it’s world autism acceptence day | 7 things i wish allistics understood about autism

hello, friends! i hope you’re all having a wonderful day (: so, as many of you are aware, it’s autism acceptence day (technically it’s autism awarness day, but, to quote chloe hayden in this video, “autism isn’t something we need awarness about. we already have awarness about it. it’s something we need acceptence about.”) yes i know that’s a paraphrasing of her original quote. i had actually forgotten today was autism acceptence day until q’zion posted something about it. and, as an autistic person, i thought i would share my thoughts on this day. hopefully throughout this entire month (april is autism acceptence month), i’ll be able to get around to posting various articles about autism. 

i know you guys almost never see me fired up and angry, but uh…i’m exeedingly passionate about autism…so, apologies for if i seem,,, annoyed or something.

as a quick note before we begin, i am only one autistic person. take what i am saying with a grain of salt. every autistic person is different, and every autistic person has different perspectives on various things i’ll be talking about in this post. i’m only sharing my personal experience ❤


7 things i wish allistics understood about autism

*allistic means a person who is not autistic. they can be neurodivergent, but they’re not autistic.

  1. autism’s not a disease.

oh. my. word. this is a huge pet peeve of mine. an example of this is how anti-vaxxers will say that they won’t vaccinate their children because their children could get autism, and yet they’re okay if their kids die from the disease that they should have been vaccinated against. i know people who think this way, and it makes me so mad. you’d rather have your kids die then get autism? i’m sorry, but that’s twisted.

  1. for heavens sake, stop using the puzzle piece

when people think of autism, they think of the puzzle piece. *muffled screaming* i don’t like the puzzle piece. at all. why? well, while i don’t think that it says autistic people are missing a piece of themselves (although, if you’re autistic and think it’s saying that, that’s completely valid. i just don’t really get that vibe from it <3), i do dislike it because of what it evokes in my mind. in my mind, it makes me think of autism speaks, and just…the whole “neurotypicals speaking for autistic people” culture. i’m not mad if you’ve used that symbol in the past, for the record. i myself, before i was diagnosed with autism, would use the puzzle piece proudly in support of my younger brother who is also autistic. i get it, ok. i do. but at the same time…if you can avoid using the puzzle piece, please do. use the infinity sign instead. that’s one that’s widely approved by the autism community.

  1. listen to autistic people’s voices

have you ever googled stuff about autism? i think most of us have. i know i have. and the thing is, most of the information that pops up is from neurotypical people who have only studied autism, and are essentially speaking for the autism community. i’ve found that these people tend to have a warped and cliche view of autism, and that it usually doesn’t fit what autism actually is. so please, when doing research about autism, try to pay more attention to autistic people’s voices, instead of allistic’s voices. chloe hayden is one of my favorite youtubers, and she’s autistic. i would highly recommend her if you’re wanting to learn more about autism.

  1. please don’t be a part of the “my child has autism. woe is me.” trope

just…no. using your autistic child as a way to elevate yourself and make yourself seem like a superhero is just wrong. it’s one thing to acnoledge the struggles of raising an autistic child. trust me, i get that it’s not easy. it’s a whole other thing to use it to get attention. 

  1. saying “you don’t seem autistic” is not a compliment

i’ve talked about this quite a few times on my blog, so i won’t elaborate more on this (check out this post for more information), but just…yeah. autism’s a spectrum you can’t “seem” autistic. i know you think it’s a compliment to tell someone they don’t seem autistic, but it’s not. trust me, as someone who gets told this all the time, i’m so sick of it. 

  1. autism’s not caused by vaccines

friends, science has already disproved this. multiple times. and still, anti vaxxers say that autism is caused by vaccines. it’s so absurd. also, even if autism was caused by vaccines (which, it isn’t), would that be a good reason to not vaccinate your child? would you rather they die, or get autism? see the fallacies in that argument?

  1. autism has a beautiful side

autism isn’t a hideous terrifying disease. it’s beautiful. because of my autism, i’m incredibly creative, i have so many things that bring me joy, and i’m unique. god made me autistic, and i honestly think that it brought him joy to make me autistic. he’s such a wonderful and creative god, so clearly, autism is just another thing that he’s using to show us how incredible he is. i think, at the end of the day, autism is just a different way of thinking, and in heaven, i’m going to be freed from the painful parts of autism, and will instead just have a special way of looking at the world. isn’t that lovely to think about?


thank you all so so much for reading this post! i hope you all enjoyed it, and have a wonderful day today. *hugs* don’t forget to click like, leave a comment, and subscribe. i hope you all learned something new about autism ❤

what did you learn about autism from this post? let me know in the comments (:

