Category Archives: Autism

Masking vs Speaking a Foreign Language

Masking is a term that is often used within the adult autistic community. There is a clinical aspect to the term, as noted in the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder. C. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may […]

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I Have Autism

My wife and I took our two younger children (20 and 24 years old) on vacation before Christmas. For the plane ride, the two kids sat on either side of their mother so they could both hold her hand during take-off and landing. She’s terrified of flying. I’ve never really minded flying itself; it’s navigating […]

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Don’t Get Stung by the Should-Bee!

I have an issue with verbal communication; sometimes my words fail me. I tried to describe the experience of “losing my words” in an earlier post when I first discovered it’s something that happens with other autistic people too. I’m not sure that I conveyed the pain and frustration associated with those experiences, though. After […]

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Autism Spectrum Disorder as a Diagnosis

There’s been a lot of discussion about whether or not those on the autism spectrum should be included in the DSM or treated as a diagnosable condition. Silent Wave has one of the best and most comprehensive posts on this topic. I’ve been mulling the topic for some time. I think I have something of […]

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The Struggle to Be

My counselor asked a question yesterday that stumped me. “If you had a magic wand, what you would want your life to be like?” Those sorts of questions have always been a challenge for me. I can imagine, even vividly imagine, all sorts of alternatives. In fact, I did that as a child, picking a […]

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Who’s “In” and Who’s “Out” in the Autistic Community?

There’s an ongoing “discussion” in the online community of autistic people about whether or not those who are only “self-diagnosed” (meaning they haven’t been able to obtain formal assessment, at least at the current point in time) should be included. It’s often expressed as a question about whether or not self-diagnosis is “valid”. Personally, I […]

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What Does It Mean to Need Support?

In my final post, at least for now, on the DSM-5 autism spectrum diagnostic criteria, I wanted to touch on the other elements outside Sections A and B as well as what it means to me to need support. First, it’s important to note that Section A and B criteria can be manifested currently or […]

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Social Deficits

The Section A criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder in the DSM-5 address “persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts” and all three criteria must be present for a diagnosis. However, these criteria address broad categories that can be demonstrated in a variety of ways. Since much of what I’ll likely write […]

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Overwhelming Senses

The final criterion of Section B of the DSM V involves sensory issues. Hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment. These vary a lot from individual to individual, but I haven’t run across anyone autistic yet who doesn’t struggle with sensory input to some degree. Personally, I […]

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What makes an interest “special”?

The third Section B criterion for autism spectrum disorder in DSM V reads as follows. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus. These are commonly referred to as “special interests“, which begs the question: What makes them so special? The parenthetical describes them as “excessively circumscribed or perseverative” or as a […]

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