Help me read what other autistic adults have written!
June 2, 2015 5:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm an adult in my 30s and have just been positively screened for Autism. I'm actually really happy, because a lot of things in my life now make a lot more sense. I'd like to read on the internets stuff that autistic adults have written about their own lives. I'm interested in personal blogs and stuff that has been more formally published. Can you help?

So much of what is out there about autism focuses on passing in society and/or curing it. I'm not interested in either of those things right now, and I'm having trouble turning up what I really want to read.

It's been really helpful to read blogs and articles by autistic adults who are actively advocating for themselves and for a chance in how society interacts with autistic individuals. People who are happy with themselves, open with their limitations and happy with the ways they've made the world work for them. In particular, I'd like to read stuff written by autistic women or people who are considered high functioning, but talking about the ways in which it still impacts their life and is an important part of who they are.

Some topics I'm interested in: executive dysfunction, stimming, echolalia, texture issues, relationships, mysophonia.

I'm 100% NOT interested in articles by parents of autistic kids or other allistic writers talking about people with autism. In general, I'm more interested in people that are out of school and not primarily writing about their struggles with getting universities to deal properly with them. [Note: Please don't come in saying anything about "people first language." Like many autistic people, I reject it as distancing from who I actually am. I'm not me with some autism tacked on, thanks.]
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Are you familiar with Temple Grandin?
posted by mareli at 5:34 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

You might find Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin to be an interesting read. She writes about the way her particular brain works and the advantages that she feels that it gives her. She also writes about how she experiences stimuli differently and how that affects her.
posted by GeekDad at 5:36 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Journal of Best Practices is well-reviewed, clever, and thoughtful. It spawned an excellent This American Life story, too.
posted by mllrstvn at 5:39 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Do you know about the Wrong Planet website? They've got forums organized by topic and also a bunch of articles.
posted by colfax at 5:39 AM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

Julia Bascom: Just Stimming
posted by lokta at 5:44 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I love With a Smooth, Round Stone.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:03 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Reason I Jump.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:14 AM on June 2, 2015

The Autism Friends Network is a good resource for finding further readings.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:21 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

If Tumblr is a thing that works for you, the #actuallyautistic tag could be fruitful. (Also found on Twitter, but I don't track the tag there so I don't know much about it.)

Lydia Brown (blogging at Autistic Hoya, tweeting as @autistichoya, and on Tumblr as namelessthingsdismantle) is great. Tends to be more on the activism side than the slice-of-life side but often links to things that might be more what you're looking for. She's working on something called the Autistic Culture Project which will be Autistic folks talking about their experiences, but I'm not sure what the release schedule is (I missed the contribution deadline and am still a bit sad about that) -- keep an eye out.

Here's the website for the Autism Women's Network, whose bloggers might be folks you're interested in reading on their own blogs (Amy Sequenzia is the one I'm most familiar with).
posted by dorque at 6:34 AM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

The author of Journal of Best Practices (mentioned above), David Finch, has had several pieces in the New York Times that could serve as a test of whether you like his style.

I do not know if this exactly meets what you are looking for, but lately I've been going through Penelope Trunk's archives of posts about living with autism, and even though a lot of it is workplace oriented, there is also a lot of personal stuff there that is very interesting.
posted by mittens at 6:47 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

The blog Ballastexistenz updates every few months, and there are years of excellent posts & discussion there. It addresses both political and personal topics.

The Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical is a lovely (old) example of autistic humor. It was hosted at— you may be able to track this site down in the Wayback Machine (the individuals running it couldn't afford the server anymore).

Jim Sinclair and other autistics created ANI—Autism Network International. Among other things, it hosts the Autreat Conference: by autistics for autistics, where folks from all over meet in RL. This conference has grown enough to generate controversy among autistics: here's a call for change from one attendee whose access needs were ignored.

Elizabeth "Ibby" Grace is a ball of joy and justice, and I laugh and learn every time I read her. Here's where she crowdsourced over 200 links to specific autistics talking about their culture. Here are her five blogger blogs, and her Facebook and her Twitter feed with her experiences raising her twins.
posted by Jesse the K at 7:06 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

John Elder Robison (who is an activist and also a beautiful writer) has written two memoirs, Look Me In The Eye and Raising Cubby, plus Be Different, which is a little more self-helpy.

The audiobook versions, which he narrates himself, are really lovely.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:21 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seconding Lydia Brown. Follow her and Ari Ne'euman (ASAN) on social media.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:32 AM on June 2, 2015

The content here will be hit-and-miss but the Neurodiversity subreddit features posts and essays by non-neurotypical people talking about their lives. Some posters are on the autism spectrum and some have other conditions, so you'll have to decide what to read, but it's a positive and supportive environment.
posted by workerant at 11:23 AM on June 2, 2015

The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism- not entirely autistic-written, but all respectful.
posted by lakeroon at 5:33 PM on June 2, 2015

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