/ad gloriam dei/

Answering Your Questions About Autism, Part 1

Hello, dears!! Today’s blog post is one that I’m quite excited about. A while ago, I created a questionnaire, asking people about their perspectives on autism, and I got more responses then I expected (I got 44 responses!). I’ll be sharing the poll responses some time soon, but at the moment I’m just gonna answer the questions people asked on it. I’m only doing half of them this time though, due to there being too many questions. So yeah! I hope you guys enjoy (:

The Questions

I honestly don’t know that much about [autism], I do wonder, though, is it just something you’ve learned to deal with? I have a lot of things where I just have to deal with them, even when they’re hard. Is autism the same way? (Idk if that made sense, sorry XD)

Ooh okay, this is an interesting question. In a way, yes, I have learned how to live with my autism. I’ve accepted it as a part of my life, and I’m honestly proud to call myself an autistic. I’ve learned to deal with my sensory overloads and other difficult aspects of being on the spectrum (hint: noise canceling headphones are lifesavers and I love mine so much). So yeah, I guess in a way, I’ve learned how to deal with it. 

Do people with autism like to be treated differently because of the autism?

Okay, so. I can’t generalize this for every autistic, because obviously, I’m just me. So, I’m just giving my opinion on this. Please note that my opinion does not equal other autistic’s opinions. Ask each of us this question individually please (: Anywaysss back to the question. For me personally, yes and no. I like it when my friends are aware of my autism and check in with me during like sensory overload situations and stuff, and I like being the cute cinnamon roll friend hehe. But also, I do want to be treated as a typical person in most situations. Treating me like I have no brain or anything is rude and demeaning. I experience most normal 15 year old things, ok? Don’t treat me like I don’t.

What are some challenges caused by the way people react to or treat you? What should others know to avoid causing these scenarios?

Ooookay…this is gonna be a long answer. Some stuff I have experienced because of how people treat me includes people not being mindful of my triggers (that one’s not autism related though), being told that I ‘don’t seem like I have autism’, being told that vaccines cause autism and that autism should be cured, people using my being overly sensitive against me, and other stuff. To avoid causing this kind of stuff, pay attention to when someone tells you that you’re triggering them (triggers are valid and should be respected). Seriously, please don’t tell an autistic person that they don’t seem autistic. It’s not a compliment, ok? It’s both invalidating us and rewarding us for masking (which should never be rewarded). Even if you believe that vaccines cause autism and/or that autism is a disease that should be eradicated, don’t say that. It offends us and honestly it hurts. It’s basically like being told “You have a mental disease that was caused by getting vaccinated, and I think your disease should be cured”. It can make us feel like trash. And for heavens sake, don’t pick on an autistic person for their personality traits. I know I’m overly sensitive to being picked on, and I have a feeling other autistics are too. And honestly, just a good rule of thumb when dealing with autistic people (or even allistic people), is to just be nice to them, and to show them God’s love, and to respect them. That’s the best possible thing you can do (:

How is autism different in girls from in boys? (I know they’re *finally* doing more research into this)

Ahh I’m so excited that they’re finally doing research on this! Autism in girls has been an unspoken topic for so long, and I’m glad that that’s finally changing. So many autistic girls go undiagnosed, due to the fact that the diagnosing criteria for autism has been based on masculine autism traits. This is a huge issue in the medical community, because autistic boys are exceedingly different from autistic girls. Boys with autism tend to not know how to mask, seem ‘more autistic’, and have more cliche autism traits. Girls with autism typically learn how to mask from a very young age, therefore hiding more of their autism traits. There’s a bunch of stuff I could say on this topic, but for now, I’ll leave you with that.

I would love to know how people with autism feel about how it is portrayed in society. 

I can’t speak for every autistic person, but I know that a lot of us (including myself) feel that autism is greatly misrepresented in society. I mean, all the characters who are said to be autistic are just stereotypes of us. We are more than socially awkward 12 year old boys who hyperfixate on trains and are savants. A lot of autistic girls get told that we don’t seem autistic, due to masking. So I guess that gets rid of the socially awkward stereotype (even though I’m kinda socially awkward haha). There are autistic girls, not all autistics are boys. Our hyperfixations vary greatly, so uhh don’t assume that we love math or trains or medical stuff. And most autistics are not savants, so uh yeah there’s that. See what I mean? Autism is not represented in society well at all. If you want to find some good autism representation, please please please pay attention to own voices autism books and tv shows and movies. Ownvoices autism rep is almost always realistic and amazing (:

Is there anything that I might unknowingly say that could be considered hurtful to autistic people?

