autism Archive

Living with panic attacks

When I panic, it feels like my heart is stopping, or that my guts have been turned inside out, or that some sort of massive steam shovel or something has pulled out all my insides and rearranged them and dumped them into random places in my body. Sometimes I feel like the walls are falling in on me, and I can feel the space I am in (or at least my perception of it) going dark. Sometimes I start self-harming by punching myself or slapping myself or punching walls or hard objects or hitting my head against them. Sometimes I become dissociative and do not remember the incident. Sometimes none of these things happen and it manifests quite differently.

Autism Acceptance Month, You, and Me

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Emily Aviva Kapor. In her first post with us, she talks about how to be an ally to autistic people. Thanks for sharing with us, Emily!

I am autistic. The way I experience the world is different than the way most other people do. I haven’t written much about this publicly yet, and I am continuing to learn to be comfortable with being an autistic adult and moving through the world with this part of my identity. Here, though, is something I wrote two weeks ago for the so-called “Autism Awareness Day” and posted to Facebook; I thought I’d edit it slightly and share it more widely here in honor of the much better idea of Autism Acceptance Month.

Abilify Quick Facts

Abilify is a second-generation antipsychotic. It works by regulating dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain.


Trigger Warning: mention of abuse

When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher assigned the first essay of the semester. The topic was “time I felt different”. This proved to be a surprisingly difficult topic for me to write about. Why? Then, I had no idea what it was like to fit in. I had no frame of reference.

Risperdal Quick Facts

Risperdal is a second-generation antipsychotic. It works by reducing dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain.

Generic Name: Risperidone

Melatonin Quick Facts

Melatonin is a neurotransmitter which regulates one’s sleep cycle.

How to be an Ally to Disabled & Neurodiverse Folks in Activist & Academic Communities

This is based on my own experience as a Disabled, Trans, Queer, Autistic activist. In compiling this list, I consulted other Disabled activists as well. Most activism I’ve been involved with has taken place in Queer, Radical, & Academic communities. I’ve been both a grass-roots activist and a student activist. I do not claim to speak on behalf of Neurodiverse or Disabled folks–or any group for that matter. Here are a few ideas I’ve compiled on how to be a better Ally to folks who have been left out of social and political movements/communities:

Shifting Identities

I have roughly four major identities. I am autistic. I am mentally ill. I am asexual. I am genderqueer. The first three identities, I have known about for a while. They’re concrete. My autism won’t go away tomorrow. Neither will my mental illness. I won’t suddenly wake up with the desire to fuck people. Yet, being genderqueer is different. I might go to bed agonizing over one identity, yet it’s gone in the morning, replaced by a different identity.

A letter I wish I could send

Okay, family member. Do you think you are doing me and your son a favor by donating to Autism Speaks? You’re not. I don’t care how good your intentions are. First let’s take a look at Autism Speaks’ mission statement: At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with […]

My Experience with Psychotic Depression (Micah)

I am not sure where to start. There is so little I remember. I’m not even certain of my exact diagnosis now. Is it psychotic depression or schizoaffective disorder? Or something else? It doesn’t really matter.