Before I knew what autism was, I just thought I was very strange.

Photo by Ashley Light on Unsplash

I’m autistic and I’m also weird. However, I’ve realised over the last few years that I’m a lot less weird than I am just autistic.

I’m still quirky and odd in lots of non-autistic ways, but here are 5 things I have always done that I now realise are just manifestations of my autism.

1. I count everything in fives.

Shocker I know.

I have a weird affliation with the number 5 and consider it to be the perfect and ‘just right’ number. Five feels very safe and very normal to me. There’s…


The only opinions we should really be listening to.

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Some of my favourite school environments to work in are nurseries.

Though the children are definitely super cute, there’s more to it than that. I always come away from a day at nursery with a happy, light and refreshed feeling. It’s as if their youth literally rubs off on you.

Young children seem to be tiny fountains of knowledge on how to live a full, joyous and simple life. Here are some delightful bites of wisdom I’ve gathered while at work with 3-year-olds:

1. Everything, literally everything, is exciting.

Part of the reason I love nursery work so much is that the room vibrates with energy…


The basics: what are they, why do they happen and how can you help.

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What is a meltdown?

Simply put, meltdowns happen when a person with processing difficulties (for example, someone with autism or a sensory processing disorder) becomes overwhelmed.

This person will then find physical ways to regulate their emotions.

Some examples of this might be:
- Rocking or swaying
- Hitting or tapping parts of the body
- Making noises and/or crying
- Pulling facial expressings/blinking a lot
- Throwing, damaging, pushing or pulling things
- Touching and feeling different textures and things
- Repeating words or phrases

In almost all cases…


AUTISM – THEORY OF MIND (ToM) – SIMON BARON-COHEN

Whoever decided autistic people can’t comprehend Theory of Mind (ToM) is wrong.

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I first learnt about the Theory of Mind in a professional development training event held by my uni whilst I was training to become a teacher. Though I enjoyed and appreciated the majority of the presentation, something really stuck with me that I feel uneasy about to this day.

During a talk from a local autism school, the speaker (and headteacher) told us that all autistic people are incapable of Theory of Mind.

I don’t doubt the education or experience of this person in the slightest. …


Things can only get better, right?

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I work for and with autistic people, study for a postgraduate degree in autism and am myself neurodiverse. Here’s what I, and research, has to say.

Before I get into it, let’s take a look at current responses on social media:

  • She’s failed to cast a an autistic girl as an autistic girl, with a untrustworthy and weak excuse for this.
  • Maddie’s depiction of Music is a childish and trope-based representation of a non-verbal autistic person.
  • Sia’s clearly misunderstands autistic individual’s preferred use of language.
  • Sia consults with the infamous Autism Speaks charity and…


Learning when to work harder, when to open up and when to walk away.

credit (pexels : cottonbro)

From awkward conversations with a very unempathetic middle aged man to long, exaggerated silences in a drafty counsellors office. I seem to have had my fair share of counsellor and therapist experiences, most of which were disappointing.

However, when it’s done right, it changes your life.

1. When the fit is wrong, move on.

I had my first counselling session, at 17 years old. An hour afterwards, I ran into my counsellor in a cafe. I almost instantly burst out crying and left.

Needless to say, this counsellor was awful.

He was a middle-aged…


How to speak to people who don’t speak

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The first time I tried communicating with a non-verbal child, I completely emabarrassed myself infront of several professionals.

I was at an interview. I turned up looking for TA work again, expecting it to be general special needs classroom support.

Having researched the school and brushed up on interview questions I was all ready to go and smash it. I knew there would be an observation of my interactions with the children, but I honestly (and foolishly) thought that would be the easiest part.

About 30 seconds before entering the nursery classroom, I was told the child was non-verbal and…


Giving stability, making an impact and meaningful connections.

Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash

When I am at work, it’s not unusual for me to hear chairs being thrown at walls, profuse swearing (as part of basic conversations) and doors slamming.

It is also not unusual for me to talk to young children about their world views, their hard work that day, or about how excited I am for them to share their achievements with others.

My day job is working with (largely) vulnerable children. While I do my masters, I am working on supply, covering teachers and teaching assistants. …


Why I care about the American presidential election, and how I’m dealing with it from the UK.

Credit: Pexels — Yan

In the last 10 years, I have aged from a teenager into an adult. Developing mentally through the last 10 years has been a shocking, raw and intense experience.

By my 3rd year of university, the UK was voted to leave the EU and Trump was made president.

Not a single one of my friends could say anything besides ‘How? WHY? What?’ We were in shock that these things could actually happen.

Working in schools, I started to see the cracks in education…


Be kind to yourself, today’s world is a lot.

How many times a week (or, a day) do you say to yourself ‘this is all my fault’?

Maybe you accidentally reversed into another person’s car. Perhaps you are beating yourself up over not getting to the gym. Or perhaps you feel you are underperforming at work.

We all fall into self-deprication. It’s easier to analyse and blame ourselves than think outwardly. But you aren’t independent of your society, culture or the world.

Here are three reasons research and professionals say ‘it might not be you.’

  1. Modern media is physically corrupting…

Katrina Roberts

Works with the best people ever (kids with special needs). Special ed. & autism post-grad and creative writing grad. PA to a tabby cat-queen. Walks into things.

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