First-Person Accounts

Nobody can better describe living with an Asperger profile than those who live the experience every day. At AANE, we deeply value the unique perspectives and voices of those we serve and hope that their personal stories can help to foster understanding, generate empathy, bolster respect, and build connection within our communities. These irreplaceable first-person accounts will enhance your understanding of the gifts and challenges of those with Asperger profiles and the strategies that help them to succeed.

Essential Resources: 

Speakers Bureau
Perspectives on Adult Life
Artist Collaborative

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The Turning Point

TW: This article discusses experiences with suicidal ideation. In 2015, my husband was hospitalized and diagnosed with advanced metastatic lung cancer while on an out-of-town trip. It blew apart the foundation of our lives and heralded an accelerated medical crisis for which I served as his... more

The Expectation Equation: Managing Holiday Stress as an Autistic Adult

The holidays are a time of joy, gratitude, and kindness, but for some of us, it’s also a time of stress, grief, and trauma. With all those emotions rolling around, it can be a confusing time of year, filled with social and familial obligations stealing our energy and an overload of shopping,... more

Reflections on Apologies and Tire Swings

TW: This article discusses trauma, including death and school-related incidents. “What makes a girl start a fire in the hall, leave a lipstick scrawl on the bathroom mirror?” Ezra Furman, a trans singer/songwriter, sings with a tone of desperation and longing on “Trauma” off of her album... more

The Good Enough Doctor

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Neurocurious: Creating a Learning Culture

Twenty years ago I had been at a job for a number of months working for a supportive manager who’d recognized my skills and nurtured my development. But then she’d left for another role, and another group began supervising my position. The group was led by a tyrant of a man who supervised a... more

Autistic Voices on Creativity

We asked autistic creators about the role creativity played in their lives or to tell us something about their creative process. Here's what they shared. ***** Olivia August Nied In many ways, my creativity and my autism are linked and work in tandem with one another. I’m a musician and... more

Handling Disclosure as a Self-Advocate

As an autistic self-advocate, it is no secret that disclosing my autism to others has and always will be a complicated process throughout my life. There are many factors that go into how, when, why, and to whom I will disclose my autism, but they all have to do with the purpose for the disclosure... more

My Kaleidoscope Life

My name is Olivia (She/They) and I’m a 24 year old, autistic, transgender woman. Actually, scratch that. That sounds really clinical, and I feel like I’m anything but clinical. I’m a weird sandwich, of tics, stims, non sequiturs and interesting perspectives that shape my existence and color... more

Gender as Performance

To preface this article, it’s important to understand the spaces I occupy and from which I speak. My name is Jay, I am a 27 year old autistic, white, non-binary, and queer identifying individual with ADHD. I grew up in an extremely neurodivergent household with a mother who is likewise autistic... more

The Multiple Masks of Trans Autistics

When I realized I was autistic at age 40, I experienced a range of bittersweet emotions: grief & relief, embarrassment & enlightenment, confusion & confirmation. People who are neurotypical don’t usually have this type of extreme retrospective self-realization at some point in their... more

Trust the Client

The question often arises, how to best support transgender people? How to best support autistic people? People with ADHD? People who are otherwise neurodivergent? To answer this question, I draw from my experiences in these communities and from my education as a therapist. When I was working on the... more

The Emotion Allergy: Anxiety

It’s common knowledge that anxiety is woven into the story of many autistic people. One study puts the prevalence of anxiety disorders among autistic people at 40 Percent, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was much higher, due to the lack of diagnosis of both autism and of most mental health... more

My Autistic Anxiety Snowball

One source of anxiety for me is knowing that people don’t say what they mean. They skirt around the truth because they expect people to translate. This convention works well for some, because hearing the truth would be too painful; inferring the truth is gentler. The problem for me is I never... more

Being an Autistic Parent

Being an Autistic parent is hard. Life for any parent is already EXHAUSTING. Add in navigating all the demands of parenting with being Autistic, and… it’s not easy. First, there is the sensory nightmare of how incredibly loud these small, unpredictable people can be. In the early years, I... more

Five Tips for Autistic Parents from This Autistic Parent

What an interesting journey parenting has been, some 14 years now, and yet it has only just begun. Interesting, in part, because I became a father not yet knowing that I was autistic, and once I found out, my perspective on fatherhood changed rather dramatically. The diagnosis raised several... more