Autism 101: Resources from the autistic community

For those new to autism and the autistic community, it can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of information out there, some good, some bad. This is a basic outline to help you get started and give you an idea of how the autistic community operates by #actuallyautistic individuals themselves.

Autism is a neurotype.

It is totally not a disease/illness that needs to be cured. It is not an add-on to a neurotypical brain that needs to be removed/fixed. It is an autistic’s very neurology. They are the way they are because of it. It is one of the many ways to be neurodivergent.

Darkest Before Dawn: Autism, Ableism, and the Rise of the Neurodiversity Movement

Neurodiversity: Some Basic Terms & Definitions

What is Neurodiversity? – Neurodiversity in a Nutshell by Neurodivergent Rebel

Autism: What’s That? by Agony Autie

On language

The autistic community prefers identity-first language over person-first ie “autistic” instead of “with autism.”

Person First vs Identity First Language

Person-First Language: What It Is, and When Not To Use It

Person with autism or autistic person? My problem with “person-first language” for autism

Autistic Person or Person With Autism? – an #ActuallyAutistic Perspective by Neurodivergent Rebel

On symbols

Most Autistics reject the puzzle piece and prefer the infinity symbol instead.

Puzzle Piece is Hated by the Autistic Community: The History and What to Use Instead by Fierce Autie

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is despised within the autistic community, for good reason.

It’s April, So It’s Time To Argue About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks : The Time Is Now To Help Clean Up Your Mess

“Sorry, We Already Gave to Autism Speaks,” or The Role of Money in Institutional Ableism

– Functioning labels and DSM levels are harmful and ableist and should not be used ie “high/low functioning” or “level 1/2/3” or “Asperger’s/Aspie.”

Why I’m Not a High-Functioning Autistic

Function Labels: And We’re Supposed to be The Awkward Ones…

Don’t Call Me “High Functioning”

The Ridiculousness of Functioning Labels

Asharah Saraswati on Functioning Labels

– “If you’ve met one person on the spectrum, you’ve met ONE person on the spectrum.”

– The autism spectrum isn’t linear, going from mild to severe, as commonly misunderstood.

Understanding The Spectrum – A Comic Strip Explanation

It’s A Spectrum – I don’t think it means what you think it means

– ABA is an abusive therapy abhorred by the autistic community, and rightly so. 

ABA Therapy

Nonspeakers

Nonspeaking does not equate to unintelligent, nor does it mean the person is “afflicted with severe autism.” Speaking is not a standard to be reached/achieved. There’s nothing wrong with being nonspeaking. There are other modes of communication besides verbal speech. Look into Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

All About AAC: A Guide to Augmentative and Alternative Communication Options!

Communication First focuses on communication rights for nonspeakers

Stimming

Stimming ie self-stimulatory movement(s) is a way to express oneself or self regulate. Forcing an autistic to not stim is taking away their right. There’s nothing wrong or pathological about stimming and it should be encouraged, not discouraged.

Stimming | What’s That? by Agony Autie

What is Stimming & Why Do Autistic People Stim? – an Autistic Perspective by Neurodivergent Rebel

What IS Stimming? – Autistic Stimming (with examples & a word about self-harm & stims) by Neurodivergent Rebel

Meltdowns

Meltdowns are not tantrums. Tantrums are manipulative, meltdowns are not. Meltdowns are a result of sensory/emotional/mental overload and should not be dismissed or taken lightly.

The Autistic Experience of Sensory Overwhelm, Meltdowns, and Shutdowns

Autistic Meltdowns: From the Inside

Autistic Meltdowns & Overloads | “What’s That?” by Agony Autie

 Shutdowns

Simplistically speaking, shutdowns are internal meltdowns.

Shutdowns | What’s That?! by Agony Autie

The Autistic Experience of Sensory Overwhelm, Meltdowns, and Shutdowns

Masking

Masking is when autistics appear to be NT and is incredibly harmful. The problem is that if they don’t mask, they’ll be discriminated against for being autistic but when they do mask, that’s harmful to their mental (and physical) health. #TakeTheMaskOff is a hashtag one can look into.

The Painfully High Price of Autistic Masking – Part 1

The Painfully High Price of Autistic Masking – Part 2

#TakeTheMaskOff – Coping Strategies Taking Off The Mask by Neurodivergent Rebel

Acceptance over Awareness

Autism Acceptance and not Autism Awareness, please.

Brief Musings on Autism Awareness vs. Acceptance

Day 2: Autism Acceptance

Autistic Acceptance vs. Autism Awareness

Acceptance versus Awareness: a brief commentary on the great debate

The PROBLEM with Autism Awareness Month – why autistic people urge you NOT to Light Up Blue by Neurodivergent Rebel

Empathy

Autistics are NOT “severely lacking” in empathy.

