⚫ Pete Wharmby @commaficionado Father; English teacher; politics, history and lego nerd, #autistic. Views my own. #autisticparent; buymeacoffee.com/UfTVnRY Oct. 23, 2019 2 min read

20 things you need to know about #autism if you're not #autistic. A thread. Please share widely. (All my own views, if course).

1. There is no visible way to tell if someone is #autistic. At all. Unless they wear a hat saying 'hi, I'm autistic', which is possible, though unlikely.

2. #autism is genuinely an invisible disability, as #autistic people can actively hide their autistic traits in order to fit in. This costs a great deal of energy.

3. #autism never goes away. #autistic children become autistic adults. There are a *lot* of undiagnosed autistic adults out there.

4. Many #autistic people don't understand the concept of deference to authority and so may seem over friendly or push boundaries. This isn't done to annoy or insult, most of the time.

5. #autistic people can and often do have a good sense of humour.

6. #autism is not an illness. Any suffering we experience will most of the time ultimately stem from living in a world not designed for us. Though it's true certain aspects of autism can cause direct suffering, like some sensory issues.

7. All genders can be #autistic, and are.

8. #autism itself is not a learning disability. It can often be co-morbid with other learning disabilities, but in and of itself is not.

9. Much, though not all, of #autistic behaviour viewed as 'negative' or 'challenging' can be easily avoided with very simple support and understanding.

10. #autistic people have a significantly shorter life expectancy than non-autistic people, due in part to increase rates of suicide and heart disease,possibly from chronic stress.

11. #autistic people might use repetitive movements as a way of keeping calm and grounded. This is called 'stimming' and is necessary and (almost always) harmless. Leave us be.

12. #autistic people can miss implications and subtexts, in questions, instructions, descriptions. Use plain, clear language.

13. #autistic people might find it difficult to explain their emotions. They do have them, frequently very strongly, but expressing and handling emotions can be hard.

14. #autistic people are not robots who don't feel anything and don't empathise. We are often hyper-emotional people who feel everything a great deal.

15. #autistic people overwhelmingly prefer to be called #autistic people, rather than 'people with autism'. Ask em. Try it. I promise you.

16. #autistic people have very powerful interests and passions in things that may, to you seem unusual. But the connection we have with these interests is hugely important to us and must not be belittled or treated with contempt.

17. #autistic people can have a big connection with animals, nature, the outdoors. It can be useful to remind us of this if we're in a bit of a funk, to be honest.

18. #autistic people find sudden changes in plan or routine very difficult to handle, possibly because we're already overwhelmed by stress and see routine as a way to cope.

19. #autistic people can be extremely creative and very bad at mathematics do don't assume anything!

20. #autistic people are not sociopathic, nor are they anything like Sherlock or Sheldon Cooper etc - there's a huge variety in the autistic population.

Please check out my Patreon page for more thoughts on #autism, and feel free to support me if you like!

I also have this thing if throwing a coffee my way is on the cards, thanks!


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