Rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is a phenomenon that can be associated with #neurodivergence, especially #ADHD, but also can be associated with several mental health diagnoses, trauma, or a history of being invalidated.
RSD builds over time, making the experience one of accumulated rejections. It’s not a disorder or diagnosis, but a phenomenon that happens to people with a neurological predisposition or a long (complex) history of painful rejections.
RSD can be experienced when someone has been rejected or even when they fear that a rejection is likely— like after making a request or sending an email.
#RSD is more than just experiencing sadness over a rejection, but can be a visceral, full-body trauma response that can lead to meltdowns, panic attacks, chest tightness, increased heart rate, impulsive decisions, and difficulty breathing.
When people experience #RejectionSensitivity, it can seem to be over minor negative feedback, like that a delicious appetizer needed a pinch more salt, or a wildy-positive performance review that had one minor “area of improvement,” like recommending filing reports alphabetically instead of chronologically.
People who experience #RSD may withdraw or isolate themselves out of fear of rejection or may cut ties after a minor rejection.
Some people prefer the phrase Rejection Sensitivity. Be sure to read the article for more information.
People often are surprised to find out why the majority of the Autistic community absolutely hate the puzzle piece and many even feel it is a hate symbol.
While the puzzle may be significant and have special meaning for some individuals, using it as an organization or “brand recognition” for autism causes harm to our community, especially adult Autistics who fail to see themselves in the kindergarten imagery.
No one should be shamed for having a personal connection to the puzzle piece, but when you’re claiming to want to spread awareness and acceptance for the Autistic comUNITY, then best practice is to follow the community’s wishes and listen to what they need from allies.
You do not want your children to experience what we experience as adults. We’re trying to help you (and them) avoid the pain and the needless suffering we experience.
Words matter and language has meaning with real life consequences. Being autistic is how we exist. We are not a whole person plus autism (or minus autism).
Autistic is our neurotype. It is how we exist, as a neurological minority. Person-first language is respectful when a condition does not define someone’s core self, like asthma or diabetes. But when a term is an inseparable part of someone’s identity, then it should be embraced as an adjective describing that person instead of an afterthought.
We say “Jewish person” instead of “Person with Judaism,”Black person instead of “person with Blackness,” and “gay person” instead of “person with gayness.” These identities are not negative or shameful, and being a minority is not an inherently negative trait. Autistic people, like other minority identities, need to be accepted as existing in harmony with our identity and not separating ourselves from it.
Of course, use the preferences of individuals if they differ from the majority, but most of us (93%) prefer that you use “autistic” instead of “with autism.” Using respectful language is more than just semantics. We need you to have these #UncomfortableConversations with people to help us change the status quo and claim the narrative about our way of existing.
By request: why autistic people do not like the phrase “autism parents.”
Note: these are not the positions of every autistic, but they do represent the majority of the community, especially of advocates who the bar of progress.
We don’t hate you for using that language, and you are free to identify however you want, but there’s a good reason to consider changing your words.
One day, your child will be an adult, and it’s likely they will not appreciate that you called yourself an autism parent. It seems as if you parent a condition, not a human. It seems as if you built an identity around the ways your child is different from other kids and how that makes your life different as a parent.
Your life will be different. All lives are. You may have extra support needs as a parent because your child has high support needs. But can you imagine if your child made an identity out of your vulnerabilities? “I’m a divorce son.” “I’m a high functioning alcoholism daughter.” “I love someone with irritable bowel syndrome.”
At one point in recent history, the stigma around autism was so extreme, parents who were proud “autism parents” were progressive and courageous, boldly rejecting the shame associated with autism. Thankfully, progress has been made.
We are at a new stage of acceptance, and we NEED YOU. We can’t get very far without parent allies. We want to push progress to the next level.
You could try these:
1. Parent of an Autistic child (if your child consents and wants that to be public)
2. This family embraces Neurodiversity
3. Neurodiverse family
4. Autistic acceptance
5. Autistic rights are human rights
6. Empower Autistic self-advocacy
7. Listen to Autistic people
8. Support Autistic-led Organizations
9. Aspiring Autistic Ally
10. Black Autistic lives matter
All of the above messages imply that Autistic is a neurotype, not a disease or burden. They all center Autistic autonomy and self-determination.
