Inappropriate Behaviors in Adult Autistics: We Mean No Harm

During my long involvement with the adult Asperger Syndrome / autism spectrum community, I often make the disclaimer, when criticizing inappropriate behaviors of other autistics, that I have probably been guilty of similar behaviors, at least to some degree, at some earlier time in my life. Also,...

Autistics and Employment: Far Too Many Rivers to Cross

For as long as I have known about autism, I have heard reports that autistics have the highest unemployment rate among all disability groups - or, for that matter, just about any demographic. Even at the time of my own diagnosis (late 2000), by which such milder variants as Asperger Syndrome had...

Suitable Housing and Community Living: Autistics Face Many Unusual Challenges

Whether they can live independently or require assistance and support, autistics need resources to live in communities, of which they often want to be a meaningful part. First and foremost, adequate housing must be made available. Even for those who can live independently and find and maintain...

Supporting Autistic Children: Much Has Been Learned Since My Childhood

Having been diagnosed on the autism spectrum as an older adult, I was certainly not aware of this condition during my childhood, nor was anyone else in my life including family, school officials, or healthcare professionals. At the time there was no public awareness about autism to speak of (it was...

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: The Tyranny of Typicality

There is an old saying, often attributed to Mark Twain but apparently of unknown origin, that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. The problem with the latter, as I have always seen it, is that it seeks to find norms in populations within which there can be considerable...

Life in the Time of COVID-19: An Autistic Perspective

Like many autistics, I have been drawn to science fiction as far back as I can remember. The idea of an epidemic infecting the human race has always been a common theme in science fiction and is probably as old as the genre itself. As such, I have seen and read more stories about pandemics than I...

Dating and Relationships: A Perennial Challenge for Many Autistics

This is one area about which, like so many on the autism spectrum, I can hardly be considered an expert. Nevertheless, because of its importance to so many in the autistic community, I feel the need to share what little I have learned on the basis of meeting and talking to others who have faced...

Neurodiversity: An Idea Whose Time Has Come and A Call for Unity

When I hear the word “neurodiversity,” I immediately become concerned that it will be dismissed as simply another form of “political correctness,” and not seen as encompassing a wide variety of serious issues that affect virtually everyone in the Asperger Syndrome / autism spectrum...

Social Activities and Communities for Individuals with Autism: Meeting a Basic Human Need

Social activities, as engagement with a community to which one belongs, are an essential part of life for most people. Unfortunately, for autistics, there are often barriers that prevent them from participating in such. Before I address these issues, however, I need to emphasize that the commonly...

Older Adults on the Spectrum Face a Variety and Number of Major Challenges

In spite of being fortunate enough to have avoided many of the challenges presented by aging on the autism spectrum, I nevertheless feel that I am in a position to write about these as an older adult on the spectrum who recently became a senior citizen. I was already a middle-aged adult (age 44) at...