top of page

20 More “It was the Autism All Along” Realizations

I realized there were a lot more than 20 “Autistic Realizations,” I had after my recent post: 20 “It was the Autism All Along” Realizations. So, here are 20 more.

1 | Random Joint Pain

It’s not uncommon for Autistic individuals to have hypermobility issues, which causes joint pain. I’m not super hypermobile, but I do get the random aches and pains because some of my muscles hyperextend.

2 | Endless Sleep Problems

I always wondered why it took me upwards of two hours to fall asleep at night. And then stay asleep the entire night. I remember being up for hours in the middle of the night, my brain unable to settle down long enough to let me sleep. During high school, this particularly sucked. Now I know it was Autism all along.

3 | Black and White Thinking

I didn’t believe I had black and white thinking, until I started to look at some real life examples. I was always a stickler for rules and following them–unless they didn’t make sense to me, then I questioned them and didn’t want to follow them at all.

4 | Masking and Facial Expressions

I have no control over my facial expressions. I often just zone out and have a blank face, especially when I’m thinking. I still remember in 1st grade a student teacher trying to tell me about having a “thinking face,” so it didn’t look like I was just staring off into space. I looked at her like she had three heads, I was so confused.

Turns out this has to do with masking and over time, through the subtle (and not so subtle) comments from others I learned to blend in and mask the things that set me apart.

5 | Strong Sense of Fairness/Justice

The one and only time I got in trouble at school was in 4th grade. I had this awful teacher that no one liked (students switched schools just to not have her as a teacher). She took five minutes off of recess if we still had our pencils up when she started talking. I was finishing a thought before I forgot it, alright, it’s not that big a deal.

But she took 5 minutes off of a 15 minute recess every time this happened. The rule itself made little sense, and then there was the fact she punished everyone for one person’s perceived mistake. I’ll never forget that teacher and her absurd rules.

6 | Terrible Liar

I cannot lie worth a damn. I think it ties into our sense of justice. I tend to think we are rather honest individuals. White lies are an exception. The general answer to “how are you?” is “I’m fine,” because neurotypicals don’t actually want a real answer to this question. But otherwise, unless I’ve put effort into a lie, I can’t say it with a straight face, the anxiety gets the better of me, and I just don’t like to do it.

7 | Rocking Chairs

I loved rocking chairs as a kid. I did stim in other ways, but rocking has always been very soothing for me and now I know why.

8 | Knowing Things Without Knowing How I Knew Them

Pattern recognition is weird guys. I still can’t tell you how I knew my step mom was going to tell me I might be autistic when we had that first conversation about it, but somehow I just knew. Despite knowing nothing about Autism at the time.

Here's a post that covers: How I Got My Autism Diagnosis.

9 | Unable to “Watch My Tone”

If I ever got in trouble throughout my life it usually had to do with my tone of voice. I can’t control it. I never know how I’m saying something. I just say it and whatever comes out of my mouth, comes out.

10 | Difficult Knowing the Volume I Was Speaking At

In line with the above, I also have a hard time knowing what volume I’m speaking at. I often can’t tell if I’m being too quiet or too loud. The number of times I was told to “speak up” as a child or to “stop mumbling,” is staggering. I still struggle with this.

11 | Overwhelm and Overstimulated

I used to wonder why I would rather sit in my room alone and not say a word to anyone for hours. I remember celebrating my birthday once at my house with some friends, I was maybe eight or nine, and I sneaked off to my room to be alone. At the time I couldn’t explain why and gave the excuse that I was sick and I didn’t want my friends to get sick, but now I know I was probably overwhelmed and overstimulated and I naturally went to be alone for a little white.

12 | Lists. Lists. Lists.

I like my lists. I like having a Plan. I need a Plan. I don’t know if this is common for all Autistics, but for me I like order. I need a grocery list when I go shopping. I know what I’m going to order at a restaurant before I get there. I know what I’m going to buy when I go to the mall from each store so I can be in and out as quickly as possible. I like to be organized and lists help me to do that.

13 | No Touch-y.

I used to say that I never really liked being touched and I didn’t know why, but I knew why it got worse over the years.

It became more of a struggle as I got older and I had no way of explaining why I didn’t like being touched. Especially light touch like a tap on the shoulder, but also being hugged when I don’t want to be hugged. My sister, for example, is very touchy and wants to be hugged and cuddled and I am the complete opposite.

At the very least, I now have the language to explain it.

14 | Communication Preferences

I found it odd that I preferred to communicate via email and in-person over phone calls. Like, I would rather go outside and meet someone in person than have to talk to them on the phone without leaving my house.

I understand now that phone calls are difficult because I can’t see people’s faces and gauge their reaction to things the same way I can in person. I think it ties into masking and trying to figure out how to act and communicate–which is easier to do if you can see what’s happening.

I prefer text or email over anything else because I can read it over again, revise it, and make sure I’m conveying what I want to.

15 | Background Noise

Some of my family members always have the tv on as background noise. I cannot stand it. I always get too distracted and end up watching the tv instead of listening to the conversation. My brain just can’t focus on two things at once like that.

16 | Task Switching

I remember I was working on something in college and I got distracted for a second and then lost all focus and motivation for it. Thankfully, by then I knew I was Autistic and knew it was because of difficulties switching tasks. But before I didn’t know why I’d get snappy at my sister if she interrupted me while I was working on something.

17 | Scripting

If I ever have to make a phone call, I write down a script. I write down what I’m going to say, or at the very least I write down notes on what needs to be said and addressed so I don’t panic in the moment and forget everything.

Scripting is a common act amongst Autistics as we try to navigate the world and mask our differences.

18 | Dissociation

The number of times I would “zone out,” and get lost in my head. I assumed everyone daydreamed and let their imagination wander, especially as children, but no, that’s not what everyone does.

If my surroundings became too boring my brain would go into autopilot and I’d sort of retreat to my mind which was much more fascinating. Of course there are times when I would dissociate during difficult times or traumatic events to protect myself too.

19 | Preferring Soft Colours

I never liked bright, flashy colours in anything, but specifically when it came to the clothes I wore. I prefer soft, pastel colours. This is due to sensory sensitivities. I become visually overstimulated in grocery stores as much as auditorily overstimulated because of all the bright and contrasting packing.

20 | Little Annoyances

I’m the same way as my mom used to be. If a cupboard is slightly open, I have to close it. If there is time left on the microwave, I have to reset it. I have to straighten picture frames, organize puzzle pieces in rows, sort ikea parts in categories and line them all up.

There are these small, little annoyances I experience every day that I cannot ignore. I have to do something or it’s going to keep bothering me and then it’s going to bother me even more the longer I don’t “fix” it. I’m not entirely sure why I do this, or why it’s common in Autistics, other than it makes my brain happy and/or reduces anxiety.

I could go on and on about all my Autistic Realizations. Everyday I learn something new and go, “ohhh, that’s why I do that!” It’s endless and explains so much now.

4 views0 comments


bottom of page