You want to work with Autistic advocates to build a world where your children are accepted & not seen as charity, a burden, or adult children. This can help us get there faster.
A slideshow presentation explaining the difference between the “autistic community” and the “autism community,” and why language and messaging matter to affirm the rights, dignity, autonomy, and self-determination of autistic people. Autistic advocates have to fight to be heard. They are often silenced, ignored, and erased, then stereotyped as aggressive or rude when they ask to be heard. Using respectful language and centering autistic voices helps ALL people in society and makes for a safer, healthier, and more human perspective of autistic individuals. While we have preferences as a community about language used to talk about autistic people, we want to emphasize that every individual has the right to choose how they are referenced. No autistic person should be shamed for their choices, but autistic advocates ask that those who want to learn and be allies use the language preferences of the majority for the reasons specified. We know that you were taught that person-first language was more respectful, but we are asking you– like the deaf community– to use identity first language. Thank you to everyone out there who is listening and learning. We cannot make progress without you.
People always ask the wrong questions about their autistic children. That’s not their fault. They don’t know which questions to ask.
This is the story of two autistic little girls who both had wonderful parents.
People always ask, “If not ABA therapy, then what?”
That’s an impossible question to answer because the answer is different for every child. It’s hard to explain when parents are convinced that early diagnosis is critical because early interventions are critical.
Yes, they are. For the parents.
Parents need an intervention when their children are diagnosed, and not because they are bad parents. They’re usually wonderful parents.
They need an intervention because they are misinformed and their instincts may fail them. They may become so wrapped up in remediating what their children can’t do that they accidentally teach their kids that they’re broken.
This story of two autistic little girls is based on two real autistic children who had wonderful parents.
What do you think is Callie’s future?
What do you think is Keisha’s future?
What parent showed awareness?
What parent showed acceptance?
What does this illustrate for you?
We’ve been taught that there are ways to communicate, demonstrate empathy, and show relatedness, and that to do so differently is to do it “wrong.” Autistic communication is often discussed as if it is lacking in empathy, a moral failing that results in failure to connect. But communicating differently should be embraced. There is more than one way to relate to each other, and those who relate differently shouldn’t be sent the message that they need to change in order to deserve friendship and mutual respect….
Social stories are often used with Autistic kids to force them into behaving and even thinking and feeling like they are non-autistic. These social stories cause children to feel ashamed of the way that they naturally are and like adults will only be proud of them if they change for others.
It’s another way to exclude Autistic children and cause them to internalize messages of shame and inferiority.
So, here’s a social story for ALL kids, written by an #ActuallyAutistic former counselor and English teacher— because being in the majority does not make someone “right.” All kids need to learn to embrace differences and see the value of inclusion.
NeuroClastic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with autistic leadership. We embrace and value diversity of thought, of neurology, and of identity.
The mainstream autism industry has failed parents, educators, and providers, and has caused trauma to millions of autistic children.
We are here to break that cycle. We don’t want or need legislation, therapies, training programs, products, or services created for us without our input. Autism is not an industry and Autistic people are not products or charity cases. Disempowering Autistic children with tragedy narratives built to sell products and inspire pity has set the stage for generations of Autistic adults who are undiagnosed, living behind a mask, under-accommodated, underestimated, and disenfranchised from society.
Autistic people have the highest suicide rates of any demographic. We know how to reverse this trend.
We are here to help. We are here to support parents and providers with tools to understand Autistic minds and learn how to connect and maximize the joy and self-determination of every human, Autistic or not.
We aren’t your mother’s autism charity. We are charitable, and our volunteers provide you with ad-free resources to improve your self-knowledge (for autistics) and your approach to connecting and understanding the Autistic neurotype (for all people).
We know you want to help. We will show you how. Please consider putting lift under the wings of our movement so we can break things and build something beautiful that is ours.
My Brother Otto is a story of a crow family with a sibling pair of Piper and her little brother, Otto, an autistic nonspeaker. Otto loves the color yellow, deep interroceptive pressure, sensory seeking by spinning, covering his ears, and swinging. His family is happy to accommodate and accept his differences like his love of bear hugs and his sensory sensitivities with clothes.