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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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

Parenting Together

Parenting has always been a unique challenge for me and an area where I am constantly evolving daily. As an adult on the spectrum with kids, I have noticed also that my approach to parenting is very different compared to my spouse. I have noticed that my spouse has grown up paying attention to... more

Shifting the Paradigm: Recognizing the Needs of Disabled Parents as Advocates

I am a formally diagnosed autistic woman and the parent of an autistic adult who I parented through early intervention, public school, post-secondary experiences and now, into adulthood as I support him navigating through rehabilitation services. I am a social worker and researcher, but when it... more

Sensory Self-Understanding

After I was diagnosed with autism last September at age 57, I finally knew why I have always felt so different from (neurotypical) others. And I now have an explanation for the behaviors that throughout my life have so often provoked misunderstanding, criticism and social... more

Hypersensitivity: Is it a Challenge or a Gift?

I am often asked what is a multisensory intuitive empath? To which I could answer: it is a gift I have actualized that originates with my hyper-sensitive neurology. People are fundamentally the same. We all share about 99.5% of the same genetic code. But, that .5% can make a world of difference in... more

Other People’s Expectations vs. Our Wellbeing

Autism is, for the most part, an invisible disability… until it isn’t. My Autism was hidden for most of my life, then suddenly, a few months shy of my 30th birthday, when I was diagnosed Autistic, the invisible was brought to the forefront. A late Autism diagnosis has a way of shifting your... more

Autistic Burnout to Autism Discovery

Graduate school wasn't hard – it was a nightmare. I struggled at the start and then continued to underperform. Then, I declined further. Little by little. Placed on academic probation. Continued to decline. After about five years, I finally began to approach the final hurdle: publishing a... more

Making the “L Shape”

The intersection of queer, trans, and autistic is a complex one, but it’s one that accurately describes my experience. My name is Olivia (She/They) and I’m a trans woman. Growing up queer in a conservative Upstate NY high school was difficult enough, but it was complicated even further by... more