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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Dearest Smart, Weird, and Caring Autistic Women,

Don’t you wish we could all gather in one place? We’re all spread out in a neurotypical society. Feeling awfully alone. And isolated. And especially weird. And exceptionally smart. And overly caring.

If we could all come together, our pointy edges would no longer be seen as potentially dangerous and risky, but rather beautiful points of connection.

An acrylic painting of overlapping colors and leaf shapes
"Overlapping Wonderfulness" Acrylic Painting by Jackie Schuld

We wouldn’t be told we’re intimidating or too much. Our genius would be a delight and we could brainstorm for hours about all we want to do for the world.

Weird would lose its tone of “oddity” or “outsider” and we’d enjoy each other’s interests. The weirder the better - the more comfortable we would all feel.

We could care as much as we want about whatever we want. We could design systems to support that. There would be no such thing as “overly” caring. We would accept caring as the norm and explore new ways to care even more.

I don’t expect us all to be the same, and together, none of us would expect that. We’d know someone might need to slip away for naps. We know others might prefer to sit out on their rocking chairs and stare at the trees. We can have visual cues and other aids to alert us to someone's state, such as “Not up for talking.” We’d have a norm of not taking things personally and allow people to slip in and out.

We could establish new cultural norms that uplift and respect our ways of being. We could explore what it feels like to expand our autistic characteristics within a community.

We’d have the most wonderful conversations. We’d know that our existence doesn’t preclude other manifestations of autism. We could rest in the comfort that it’s okay to pull together a small subset within the autism spectrum and that we are not denying or denigrating others. We want every person with the autism community to find the kind of support they need.

And that includes us. Sometimes we need to be around other bright, caring autistics. We can talk about what it means to navigate life when everyone assumes that because you can perform externally, all is right internally. We can talk about masking as a skill and when to use it and when to not. We can explore our schedules, tips, and tracks. We can talk about our projects, businesses, and hopes for the world.

I know gathering together might be exhausting for some, but maybe even being together without having to be “together” would be nice. We take over a retreat center or resort. We could opt in to conversations or just simply bask in an environment where we are accepted and allowed to do our own thing.

I’m here for it.

Your Fellow Smart, Weird, and Caring Autistic,



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