More autistic representation where we aren't jerks please

and also more neurodivergent people who aren't serial killers while we're at it

I think this is my most boosted toot of all time. Like honestly I don't think I've ever hit 50 boosts before.

autistic representation in fiction 

@alexpenclaw What would you like to see in autistic representation? Any specific facets or relatable experiences?

A character in one of my stories is autistic/neurodivergent, and I want to show it as a positive representation while not glossing over anything.

If there's anything rude about my question, would you let me know? I'm still learning about how to best ask this.

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@erosdiscordia I'm actually really pleased to receive this question! There are certain minor things such as hating certain textures, or my personal aversion to cacophony, that can lend realism to a charactr. It can be very easy for me, personally, to be overwhelmed by a large collection of loud noises. Sometimes I need to step out of a room because I get overstimulated. Not fun.

Other than that, the main things I personally experience are:

  • often becoming excessivley interested in something specific for a large period of time and having difficulty not talking about it/working on it. (special interests)
  • stimming, in various forms (hand flapping being the most recognizebly autistic, but also things like humming and rocking). This in particular can happen when agitated or excited, as a way of regulating sensation to calm down.
  • having difficulty reading facial expressions and gauging how people feel.

I'll also say that I'm willing to be a beta reader for your story if that is something you feel would help. :blobcatcoffee:

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@alexpenclaw Thank you for your advice! I'm going to bookmark it. I would ultimately like to have someone with experience take a look at the scenes with the character, though it's gonna be a while before she appears in the story (like midway). Could I follow you?

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@erosdiscordia absolutely! lmk if/when you're ready for someone to take a look at that character.

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@alexpenclaw Thank you! I'll do that. :)

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@alexpenclaw @erosdiscordia I'd just like to pop in and say stims can be all /sorts/ of things!

I've clicked pens to stim before. Anything with a magnetic latch I can flip open and shut – *click!* is a great stim. Anything with a nice texture I can roll between my fingers can be a stim.

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@alexpenclaw @erosdiscordia For me at least, I think the "excessively interested in a thing for a period of time" /isn't/ actually autism, it's ADHD (I'm both). :3 Like I spent the last couple days in a hyperfocusing haze slapping together a little synthesizer app, and that's not a special interest. I think special interests are /long/-term interests... I'm not sure I have any. Maybe wolves.

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@alexpenclaw @erosdiscordia ...frankly, I'm not sure what the difference between a "special interest" and a regular interest is. Maybe neurotypical people just don't really have deep interests...?

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@alexpenclaw @erosdiscordia Oh! And um, another thing I get is sometimes... words are hard. Speaking is hard.

Typing is way easier. It means I don't have to use literally nearly /all/ my brainpower on a) formulating responses FAST because social custom /demands/ it, b) actually getting the words out, and c) constantly managing my facial expression and tone of voice and body language and it's /exhausting/.

Oh, and parsing what the /other/ person is saying.

re: autistic representation in fiction 

@IceWolf @alexpenclaw This is amazing, thank you! I'm going over it in my head, but I will respond soon.

@alexpenclaw Also, more ND representation that doesn't make us into a punchline.

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