Listening to and learning from autistic individuals
The perspectives and experiences of autistic women, men, and children are vital for a more complete and compassionate understanding of ASD. However, when sifting through the information available online, most content found is written by parents, researchers, teachers, etc. instead of individuals with a diagnosis. While this content is useful and necessary, it leaves people on the spectrum widely underrepresented and unheard. To increase the platform for writers and creators with ASD and give credit to those pushing for a voice, below is a list of blogs about autism written by men and women who have been diagnosed with ASD. The topics and writing styles vary, but all play a positive and important role in building a more complete understanding of living on the spectrum.
Life with Asperger’s
Gavin Bollard’s site is particularly insightful and a valuable resource. Not only does he have an Asperger’s diagnosis himself, he also has two children with the diagnosis, granting him a deep understanding of two sides to a difficult situation. While Gavin’s writing is sometimes blunt, it is always insightful and honest. He writes about everything from parenting rebellious ASD teens to the best types of work where people on the spectrum can excel most.
Julia Bascom is a writer and self-advocate. Her blog title was inspired by the many times she has seen and experienced speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and special educators dismiss people on the spectrum as ‘“just stimming.” Julia writes about community and language, disability rights, autistic identity, and much more.
The Art of Autism
This blog is written by several different authors, all of whom have been diagnosed with ASD. The topics vary widely making the site an inclusive community and platform for autistic thoughts and voices. The website is also home to art galleries, poetry, and podcasts created by individuals with ASD. They created the hashtag #ActuallyAutistic as an alternative to the hashtag #autism to tag posts and websites created by autistic people.
#ActuallyAutisticBloggers is another fantastic resource for blogs and books written by individuals on the spectrum.
Larkin Taylor-Parker practices law in North Carolina and is a passionate disability rights advocate. He believes the one thing that connects almost all disability communities is a want for ownership of their own lives. Larkin’s writing captures his experiences in creating his own autistic future in order to help other people on the spectrum gain ownership of their lives and achieve their goals.
Spaced Out and Smiling
Jamie Knight is a senior accessibility specialist at the BBC where he ensures their products are accessible to every audience. He is also a public speaker and an advocate for autism and happiness. Jamie’s website explores his transition to independence and gives tips, reviews, and general information about how he manages to be both autistic and happy.
Emily is a stage manager and mother in New York City. The title of her website was inspired by a wise, however minor, character in Keith Donohue’s novel, The Stolen Child. Much like her beloved character, she speaks with a surety gained from her own experience and thoughtful research about life on the spectrum, sexism in her favorite films, politics, and a lot more. She also provides a large database of resources and information on autism, advocacy, and inspiring quotes.
Willow Hope is a YouTuber based in the United Kingdom. In her own words, she is, “Just a girl with Asperger’s trying to help.” Her YouTube channel functions as a vlog where she documents her life and shares her journey as she covers topics like how to tell people that you have Asperger’s, the transition from Asperger’s to ASD (by definition), dealing with lockdown and depression, shopping, hair, and road trips. Willow is open, honest, and relatable and tells her stories as they unfold.
The Invisible Strings
M. Kelter produces a different type of blog compared to the others in this list. His writing is poetic and novel-like instead of strictly informative or advisory, creating a narrative about his past experiences with ASD in a vulnerable and honest tone. While many of the posts cover difficult topics like depression, anxiety, awkward social situations, etc., his ability to reflect on the past provides support for other people on the spectrum to find success and comfort in similar situations.
Autistic Science Person
Ira Kraemer advocates for the acceptance of autistic people in society and speaks to their experiences with hyperacusis, auditory sensitivity, and disability rights. They write on a plethora of topics ranging from autism research to shame and meltdowns. They also provide support and learning information for ASD adults, parents, and children. You can follow them on Facebook to keep up with their research and recent blog posts.
Yes, That Too
Alyssa Hillary is an autistic writer, artist, neuroscience student, and math teacher, and is fluent in English and Chinese. They write on a broad range of topics, including autism and disability, art, Betty White, book reviews, classism, and any other thing that strikes their interest. While the blog is not specifically aimed at autism-related alone, it is a source for beautiful pieces on a plethora of ideas written and published by an autistic individual.