekend, I had a meltdown and the next morning I tried to capture some scattered impressions of it to share. I’ve purposely left this raw and unedited, the way it unspooled in my head, to give you a feel for how chaotic a meltdown can be. While meltdowns are different for everyone, this is … Continue reading Anatomy of a Meltdown

At the Intersection of Gender and Autism – Part 3

The final post of a three part series (read Part 2)   While many of the intersections of autistic and female in my life have been social, there are undeniable physical intersections too. The arrival of adolescence brought with it hints of what it would mean to be an autistic adult. My first real meltdowns. My … Continue reading At the Intersection of Gender and Autism – Part 3

At the Intersection of Gender and Autism – Part 2

Continued from Part 1 There was joy in that realization and also sadness. My diagnosis came too late to help me in my role as a mother when my daughter was young, a role that I often struggled with. Many aspects of being autistic can make the child-rearing years of motherhood challenging. Babies have round-the-clock … Continue reading At the Intersection of Gender and Autism – Part 2

Backstopping: Supporting the Autistic Person in Your Life

The Scientist and I moved cross-country a few years ago. We made the drive In four days and by the middle of the fourth day I was on the verge of shutdown. It was way past lunch time, we were out of snacks and we were driving through Middle of Nowhere, West Virginia. When we … Continue reading Backstopping: Supporting the Autistic Person in Your Life

Behavior is Communication: Are You Listening?

Behavior is communication. This has become a catchphrase in the autism community. And for good reason. It’s certainly true. A child runs from a store and experts assure the frustrated parent that behavior is communication. A parent asks for advice about why their recently diagnosed child bursts into tears at bathtime and experienced parents nod … Continue reading Behavior is Communication: Are You Listening?

Taking the Personality and Emotion Test

Those of you who didn’t like the flashing photos in the last two tests will be relieved to know that this week’s test is a series of multiple choice questions. The Personality and Emotion test at Test My Brain looks at three areas: how frequently you experience negative emotions like fear, worry, anger, frustration, and … Continue reading Taking the Personality and Emotion Test

Pronoun Reversal and Confusion

One of the obvious early signs of autism in children is pronoun reversal. All toddlers have difficulty with learning the correct usage of I, me and you. However, sometime between two-and-a-half and three years old, most kids gain a firm grasp of personal pronouns. Specifically, they begin to understand that pronouns are referential rather than … Continue reading Pronoun Reversal and Confusion

Essential Reading

There are close to 200 posts on this blog, which can make it hard to find what you’re looking for. I’ve put together a loosely categorized list of essential topics on this page as a starting point for new readers. If you’re looking for something autism-related that you don’t see here, let me know in … Continue reading Essential Reading

Sensory Processing

Most autistic people experience some form of atypical sensory processing. The DSM-5 acknowledged this by including hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input in their revised criteria for ASD diagnosis. Why atypical sensory processing happens isn’t entirely clear. We know what typical and atypical sensory processing look like, but we don’t know exactly why the two … Continue reading Sensory Processing

Sensory Sensitivities: Understanding Triggers

This is part 3 in a series about sensory sensitivities and atypical sensory processing. Read the other parts: Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 4 ——- While atypical sensory filtering is related to sensory sensitivities, not all unfiltered sensory data will trigger sensitivities. Remember the sounds I described hearing as I’m typing this? I’m … Continue reading Sensory Sensitivities: Understanding Triggers