Info about Autism

(a card made by an autistic person)

Basic Info

Autism Spectrum Disorder, otherwise known as ASD or autism, is a developmental disorder/disability. This doesn’t mean we don’t function well (functioning labels are harmful), it just means we have different needs, different levels of needed support, and just.....differences. And no, it doesn’t need a cure. That’s also harmful. Autism makes us who we are: unique and beautiful.

Some symptoms of ASD include (but not limited to):

  • Lack of eye contact

  • Meltdowns/shutdowns caused by sensory overload

  • Difficulty with understanding/following social cues

  • Sensitivity to different sensory stuff (like certain textures, bright lights or loud noises)

  • Stimming

  • Special interests

Stimming

Stimming basically just refers to self-stimulation behaviors. It can usually take the form of repetive moment or sounds, but stimming is different for everyone, and isn’t limited to those on the autism spectrum!

Some stimming behaviors include (but not limited to):

  • Flapping one’s arms/hands

  • Pacing

  • Rocking back and forth

  • Listening to a song over and over again

  • Swinging on a swing (yep. That’s stimming!)

  • And many more!

Special Interests

Special interests (not to be confused with hyperfixations) are intense and passionate interests for people on the autism spectrum. They help us calm down and, well, make us happy. Unlike hyperfixations, special interests may be long-term.

Some common special interests include:

  • Trains (although stereotypical, this is a common interest for those on the spectrum.)

  • Subjects like chemistry and math

  • TV shows like Steven Universe, Spongebob Squarepants, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Infinity Train

  • Video games like Pokémon and Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Animals like dogs and cats

  • Literally, just about ANYTHING can be a special interest. Not joking. ANYTHING.

Want to learn more? Watch this video by Toon Ruins on YouTube:

Autism Representation in Media

You probably know what representation is by now. Here’s the point, we autistic people get almost NONE of it.
And when we do, it’s usually harmful representation, like in Rainman, Big Bang Theory, Girl Meets World, and....Music. Yes, I said it.
Thankfully however, characters like Entrapta from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and Abed from Community are like diamonds in the rough for us.
However, it’s not enough. We need more characters, more people to look up to, to reassure us to not be afraid to be ourselves, because imperfection is beautiful.
This is why we make headcanons: so we can see ourselves in characters like Dendy from OK KO, Peridot and Pearl from Steven Universe!
Please remember: hire actors, writers and showrunners who are autistic!!! It’s worth it!

Toon Ruins (yes there’s another video by her. No it’s not as long) explained this perfectly: