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...

There’s More to Communication than Language, Grammar, and Vocabulary

Autism, in the general sense, is often defined as a disorder involving deficits of communication. This is certainly true for nonverbal autistics, as well as for those who cannot be “reached” even though they are capable of expressing speech. What about those autistics who are fully verbal and...

Transition to Adulthood: Many Difficult yet Essential Challenges for Autistics

As a group, autistics are well-known for having difficulty with many kinds of changes in their lives. The transition to adulthood constitutes one of the most difficult and, at the same time, one of the most important that most people ever make. For autistics, then, this transition usually presents...

Adults with Autism Face a Unique Set of Dangers and Hazards

The dangers and hazards of the world that are faced by autistic children and adolescents are very well known, and much has been said and written about them. Autistic adults, however, all too often face a variety of threats not frequently encountered by neurotypicals. I will be discussing these from...

Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum: Many Things Need to Change

It has been a long time since I was a student. In fact, it would be many years before most people would even have heard the word autism, and decades before I was finally diagnosed on the spectrum. As such, I never received any supports or accommodations. Fortunately, I managed to succeed...