If you’ve felt out of step with society your whole life, like me, you might just be a lost girl (or boy) – a person almost like everyone else. Except you aren’t. When you don’t understand the nuances of expression and conversation. When you become easily overwhelmed by sensory stimulation: noise, touch, smell. A million things are different, but nobody sees or experiences it. Nobody except you.
The current ratio for *diagnosed autism is 1:4 girls to boys with the “disorder.”
I respectfully disagree. I am an older woman with three grown children (two probably on the spectrum – but that’s a story for later) and have worked closely with all ages of children most of my life, both professionally and voluntarily. I believe the numbers are much closer if not equal. And the autism ‘epidemic’? The ‘crisis’? The *1 in 88?
I don’t think so. Detection is getting better, but I’m convinced autism has been around for as long as people have, and I’m sure there are way more people affected than are diagnosed.
Now that I understand why I am different, I see others (as I get to know them over time) everywhere. Girls. Women. Females with unmistakable autistic traits. Female traits, like mine. And nobody notices us because we don’t fit the profile for detection – a predominantly male profile.
If you are anything like me, you are/were a master of invisibility (except from bullies). A chameleon. A mimic. We struggle every day just to blend in but never fit in. So we remain unnoticed. With our sometimes crippling anxiety. Our social confusion. Our emotional intensity. Our many incomprehensible differences.
We are also amazing. We have talents and dreams and ideas and desires that the rest of the world can’t even imagine.
As I have begun to understand myself as an autistic woman it has meant the world to me to realize that I am not the only one. That, while my personality is unique, I share a laundry list of traits with other autistic women (and men). I am not alone. I have a people.
Lost girl found!
I react badly to negativity – panic, anxiety, guilt, etc – and assume others may feel the same so I wanted to create a place that is just for us. A positive place. A place of encouragement and a place to say, “This is how life is for us, and that’s okay.” A place for art and stories and illuminating articles and humor. Please, let there be humor. I will post pictures, memes, original content, and reblog articles I’ve found helpful or entertaining. I have a lot of stories to tell and I hope you do too. Guest contributors are very welcome! Collaboration, shared thoughts and experiences, funny stories, encouragement.
No harsh opinions. No bullying. No complaining.
If you’re seeking diagnosis or therapy, or you are a person dealing with a loved one with extreme autism and looking for help, you are very welcome here, but we can’t help you with those things. I will, however, work on getting a page up for links to other sites and organizations that may prove useful to you. If you are seeking a place to vent, have people feel sorry for you, or harass others, this is not the place for you. (This site will be carefully moderated.)
So, as I get this going, I hope you’ll consider sharing a thought, a poem, an anecdote, a picture. General comments and interaction between readers is encouraged. If you are interested in contributing or have a link you think appropriate to share, leave it in the comments and I’ll contact you. It helps so much to hear the voices of others like us – those who share our experience and understand. As the rest of the world works on its ratios and defining traits and tries to catch up with us, let’s celebrate who we are.
Because we are wonderful. And we’re not lost.
*These numbers are estimates and change according to researcher, organization, country, weather, what day of the week it is, etc.
B B Shepherd is an musician, educator, and author and can also be found at Glistering: B’s Blog