I like to organize autism characteristics into categories that make sense to my brain. I break them down into sensory, body, emotions, thoughts, passions, and social.
When I meet with my autistic clients, we go through these categories together so they can fully understand how autism presents for them.
Originally, I met with people in-person and we verbally discussed these characteristics as they worked on a related art project. We’d meet for 80 minutes to have time to fully discuss and process what they were learning with their art.
Now, I’m transitioning my private practice to fully online, which means I’m also reorganizing how I present information. I now meet with people for 45 minute sessions. In order to have our meetings be more engaging, I provide them a list of the characteristics that we are going over.
I’m normally not a fan of autism lists because they can be quite confusing. We autistics need a lot more context and examples than a simple list can provide. That’s why I love reviewing the list with my clients. Afterward, I give them different artwork and written work to do at home to help them integrate and process what we talked about, as well as take it deeper.
When I’ve referred to my list of autism characteristics in previous essays, individuals have asked for copies. I’ve hesitated to provide my lists because I feel like they are incomplete without a discussion. There are so many things I want to explain with further detail… but that would turn them into one of my essays (which is probably why I write so many essays haha). There are too many aspects of my lists that are unclear for me to feel comfortable with the general population using them.
However, I understand people’s desire for more information. And so, I decided that today I would share my list of sensory characteristics as an experiment. I’d be happy to hear your opinions, as well as any ideas of items you feel I should add to my list.
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