I’m so glad that someone cared to ask this question! I wish more people cared about this. Anyways. Some things you might unknowingly say that might hurt us includes, “You don’t seem/look/act autistic”, making fun of our hyperfixations/special interests, using the word ‘retarded’ casually, making jokes about the disability community, and making fun of our stims. All of these invalidate us in different ways, and make us feel awful. Just…don’t do these, okay? They’re just…not good. I might do a post later about why these are wrong.

Did God create autism or is it part of the fall? Will you have autism in heaven?

Oooh, this is a wonderful question (my mom actually asked this one, and I decided to include it because it was interesting). I don’t know a lot about theology and whether I’ll have autism in heaven, and all that, so I’m just gonna answer based on some personal theories. I think that at the end of the day, autism is just your brain working differently. So, I think God created the good parts of autism, and that I’ll probably have the good parts of autism in heaven. But I suspect that the more difficult aspects of autism are a result of the fall.

What’s one thing you wish your allistic friends knew about autism? 

Quite frankly, I wish that my allistic friends would just be patient with me on slow brain processing days (actually they’re all pretty good at this, but I thought I’d include that anyways). There are hard days where I can’t read tones and can’t form thoughts that make sense, and honestly having my friends help on these days is really good. I also wish that my online school allistic friends would use tone tags more often. For heavens sake, tones are hard enough in real life, they’re just worse online. Oh and one more thing (that’s not entirely autism related but who cares) would be using trigger warnings. I get triggered so easily, and it can be really difficult to have people who aren’t mindful of trigger warnings. So please, ask people what their personal triggers are and use trigger warnings when you can. I know that while trigger warnings don’t help everyone, they help me a lot.

Does talking about your autism/the fact that you’re autistic make you uncomfortable?

Yes, and no. I don’t see any shame in being autistic, and so I just sort of openly discuss it with people. But also people like to give really rude responses and honestly, it can make me wary to tell people I’m autistic. I feel like a lot of people don’t know what to do with the concept of autism, and so they just…ignore comments I make about my autism.


Well, I guess that’s kinda it for this post. Thank you all so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please don’t forget to click like, leave a comment, and follow me for similar content.

What are some questions you have about autism? 

Let me know in the comments! 

Why Autism Representation Is So Important + Books With Wonderful Autism Representation   

Hiii readers, I hope that you’re all doing well. Today’s post was originally supposed to be Characters That Are Truly Kind + Ways To Bless Others, Inspired By Them, but I was struggling with writers block and really had no motivation to write that post (I mean, I did write it, but I was not satisfied with the finished result), so!! Instead, you guys get a post that I am much more enthusiastic about (also, writing something that excites me is kinda self care for me). I hope that that’s okay, thank you all for understanding 💕. 

Autism representation is such an important thing. I cannot stress this enough. It is so important. Being autistic can sometimes feel incredibly isolating. There are so many things about having autism that only other autistic people understand. For example, my sensory stuff. I am sensitive to things that neurotypical people are not bothered by (such as fireworks. Side note: fireworks are actually a trigger for me, the sound scares me so much. If at all possible, this 4th of July, please take other autistic people into consideration and avoid using illegal loud *boom* fireworks). 

There are so many things that are specific to having ASD (although, I will point out that those with ADD and other things like that can probably relate to a lot of my autism things); stimming, struggling with eye contact, not understanding social cues, and more. Explaining these to neurotypical people can sometimes to exhausting. They don’t always understand. My dad doesn’t always understand why I don’t eat certain foods. My sisters don’t always understand why I ask questions repeatedly. My teachers at a homeschool co-op didn’t always understand why I was so clueless to social cues (although, this might have been a result of having been homeschooled for most of my life haha). My classmates didn’t always understand why I couldn’t just be normal. Not everyone always understood, and explaining is sometimes just too hard. 

When (on an extremely rare occasion) I see an autistic character in the media, I have been known to get emotional. They usually aren’t represented well, which really makes me sad. But here’s the thing, just knowing that they’re autistic makes me feel a little less alone. I feel a little better seeing them. Now, I want to ask you guys a question, why do we have so little autism rep that even just a mention of autism is a big deal? I want better autism representation. I want to be an advocate for better autism rep. I want people to understand why this is so important. I hope that in ten years other autistic teens will feel understood. I hope that autistic teens in ten years from now won’t understand the misunderstood feeling that so many of us feel daily. This is why autism rep is so important (or at least it’s one of the reasons, another reason would be so that neurotypical people understand better how to help autistic people). 

