Five Autistic Social Skills

Five Autistic Social Skills So often we hear that being autistic means to have poor social skills. I argue that autistic people have lots of social skills, but just different ones to non-autistic people. Here are what I consider to be five autistic social skills/attributes, in which non-autistic people are deficient in comparison: The use… Continue reading Five Autistic Social Skills


Poem about autistic coercion– “I would rather…”

I would rather your hands were still, Traumatised hands, dissociated hands. I would rather they were muted, dead, Lumps of flesh, perfect for my necrophiliac Hand holding.   I would rather your body stayed centre Repressed body, ingesting its pain, Swallowing its joy, until feelings become Poisons, until your body attacks itself Inside out.  … Continue reading Poem about autistic coercion– “I would rather…”

Choosing to act allistically…

Yesterday, somebody said to me: “unlike those with Tourette’s you at least have a choice about how normal you seem in public…” This post explores the tense relationship that I have with the idea of choice when it comes to ‘seeming normal’. To what extent is being visibly autistic (or not) a choice? Tourettes involves have… Continue reading Choosing to act allistically…

Reframing the notion of “accommodations” for autistic people

As autistic people, in a world established for non-autistic (“allistic”) people, we sometimes believe that the "accommodations" which we require to engage with the world are burdensome, and that others are very much “doing us a favour” in providing them. And, indeed, providing these accommodations requires work from other people. I will not deny that… Continue reading Reframing the notion of “accommodations” for autistic people

Quick thought: “Neurotribes”

Neurotribes is written by a neurotypical man, who basically says: "Do not kill, abuse, and try to "cure" autistic people, because some of them are good at computers and science" OK, compare it to a (hypothetical) book written by a straight man: "Do not kill, abuse, and try to "cure" gay people, because some of… Continue reading Quick thought: “Neurotribes”

Executive Function Primer (Part 1)

All of this! Clicking through this four part series is a very good description of executive functioning difficulties.

Musings of an Aspie

I’ve written a lot about executive function, but I realized recently that I don’t have a post that explains what EF is. I set to write one post and 4000 words later, I have a short series. This is part one. The three remaining parts will be posted over the next two weeks.

So what the heck is executive function, anyhow?

Executive function is a broad term that refers to the cognitive processes that help us regulate,  control and manage our thoughts and actions. It includes planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, initiation of actions and monitoring of actions.

That’s a nice concise definition, in theory, but what does EF look like in real life?

In practice, executive function is a slippery concept. Sometimes it looks like responsibility. Sometimes it looks like self-discipline. Sometimes it looks like being a competent adult.

If you have poor EF…

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“Do I have problems with communication or do we just have a ‘language barrier’?”

Autism is supposedly characterised by a marked difficulty in reciprocal social communication. I have realised recently, however, through talking online with other people who are on the autistic spectrum that among ourselves we have little problem communicating. And this got me thinking, and it also got me observing autistic and non-autistic interpretations and reactions. Last… Continue reading “Do I have problems with communication or do we just have a ‘language barrier’?”

“Shutdown” — what it is and what it isn’t.

When I shut down, it is like I am becoming ill with the flu. I feel achy, extremely tired, I need to be in a quiet dark room immediately, my executive functioning stops, my body becomes frozen/very still, and communication becomes difficult or non-existent. If this happens when I am out of the house (which… Continue reading “Shutdown” — what it is and what it isn’t.