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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

The Firehose Dilemma: Autism and Infodumping

The minute someone shows remote interest in a topic I care about, I get excited. VERY excited. I get so excited that information comes spewing out of my mouth and doesn’t stop.

As an autistic individual, I think deeply about my special interests. I spend time researching them, journaling about them, discussing them, writing formal essays about them, and more.

The minute I have space to verbally share with another human about a special interest, IT ALL COMES POURING OUT.

It’s like a firehose to the listener. The trouble is, it isn’t a firehose to me. I’ve been thinking about the subject for so long in layered, complex layers that all of my information feels natural. They are just the thoughts that have been living in my head and I am SO EXCITED to share them.

Autistic art therapist Jackie Schuld shares a collage with multiple textures and the word "Fire"
Collage created by Jackie Schuld

I get carried away. I drench the other person in information and don’t realize before it’s too late.

I usually see it in their eyes. They look at me with an overwhelmed look or shift nervously in their seat.

At this point, I usually check in to see if I have shared too much, “I’m sorry, am I saying too much?”

I’m secretly hoping they will say no. There is always FAR MORE I want to say.

The last time it happened was when I was talking about how little information there is about someone with both autism and ADHD. The time before that it was when an art therapy student was interviewing me about life as a therapist. The time before that it was when I met with a fellow therapist who was considering starting a private practice.

You get the picture. Pretty much any topic I write essays about, I LOVE to talk about with interested people.

I call it the firehose dilemma because I can’t seem to tincture the information. I am so excited that another human is interested that I want to share ALL of the relevant information with the other person.

Luckily. As a therapist, I am consciously and deliberately measured in what I say. Stepping into that role, I know how I must behave and so accordingly.

But in my personal life, all bets are off. I’m a firehose and my concentrated thoughts are coming your way.


Thank you for reading. If you’d like to read more, sign up for my FUNletter. If you would like to explore your autistic identity with an autistic therapist, you can learn more about my therapy services here.


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