I’m Not Breaking Down, I’m Breaking Out: Why sensory overload isn’t linear

Abled people tend to think of disability as rigid and unchanging, but autism can appear to fluctuate - a LOT. One day a few weeks ago I ended up going from London Bridge to Moorgate *via Farringdon* because I couldn't cope with the idea of a four-minute tube journey; a few days later, I spent … Continue reading I’m Not Breaking Down, I’m Breaking Out: Why sensory overload isn’t linear

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A Very Detailed Infodump about Million Pieces by Bastille

Yesterday (18th June) was Autistic Pride Day - but between the constant arguments and anger online and a couple of days of being way too literal, struggling to get words out or finding too many of them and having an unusually low sensory threshold (probably just down to an intense Saturday), I have to say … Continue reading A Very Detailed Infodump about Million Pieces by Bastille

Sensory differences, self-care and one big Saturday

The autistic spectrum is so often considered in binary terms. If you find some things difficult, you’re assumed to have no strengths; if you can do some things well (often including “typing out a tweet”), you’re assumed to have no difficulties. If you’re proud to be neurodivergent, you’re assumed not to recognise the disabling aspects. … Continue reading Sensory differences, self-care and one big Saturday

Stimming, Stigma and Stereotypes

Official diagnostic criteria for autism in both the ICD-10 and DSM-5 refer to "restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities", a catch-all phrase which sometimes seems to be used to mean anything an autistic person does. Indeed, the sub-categories listed under this criterion range from special interests to (in the DSM-5) sensory sensitivities as … Continue reading Stimming, Stigma and Stereotypes

“For the first time, I felt like I belong” – Reflections on the NAS Women and Girls Conference

...Well. Where do I start?! Earlier this week, Sam Ahern and I were lucky enough to attend the National Autistic Society Women and Girls Conference 2018 to talk about Are You Autistic?, misconceptions about autism and our general realities as autistic women. More importantly, I got to meet dozens of brilliant autistic women and others … Continue reading “For the first time, I felt like I belong” – Reflections on the NAS Women and Girls Conference

Why does consideration for others have the media in such a flap?

Recently, the University of Manchester's Student Union, like many others before it, passed a motion to use British Sign Language applause (or, as the headlines often describe it, "jazz hands") in its meetings. The rationale behind it is that more traditional clapping may be a barrier for those who have difficulty with loud noise, including … Continue reading Why does consideration for others have the media in such a flap?

The Many and Varied Perks of Autistic Special Interests

A recent study by Rachel Grove et al, presented earlier this year at INSAR, found a link between autistic "special interests" (no, I don't love that phrase either, but it's the accepted term for what the standard "interest" just can't capture) and higher subjective well-being amongst autistic adults. The above graph (photo credit @YesWeJon) shows … Continue reading The Many and Varied Perks of Autistic Special Interests