My Brain Is Autistic

This NeuroInclusive story is for kids and adults and helps to understand how autistic brains are different— from most brains and from other autistic brains.

Autistic kids and the people around them rarely get the luxury to learn how they are different from others and what this means for them.

This is obviously an oversimplified analogy of brains, but it is accurate to the neuroscience. Autistic brains (usually/often) have less connectivity between left and right hemispheres, then either more or less connectivity to various sensory systems. Also, those systems themselves may be more or less developed. 87% of autistic people have a degree of apraxia or dyspraxia, which means that there’s atypical connectivity in the areas of the brain responsible for movement and coordination. This is why many nonspeakers cannot speak or speak reliably.

Basically, most people’s brains are like a bunch of evenly distributed two-lane roads, but autistic people have 14-lane superhighways, labyrinths like the stuff of Greek mythology, toll booths, mountainous hiking trails, and rickety foot bridges.

We may have to run an internal obstacle course every time we do a “brain errand,” or those tasks that become automated routines for most people.

We are in our heads with the urgency of Indiana Jones trying to navigate and keep up with your world and what is easy for everyone else. We spend so much time breaking our necks trying to do what everyone else is doing, the way they’re doing it, that we never get to learn what we can do if we open up that superhighway and do what we’re wired to do best– which varies depending on the person’s brain map.

NeuroInclusive is a word coined by NeuroClastic that is used to describe spaces, activities, and programs that are intentionally, actively designed to foster inclusion for people who are from different neurotypes— like Autistics, ADHDers, PDAers, dyslexics, etc.

*Note: thank you to everyone who credits NeuroClastic when using the term “NeuroInclusive” in your work and posts.

You can click here to download the printable PDF of the images in this post, and the individual images are viewable below.

Click here for the link to image descriptions.

Written by Terra Vance with art contributions from Kate Jones.

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15 Responses

  1. Being a combination of two families, with similar and yet different complexities, including Borderline Personally Disorder, on one side, and Autism with ADHD on the other, learning about psychology has become my newest obsession.
    I know I have Both, but lucky me, I got mostly, my Autistic Father’s humility, respect, and sense of accountability.
    Keep fighting the good fight. People need voices.

  2. Your work has significantly improved my relationship and understanding of my Neurodiverse daughter. I appreciate you guys so much.

  3. I really love this, that it’s a plain language explanation of how Autistic brains are different than allistic brains, and emphasizes “different, not defective”. I could have used this when I was diagnosed myself, as I had a lot of internalized ableism.

  4. I love how you included “likes to try lots of new things” in your presentation. I think the stereotype that All autistics hate change and love sameness needs to go (along with so many others but I digress!). Several of us I know love trying new things because we Love to Learn, but need to have some degree of control over the duration, intensity, setting, etc of these new experiences. Others might not even need that! We’re always learning more about ourselves and others in our community and I’m grateful for your efforts!

  5. I love this infographic! I am an I integrative pediatric mental health counselor and certified Autplay provider. I specialize in neurodivergant children. This is a perfect introdiction for my clients and their families. Thank you so much!

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