Authored by AANE staff, volunteers, adults, teens, parents, siblings, grandparents, couples and professionals.

Marital Challenges and Triumphs

Challenges and triumphs: they go hand in hand in any marriage. I accept this reality, and I cling to the triumphs as a means of coping with the challenges. After all, mine is a neurodiverse marriage, and I’m the spouse with the Spectrum profile. There is never a dull moment in my household, I... more

The Good Enough Doctor

Dr. Shaun Murphy may be fictional, but I am not. No, I’m not a surgeon - or a savant - like the TV character so brilliantly portrayed in The Good Doctor by British actor Freddie Highmore. But I am autistic, and I do treat patients every day. Two years ago, at the Asperger/Autism Network... more

How an Aspie Found Happiness in a Neurotypical World

Well, it was not easy to find, it required a phenomenal amount of hard work, and it was not achieved overnight, but I did manage to find it. I know that I’m not the only one with an Asperger’s profile who is happy, so if you are an Aspie and have not yet found happiness, why not join us? I have... more

Inside Christopher’s World: An Autistic Perspective

Originally published by SpeakEasy Stage Company in the 2017 production program for "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Reproduced with permission. Every time that I pass through the Boston Public Garden, I think of Christopher Boone. For most of the year, the Garden is dotted... more

Rising Above Bullying

All that I can remember from recess that day in 5th Grade was pitch black, followed by me opening my eyes and finding myself with my back on the ground, surrounded by a bunch of kids looking down at me, and the perpetrator standing directly over me. That’s it. There was no trip to the infirmary... more

An Aspie’s Perspective on Neurodiverse Marriage

Marriage, for me, is many things. As somebody with an Asperger’s profile, challenging, though a challenge that has been well worth the effort. Alongside fatherhood, one of my greatest accomplishments. An experience that has both strengthened and humbled me. A job that demands nothing less than... more

How Dancing Saved My Life

Throughout my entire life as an Aspie, troubles and tribulations have hit me from all ends.  This has resulted in extreme depression and, many times, hopelessness.  Not just once, but a number of times in my teens and early twenties, my loneliness and depression reached a height I would not wish... more

How Music Has Helped Me Along

Throughout my life, my Asperger’s profile has accounted for a number of personal challenges which I have worked hard to address, with varying levels of success. Several of these challenges have either been greatly diminished, if not conquered, thanks in large part to my life-long immersion in the... more

Neurodiversity in the Library: One Librarian’s Experience

Diversity is a word frequently used in the library profession. The literature that currently exists typically focuses on gender, ethnic, cultural, and sexual diversities. One group rarely mentioned is the neurodivergent. According to the National Symposium on Neurodiversity at Syracuse University,... more

Asperger’s and Anxiety: Befriending the Tiger

Imagine this scene . . . You are thirteen years old and you walk into your school cafeteria. The lights are overwhelming, you feel swallowed by a sea of people, and your body is overcome by fear so intense, it feels as if you are being chased by a tiger.  The “Fight or Flight” response,... more

My Grandma

This was originally presented at a luncheon for members of the AANE Grandparents Group on April 4, 2017.   My name is Charlie, I have Asperger’s, and I’m here to talk about my grandma. Ruth Kendall Houlton O’Dell Lewis (or Grandma Ruthie to me) was born in 1920, the 2nd of 6... more

Southern Blog

Greetings from Music City, Nashville, Tennessee! I am a graduate from AANE’s AsperCoach Program. Being a certified AsperCoach is a rewarding experience for me, because I work with clients to attain personal goals in their lives and improve their self-sufficiency, independence, and self-esteem.... more

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Website is Replaced: Press Release

Senators are seeking a “detailed explanation” from now-Secretary DeVos for the disappearance of the resource website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) today called on new Secretary of... more

Learning to Love Yourself

As somebody who has lived with Asperger’s Syndrome for almost 48 years, I have experienced more than my share of trials and tribulations. I have been bullied, both physically and verbally, more times than I can recall. I have heard people say unsavory things about me and ridicule me to my face... more

So, You Think Special Education is Expensive?

"If you think meaningful special education is expensive today, rest assured, it’s nowhere near as expensive as tomorrow will be without it." On January 11, the U.S. Supreme Court will review a Colorado case to define the level of “benefit” required for more than 6 million students with... more

An Aspie’s Perspective on Work and Career

I feel extraordinarily fortunate, granted my Asperger’s diagnosis, that I can honestly say that I have a rewarding career that I enjoy, that I excel at, that pays all of the bills, and which has become an integral part of who I am. Hard work, intelligence, optimism, patience, understanding the... more

Sibling Rivalry: Keeping Things in Perspective

My name is Chase, I’m 25, and I have Non-Verbal Learning Disorder. My brother is two years younger than I am, and does not have any diagnoses. Not only is he younger than I, he also developed faster than most people. He became a black belt, hung out with his numerous friends or created things... more

The Self-Discovery of One Aspie Woman

I had always thought of myself as a sensitive and independent introvert who had found her way after an anxious and lonely childhood. When I hit 40 years old, something shifted – so many of my peers had reached the traditional milestones of marriage, children, home buying, etc., none of which I... more

A Spectrum Son’s Tribute to His Mom

On September 1, 2016, my Mom lost her long, hard-fought battle with dementia and passed away to what I hope is a better place than where she was during the final years of her life. If she is where I hope she is, it is very well-deserved by virtue of the kind of person she was, how she touched so... more

How Video Games Benefit Students With Special Needs

A lot has been said about video games over the years. They have been called addictive and harmful to children and adults, but this is not necessarily true for everyone. In fact, many people on the autism spectrum can benefit greatly from picking up a video game controller and playing to their... more

Riding the Wave of Autism

My son was born in the midst of a blistering hot week in late July of 1988. Born 3 months early, at five pounds, and dropping to four within a day, I could just about fit him in the palm of my hand. It would be Thanksgiving before he came home from the hospital. Complications followed surgeries and... more

Welcome to to AspieTown

Imagine you're Chinese and you immigrate to America. You learn the language, you participate in the customs, and you enjoy the benefits of your new home while still maintaining your roots with trips to Chinatown and discussions in Mandarin with friends. It's the best of both worlds. Now imagine... more

Let’s Talk About Language and Autism

AANE launched its new website this week. As we edited our new content, one question repeatedly brought us to a dead stop: “What word do we use to describe people in our community?” I went to graduate school 25 years ago. From the first day of class, social work professors drilled... more

Steve Silberman Offers Signal Boost for Autistic Voices

AANE’s Zach Michaels sits down with NeuroTribes author Steve Silberman. His favorite moments are excerpted below. Supports and services are not causes and cures Silberman’s interest in autism and the research surrounding it was sparked by the surprisingly enduring impact of his 2001 article,... more

Remembering Oliver Sacks

On August 30, 2015, the AANE community lost a beloved and inspiring leader and advocate when author and neurologist Oliver Sacks passed away from cancer. Dr. Sacks had an incomparable knowledge of the brain and its fascinating mysteries and puzzles. He was able to share that knowledge with both... more

Can Fiction Accurately Portray Asperger’s and Autism?

Rain Reign is a much lauded recent book by noted children's author Ann M. Martin. It tells the story of Rose, a young girl with what is described as "high functioning autism." The book has been praised by critics and earned piles of awards. But here at AANE we wanted to know if Rain Reign rang... more

We Are Becoming a Family of Artists

The first time I ever came to the AANE office, it was to participate in a painting workshop. It was there that I saw a copy of “Seeing with a Different Eye,” the catalog of the art exhibit from fall 2007 Asperger Connections Conference. I vowed to get some of my art into the next event, and my... more