Destroying the “Lack of Empathy” Myth in the Wake of Bleach Enemas & Autistic Abuse

Empathy & Autism by Unmasked

The Dangerous Myth of Autism & Empathy Used to Dehumanize Autistics by Neurodivergent Rebel

Autism and the Problem with Empathy by Not Your Favourite Autistic Pixies

The Double Standards of Ableists

Sensory Processing

Sensory processing differences can definitely occur.

Sensory Survival: Living with hypersensitivity, overwhelm, & meltdowns

Proprioception, interoception, and the vestibular system are 3 senses that it’s best to be aware of.

The Other 3 Senses You Never Knew Existed… But You Should!

Language Matters

As previously said, autism is not an illness or disease,so please avoid using “symptoms.” “Traits” is the word you want to use.

Please stop applying NT concepts and standards to ND persons. Stop trying to understand autistics relative to NTs. Stop viewing normal through the NT lens.

  • “Socially unacceptable” – according to NT standards.
  • “Cold, dismissive, mean, rude” – according to NT standards because people project their idea of empathic expression onto autistics
  • “Doesn’t like to go social activities” – according to NT standards (some autistics are and love to be social, they’re just not “appropriately” social according to NT standards or may need accommodations in order to tolerate the environment).
  • “No hugs/eye contact/affection” – Some autistic people avoid eye contact, some don’t. Some avoid physical touch. Others love it. Those who avoid those gestures have legitimate reasons which vary according to their sensory profiles. As for the affection bit, they’re not robots… they just demonstrate affection in different ways.

Presume competence

Autistics just communicate differently. That doesn’t mean the way they communicate is wrong. NT communication (or being NT) is not a standard NDs should strive to reach. Autistics communicate fine when people learn how to understand their unique language are actually willing to communicate in good faith.

“…we’re not asking for anything we haven’t done for neurotypical people all our lives.” – Sara Gibbs

Autistic People Accommodate Non-Autistic People All The Time

– Special interests (or #SpIns) are subjects autistics are passionate about.

Thank You for the Music: On the autistic joy of pursuing special interests

On Autistic Special Interests and My Love for Plants

#ActuallyAutistic Facebook Pages

Following are links to autistic pages on Facebook one might like to follow for further information by #actuallyautistic people themselves:

NeuroClastic

Agony Autie

Neurodivergent Rebel

Hvppyhands

The Autistic OT

Fierce Autie

Fierce Autistics and Allies

Autistic, Typing

Autistic Not Weird

The Autistic Advocate

The Autistic Wolf

Autistic Bride

Autism Level UP

I Am The Face Of Autism

The Unbroken Autistic

Autistic Realizations by Wolfheart

Better Ways Than ABA

Neuromess

Not An Autism Mom

More Than One Neurotype

Not Your Neuro-Typical Family

Spectrum Life ÂÛ – The Actually Autistic Parent

Green Streak

Autistic Grandma

Autistic Pride Mumma

Autistic Mama

Kristy Forbes – Autism & Neurodiversity Support Specialist

Yenn Purkis Neurodiversity Page

Not Your Favourite Autistic Pixies

Labels Go On Soup Cans, Autism Is A Diagnosis. Leah Taylor Official

Emergent Divergence

Autistic Inclusive Meets Community Group AIM

I’ve Been Autistic All Along?

Autie, Me & My ADHD

Autism & ADHD

Lydian’s Autie Meme Therapy

Keepin’ it Autistic

The Autistic Avenger

Harry Thompson – PDA Extraordinaire

Sally Cat’s PDA Page

Reframing Autism

Hoarder of Spoons

IndieAndy

Neurodiversally Unbroken

Speaking of Autism – Quincy Hansen

The Neurodivergent Teacher

Yo Samdy Sam

Unmasked

All Over The Spectrum

Pablo

Random, Quirky, Awkward Me

Quirky.Stimmy.Cool

The Amazing Adventures of AspieGurl V.S. An NT World

In The Loop About Neurodiversity

 

5 Comments

  1. Thank you for this list. So helpful!

    1. Author

      I’ve learnt a lot from you Ms Jaime. Thank you!

  2. I’m thinking, “were you reading my mind?” This is great! I’ve seen the mistreatment of kids and adults as a result of their neuro-differences. Having information available for people who are unfamiliar with autism – or who think they understand, but really don’t is great! Personally, I learn every time a read an article from NeuroClastic or other autistic authors. Thank you!

  3. Thanks so much for this. I’ve been reading this blog a ton lately and I think it’s helped me understand a lot about myself and the world that I didn’t before

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