Key

  • = I’ve read it and can guarantee that it has good autism rep

/ = I’ve read it and while it doesn’t have good autism rep, it still has autism rep. But, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for the autism rep.

~ = I’ve read it, and while it does not have autism rep, I think that one of the characters might be autistic.

^ = I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard that it has autism rep. I cannot however guarantee that the rep is well done.

The Books (I’m only going to include books with autistic main characters. There are others with side characters that are well written that I have chosen not to include for a few reasons. Also, I will be only including commentary on the books that I have already read. If I haven’t read the book, I will only include the blurb from Amazon

What To Say Next, by Julie Buxbaum */

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they?  I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her. 

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David.  Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I felt like it was really well written and had really likable characters. None of the characters were ‘flat’, even the side popular characters were interesting. I liked how it dealt with the fact that everyone is a little messed up. The main character was an autistic boy. He was really sweet. He was also a trope. He reminded me of literally almost every other autistic boy that I’ve read about, but he was portrayed as attractive instead of hideous, which is almost never done in books about autism. Overall, while the autism rep wasn’t perfect, it was better then most books. Besides, the romance was really sweet. 

Note: There is quite a bit of ableism and graphic death threats in the book. Read with caution, I know that I found these quite triggering (which was why I skipped the climax). 

Rein Reign, by Ann M Martin *

Rose Howard has OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.

Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.

Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.

Ann M Martin is my favorite author. Almost all her books are wholesome and fairly trigger free (the only one to watch out for is A Corner Of The Universe — it’s not horrific, but it does have some content that might be too mature for a middle grade book). She also tends to include characters that are diverse, especially in the sense of disability. In Main Street and Family Tree, she includes characters with Down Syndrome. Rein Reign focuses on an autistic 12 year old girl who has a hyperfixation with homophones. I don’t remember a lot about the book (I read it when I was eleven, basically three years ago), but I’m pretty sure that the autism rep was well done (although, once again, it was not perfect).

After Zero, by Christina Collins ~

This award winning book offers kids an authentic depiction of selective mutism and a story of the experience of middle school interactions and mental illness.

Elise carries a notebook full of tallies, each page marking a day spent at her new public school, each stroke of her pencil marking a word spoken. A word that can’t be taken back. Five tally marks isn’t so bad. Two is pretty good. But zero? Zero is perfect. Zero means no wrong answers called out in class, no secrets accidentally spilled, no conversations to agonize over at night when sleep is far away.

But now months have passed, and Elise isn’t sure she could speak even if she wanted to―not to keep her only friend, Mel, from drifting further away―or to ask if anyone else has seen her English teacher’s stuffed raven come to life. Then, the discovery of a shocking family secret helps Elise realize that her silence might just be the key to unlocking everything she’s ever hoped for…

I just finished this book, it was so good. The main character was a girl who had selective mutism, and I’m pretty sure that it was represented well (please note that I do not have selective mutism, therefore I cannot say just how well it was represented). I am also pretty sure that the main character (Elise) is autistic. I related to a lot of stuff about her social awkwardness and just overall vibe. I do not know for sure whether or not she’s autistic though. But!! If you’re looking for a book with selective mutism rep, this is a wonderful book. The ending broke my heart, it was so good. 

Can You See Me, by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott

Things Tally is dreading about sixth grade:– Being in classes without her best friends– New (scratchy) uniforms– Hiding her autism. Tally isn’t ashamed of being autistic — even if it complicates life sometimes, it’s part of who she is. But this is her first year at Kingswood Academy, and her best friend, Layla, is the only one who knows. And while a lot of other people are uncomfortable around Tally, Layla has never been one of them . . . until now. Something is different about sixth grade, and Tally now feels like she has to act “normal.” But as Tally hides her true self, she starts to wonder what “normal” means after all and whether fitting in is really what matters most. Inspired by young coauthor Libby Scott’s own experiences with autism, this is an honest and moving middle-school story of friends, family, and finding one’s place.

Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli

This beloved celebration of individuality is now an original movie on Disney+!

A modern-day classic and New York Times bestseller from Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli.

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. 

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

This book is so good, I could rave about this book for hours upon hours. But!! That’s not the point of this post haha. I personally canonize Stargirl as autistic, she is such a divergent thinker (I learned that term from the book BenBee and The Teacher Griefer — that was a book with really good ADD rep). Besides, I related to Stargirl. If she turns out to be autistic, I will be so happy because ahh guyss she feels so realistic ahh. 

