Understanding behaviors that support functioning of autistic people

Autism typical behaviors are often described as limited and restrictive. This enlightens quite well, how autism can appear to the outside completely different from what it feels inside. So far, I haven’t meet a single autistic person who would describe their autistic behaviors, beloved routines or order that brings them joy, this negatively. Clearly, what […]

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What makes ”neuropsychiatry-” terminology biased and misleading?

The term ”neuropsychiatry” is based on historical misunderstanding from a time when autism and other neurominorities were believed to be psychiatric conditions. Today, it fuels and keeps alive many harmful prejudices and misconceptions about neurominorities. Even so, it is still going on strong and is favored especially by neurotypical-identifying people when they discuss issues pertaining […]

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If the love of your life were autistic…

This essay is my response to an offensive article published a few weeks ago in Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest newspaper. The original article was such a mixture of outdated and misleading information, prejudice, nentism and discrimination, that the term hate speech is quite fitting. In addition to publishing this essay, Kaiao contacted Finnish non-discrimination ombudsman’s […]

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Why autism should not be called a disability (for the time being)

”What’s wrong with seeing #Autism as a disability?” This is a good and common question! Many people, autists included, do identify as disabled and part of disabled community. They are not wrong, either -for one thing, autism traits and environments in which autistic people live vary a lot and it is only natural for lived […]

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Intense worlds within

When autistic people are not accused of being emotionless and “robotic” due to mistaking our quiet or unusual body language as lack of emotional capacity, we are often blamed as being “too much” in some way. Too intense. Too absorbed in our special interests. Too thorough in our exploration. Too passionate for the causes we […]

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Why some autistic people avoid eye contact?

Eye contact -or its absence- is sometimes perplexingly big deal in neurotypical world. Apparently, it is perfectly right and decent to discriminate against people who do not take eye contact and threaten people who struggle with it with harsh social sanctions. Why is that even necessary, if eye contact is so incredibly natural and positive? […]

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Autism is not a neuropsychiatric challenge

Finnish media has picked up an unfortunate habit of avoiding A-words by using terms such as “neuropsychiatric challenge/difficulty/issue”. Apparently, people believe that this sounds more friendly than talking about disorder. That, however, was a thought that was put to use before thinking was finished. Autism, for instance, is not a challenge, problem or difficulty any […]

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Three common prejudices about autism, refuted

Alongside drama going on around Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase, some autism related questions have surfaced. People ask, how much autism explains a person’s bad or incomprehensible behavior. Short answer: no more than a neurotypical person’s neurotypicality explains and justfies their behaviors. Claiming otherwise is nentism. The nentistic prejudics I discuss today are particularly disgusting, because […]

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How to tell someone I know politely, that I think they might be autistic?

I received as reader feedback the following question I thought for a great topic for a blog post: ”My friend/colleague/this person I’ve met appears to be autistic. Because learning about my autism has helped me a lot, I’m wondering if N could also benefit from such knowledge. How could I bring the matter up respectfully, […]

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Illustrated Guide with DALL-E on Challenges Autistic People Face in Working Life

Inspired by a Twitter mutual, I asked DALL’E’s idea of what does an autistic consultant look like. This was the answer: Here we have, quite neatly, summed up all stereotypical, outdated, misinformed prejudices and clichés associated with autistic people. But where is the consultant? I ran DALL-E with just the word ”consultant”, and it looks […]

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