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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Why brains are amazing (and why it matters)

A while back, as part of some related discussion online, something occurred to me that seems really obvious now but was also weirdly mind-blowing: Some people - a lot of people, actually - actively enjoy using the telephone. I suppose it makes sense in some ways - you get an instant response, you can hear … Continue reading Why brains are amazing (and why it matters)

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