A Kind Of Spark, Elle McNicoll ^

A KIND OF SPARK tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there’s more to the story of these ‘witches’, just like there is more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and her autism, and make her voice heard? A story about friendship, courage and self-belief, perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy. 

The State Of Grace, by Rachael Lucas ^

Whip-smart, hilarious, and unapologetically honest, Rachael Lucas’s The State of Grace is a heartwarming story of one girl trying to work out where she fits in, and whether she even wants to.

“Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.”

Grace is autistic and has her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more. 

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it’s up to Grace to fix it on her own.

M is For Autism, by The Students Of Limpsfield Grange School, Vicky Martin, and Robert Pritchett (Forward) ^

M. That’s what I’d like you to call me please. I’ll tell you why later.

Welcome to M’s world. It’s tipsy-turvy, sweet and sour, and the beast of anxiety lurks outside classrooms ready to pounce. M just wants to be like other teenagers her age who always know what to say and what to do. So why does it feel like she lives on a different plane of existence to everyone else?

Written by the students of Limpsfield Grange, a school for girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder with communication and interaction difficulties, M is for Autism draws on real life experiences to create a heartfelt and humorous novel that captures the highs and lows of being different in a world of normal.

Kids Like Us, by Hilary Reyl ^

Martin is an American teen on the autism spectrum living in France with his mom and sister for the summer. He falls for a French girl who he thinks is a real-life incarnation of a character in his favorite book. Over time Martin comes to realize she is a real person and not a character in a novel while at the same time learning that love is not out of his reach just because he is autistic.

Thank you so much for putting up with this long rambling post. If you’re enjoying my blog and/or this post, please don’t forget to leave a comment, click like, and follow me.

Because I’m not quite sure what to use for question prompts based on this post, I’ll just ask you guys something I saw another blogger (Lotus @PagesOfStarlight) doing in a post. How are you guys doing this week, how are you all feeling at the moment? 

XOXO,

Liesl ❤

What Self Care Looks Like For Me As An Autistic Teenager

Hii readers! Today, I’m bringing you all another glimpse into my life as a teenager with autism. This post is something that I’m so excited for. It’ll hopefully it help you understand a bit more about living with autism. 

As I mentioned in my last post about autism, one of the big things about my autism (for me anyways), is my sensory stuff. My sensory stuff affects almost everything in my life. Most of my fears are because of sensory stuff. I only eat certain foods because of sensory stuff (which is why Trader Joes is a lifesaver — they carry healthy versions of foods that I like). I can’t watch certain movies because of sensory overload. The list goes on and on (maybe one day I’ll do a day in my life post, and you guys’ll see what I mean). As a result of my sensory issues, a lot of “traditional” self care stuff doesn’t work for me.

I’ve tried so many traditional self care things. I’ve tried doing face masks (the skincare kind — I’m fine with the Covid ones, my germaphobic self is in love with the Covid ones haha), they felt icky and I did not like them. I’ve tried shaving my legs, I hate it so much, I literally almost vomit every time I shave my legs (although I still force myself to because I like the end result). I’ve tried so many things, and they usually freak me out. 

For me, self care looks a bit more nonconventional. It looks like watching a tv show that I’m hyperfixating on (currently that show is ‘Big Shot’, on Disney+ — I recommend it. Although, be aware that there is quite a bit of swearing and also some inappropriate humor and mature storylines. But like if you’re mature enough to handle it — or are watching it with a parent, which is what I’ve been doing, I think it’s okay). It looks like reading articles online that have to do with things that fascinate me. It looks like reading books that make me feel happy. It looks like reading poetry online. It looks like looking at aesthetic images. It looks like bullet journaling. It looks like stimming. It looks like cleaning my room. It looks like reading encouraging stuff online. It looks like getting ready and making myself look pretty. It looks like doing sensory safe skincare. It looks like listening to a stim song on repeat (basically, a song that has a sound in it that I really like and that I’ll listen to until I’m sick of it). This is what self care looks like for me (there are more things I do for self care, but if I listed them all, this post would be too long).

For every autistic person, self care looks different. For someone else, my self care routine might sound horrible. That’s okay, we’re all diverse and have different self care stuff. Life would be pretty dull if we were all the same. 

If you’re enjoying my blog and/or this post, please don’t forget to like it, comment, and follow me.

What does self care look like for you? If you’re autistic, did you relate to anything I said? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO,

Liesl

*Credit for the poem in the photos in this post goes to Morgan Harper Nicholes. I got her book at the library (All Along You Were Blooming) and I’m loving it, and since she’s autistic (she talked about it here), I figured I’d feature her book in my photos for this post <3.