Five Tips for Handling Low Self-Esteem and Worthlessness
Nov23

Five Tips for Handling Low Self-Esteem and Worthlessness

This is a big one, guys. And it’s time for me to stop procrastinating and face my past. Those who have known me for a while will know that I have a fair amount of experience with low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, lack of belonging and negative self-perception. So this is another article I didn’t want to write, purely for personal reasons. But in my experience, they tend to be the most useful. (And if 11 Diary Entries From My...

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We need to stop saying “we’re all a little autistic”
Oct02

We need to stop saying “we’re all a little autistic”

A few years ago, I was the only diagnosed autistic staff member in a special school. The rest of the staff weren’t autistic, but many jokingly claimed to be. “Oh, that must be my autism,” some would say as they parked their car in the same space each morning. (Meanwhile, I just parked wherever was easiest.) “Yep, that’s my autism right there,” others would say as they tidied up the staff room in a very specific manner. (Meanwhile, the...

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Asperger Syndrome and Religion: Reconciling Logic with Faith
Sep24

Asperger Syndrome and Religion: Reconciling Logic with Faith

‘I just can’t understand how someone with a maths degree and a brain like yours can believe in God’, a relative said to me once. Oddly enough, this was years before either of us learned about my Asperger Syndrome. But even back then, it felt like I wasn’t ‘supposed’ to have religious faith. To be fair, if you could design a stereotypical atheist it would probably look like me. In terms of gender, age bracket, ethnicity, level of...

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The balance between helping autistic people and doing it for them (and how to get it right)
Jun12

The balance between helping autistic people and doing it for them (and how to get it right)

During my work in special education, one story that really stuck with me involved a sixteen-year-old girl who came to us after a lifetime in mainstream schools. The most revealing moment of her first week came in an English lesson. She sat down with the rest of the class. The task was set and the other students began to work. But this girl did not.   Upon further investigation, this sixteen-year-old student was waiting for a...

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50 Pretty Big Facts About Autism
Apr30

50 Pretty Big Facts About Autism

After this album of pictures got over 3,000 shares on Autistic Not Weird’s Facebook page [all links open in new windows], I thought I’d upload them all here for your viewing pleasure! For those who are seeing these for the first time, I hope you find them useful.   (Important note- after Autistic Not Weird became so well-read that my articles were being stolen literally on a daily basis, I had to disable...

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A survival guide for Year Sixes preparing for their SATs (from an autistic teacher)
Mar30

A survival guide for Year Sixes preparing for their SATs (from an autistic teacher)

There are so many advice articles out there for parents. This one’s for children.   In particular, this is for the thousands of Year Six children who are about to take their end-of-primary-school SATs tests. You know, the tests that are famous for causing enormous amounts of stress for teachers, headteachers, parents, and (worst of all) ten and eleven-year-old children. So, as a former primary school teacher who’s guided children...

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Why autistic people struggle with comfort zones, and what can be done about it
Feb19

Why autistic people struggle with comfort zones, and what can be done about it

I’ll admit it: this is one article I procrastinated the hell out of. Because it’s painful on a personal level. Nonetheless, I get plenty of messages about this topic through Autistic Not Weird’s Facebook community [all links open in new windows], so I’ve wanted to write it for a while. And since my Patreon backers voted for it to be the subject of my next article, it’s time to take the plunge!   I have always known how to be...

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11 Painful Diary Quotes from my Worst Years (and what I learned from each of them)
Jan11

11 Painful Diary Quotes from my Worst Years (and what I learned from each of them)

What’s the best thing about keeping a diary through the bad years? Someday you read it back and realise how many lessons you’ve learned. I’ve kept a diary for most of my life: sometimes every single day, sometimes just on holidays as a child, and sometimes as a ‘private blog’ kept in a Word document I updated every few weeks. The last one is probably my favourite to look back on. It went into a ton of depth when I kept it.   If I...

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How to Raise ACTUAL Autism Awareness
Nov30

How to Raise ACTUAL Autism Awareness

Remember when we all changed our profile pictures to ribbons, and it cured cancer? No, me neither.     The phrase “raising awareness” gets banded around on the internet a lot these days. It’s an extremely well-known idea and if you find the right cause, half the world can jump on board. It can even be as simple as taking the right selfie or pouring water over your head. On the one hand, such online crazes can make enormous...

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I’m ever so sorry. I really DON’T look autistic.
Sep22

I’m ever so sorry. I really DON’T look autistic.

*DANGER- this article contains enormous doses of sarcasm, irony, and may contain nuts.* I know we’re not supposed to judge people by their appearances. But people tend to make exceptions for autistic people. I know this because whenever you tell me I “don’t look autistic”, what you’re saying is I’m not matching your expectations of what an autistic person is supposed to look like. And I know I’m baffling those expectations in daring...

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