Autism isn’t an interest of mine. This is a page into which I may throw my autism knowledge and understanding, so that people can read this page instead of talking to me about it. Yay.
It may not be well written/organised because my aim is to spend as little time and effort on it.
Neurotypicals (sometimes abbreviated as NTs or nipicles) are people without a neurological developmental disability. Sometimes we just say “non-autistic” but that has a different meaning as there are other neurological conditions besides autism.
We have books about NTs, that help explain why “normal” people behave and talk in such strange ways.
ActuallyAutistic is a social media tag used by people who are actually autistic, because #autistic is used by non-autistic people to talk about autistic people (often unhelpfully).
If you ever want to understand NTs, I’d recommend A Field Guide to Earthlings1 by Ian Ford, in which the author builds the layers of an NT mind out of understandable ‘patterns’ so we can all see how they work.
To the author, an autistic person is someone without many or all of those patterns. But I think autism is a bit more complicated than that. I don’t think anyone, including autistic people know what autism really is yet though we’ve gotten good at tracking and naming our own patterns (e.g. “masking”).
But certainly the mainstream understanding of autism can’t see autism except through the lens of NT pathology (that is, doctors label anything different than the norm as an illness, assuming that they themselves are healthy and sane just because their patterns are shared by a vast majority).
If you’re a non-autistic person trying to understand autism, you first need to understand your own strangeness.
I haven’t actually read many books about autism, but if an autistic person presents me with a reading list that looks good, I’ll link it here.
- A very inclusive list of autistic traits by my friend Jay (they also have a website Autisticality which is great although apparently it’s going to disappear/be migrated soon).
- New Research Suggests Social Issues are Down to Neurotypicals more than Autistics - short article very highly recommended
- Strange things non-autistic people do - a list of things autistic people find strange about non-autistic people
- Why Johnny Doesn’t Flap - a children’s book explaining why the non-autistic child is that way
- Autistic Burnout: The Cost of Masking and Passing
- A very good twitter thread about masking
- Things not to say to autistic people (by author/blog)
- Autism: some good questions and some less good
- (open access book) Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement - Stories from the Front Line
All of these links are to things by autistic authors. What non-autistic people have to say about autism is rarely worth reading. There are exceptions though, and if I find one I’ll add it.
I found it hard to read all the “plays”, so I just read the “patterns” and that seemed to work out fine ↩