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Autistic writer. Growth junkie. Kindness advocate. Seen in HuffPo, Elephant Journal, MBG, Leafly, +. 💫 https://linktr.ee/howilostallmyfs 💫 @howilostallmyfs
People who are autistic need to know that they are — we’re wired differently, and there’s power in learning how. Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash

Seven months ago, at 37 years old, I was diagnosed with autism.

What. A. Trip.

One of the many ways it’s so bizarre is discovering the bewildering reactions that some people have to the late-diagnosis community, especially on internet spaces like YouTube and TikTok.

Most of the comments tend to be positive ones from other autistic people, but it’s also common for “normal” neurotypical (NT) people to troll these posts and make disparaging comments.

In these online interactions, the motivations of the often relieved and jubilant newly diagnosed autistic person are questioned by the NT — “You’re not autistic, you’re…


Photo by Franco Antonio Giovanella on Unsplash

There are many requests for allyship right now, and while it can be overwhelming to learn about disadvantaged communities while also navigating a global pandemic — it’s also crucial, and really quite exciting.

We’ve finally gathered the courage to share and listen to each other’s stories on a bigger level, expressing ourselves and working to understand what it’s like to live in circumstances unfamiliar to our own, and it truly does have the power to change everything.

This article comes from the Autistic community, of which I am a proud member.

It’s hard to be Autistic in a Neurotypical world…


Photo by Matthew Waring on Unsplash

Being of Autistic neurology in a society made for neurotypical brains is incredibly difficult.

What’s easy for most people is very often incredibly uncomfortable, or even painful for those of us who are Autistic. One personal example of this is getting cold, which physically hurts my body. I’ve always gotten some teasing for my reactions, but ultimately I’ve generally (gratefully) been allowed to do what I need to adjust.

Not all of us have it so lucky.

At the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, USA, there are shock devices in use called that the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on…


Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

Ahhh, the empathy miss — that crucial moment when someone’s having a hard time and you really want to say the right thing, but after you speak there’s just a painfully awkward pause…you’ve stepped in it, and made things worse.

Or the reverse, you’re having a hell of a time and express that fact, and someone says something with the best of intentions — but rather than comfort their words leave you feeling invalidated, misunderstood, and worse than before you reached out.

As a society, we really aren’t great at holding emotional space for one another.

Luckily, a sociology researcher…


Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

For people who are Autistic, knowledge about our neurotype — how our brains work — is incredibly empowering; and for those who care about us Autists, knowledge is empathy.

The present public perception of Autism is based mostly on neurotypical (NT) observations of our behavior. Focus is on the social implications, with people often referring to how we “seem,” but the internal Autistic experience is far more crucial for people to understand.

We need people to understand how it *physically* feels to be Autistic. …


Photo by Dan Parlante on Unsplash

The word “normal” comes up a lot in our society.

We use it as an aspiration, “I just want to be normal,” or as a judgment, “that’s…not normal,” it’s even used like it’s a synonym for healthy, “that’s perfectly normal.”

I believe that all three uses are problematic for many reasons; but primarily because these homogeneous expectations have a very toxic effect on our mental health.

I feel that this is true even for those who feel they’ve achieved this mysteriously lauded act of mediocrity, but it’s especially toxic if you’re born in a body that excludes you from this…


Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

In our society, with its multitude of toxic norms, people often hurt one another without even realizing it — an unfortunate fact that likely applies to everyone, and one that is a result of something called social conditioning.

Society trains us how to act, teaches us how to “fit in,” the things we need to do, and the ways we need to be to succeed.

Some of these things are helpful. …


Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Like many people in the United States, I was bewildered last week when I saw that we’re no longer required to wear masks if we’re vaccinated.

I’ve been keeping up with the research as best I can, and the recommendation from last month seemed aligned, safe. I also dug the easy-to-remember mandate — 2 out of 3: masking, social distance, and/or outdoors — as there is an intense amount of crucial information at hand right now, pandemic info as well as from the plethora of affected communities pleading for change.

Like so many people, since the crisis started I’ve been…


(Image via People.)

Last Saturday Elon Musk made a personal announcement while hosting the NYC-based show Saturday Night Live, one that’s upset many autistic people: “I’m the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL, or at least the first to admit it.”

It’s okay if you’re not seeing the harm in that.

US society (and global perception at large) is becoming more conscious and undergoing many simultaneous changes in perception, like a massive detox — people at large are still ill-informed of impactful issues concerning disadvantaged communities, and the autistic population is no exception.

All we can do is listen to a variety…


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The journey to my summer of 2020 autism diagnosis — at 37 years old — was a lifelong one with a jillion ingredients, but my 9-year authenticity mission was certainly a crucial one.

It started one evening in early 2012, the night I realized I didn’t know who I was anymore.

I’d spent my twenties trying to find my people, my place in society — and after far too many job changes, ill-fated relationships, and moves, I’d come up short. …

Meg Hartley

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