Those who originally coined the terms “Autism” and “Aspergers” were focused on the external behaviors of the young white boys they observed. The scientists weren’t autistic themselves and so they focused on what they could see. Furthermore, given they were observing young boys, they didn’t have much access to the interior world of autism. They knew very little about what it FEELS like to be autistic.
Luckily, autism has come a long way. We now have numerous neurodiverse, autistic, and Audhd advocates sharing their lived experiences. We are learning more and more about the interior landscape: the feelings and thoughts that course through an autistic person.
It wasn’t until I read the interior descriptions of autism in the book “Divergent Book” that I realized I was likely autistic. All of my graduate school education in autism focused primarily on the external behaviors of autism.
The more I began to read descriptions of what it feels like to be autistic, the more I found myself. I’m now adding to that library of interior descriptions with my essays.
There is so much to being autistic, that it is hard to confine autistic characteristics down to simple, straightforward lists (I even wrote an essay about that: 4 Reasons Why Autism Symptoms Lists are Confusing). We need context, examples, and lived experiences to make autism come alive and see if we relate.
This is my intention in my autistic essays. Here are all of my essays where I try to capture the lived internal experience of being autistic: