Many autistic women just don’t “look” autistic

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Five days, three hours and two minutes to go. Next week I might be autistic.

In five days, three hours, and two minutes my autism assessment will be done. The wait and the confusion and the worry will all be over. Or maybe they will be worse: I’m not really sure.

I’m Lauren, I’m twenty-seven, and I live in London. I’ve got a good degree, a good career, and good friends.

In March 2020 I started therapy, mainly due to a lifelong struggle with anxiety. The main thing I’ve learnt is this: I do not have a clue what is going on in my own brain or body.

It turns out that my anxiety gets…


Trying to meet the “real” me after my autism diagnosis

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I am an autistic woman. Like many autistic women, I have spent my life masking to fit into a neurotypical world. Pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.

Since my diagnosis, I’ve become curious about what the “real” me is like. What would look and sound different if I didn’t mask at work? What would my friends think? What would I think!?

For me, masking means that I…

  • manually interpret others’ facial expressions and body language, by referring back to books and TV shows on those subjects
  • manually “work” my face or body language to show what I…


Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

“You didn’t have obsessions, you just really liked maths…”

This is something my parents said to me when I first talked to them about possibly being autistic. I found it kinda funny.

They were bribing me with simultaneous equations and long division sums by the age of six. I always wanted more maths puzzles, and maths books, and to finish all my set maths work at school so that I could… yep, you guessed it: do more maths.

On the one hand, they are not wrong. I did really like maths. …


Nobody knew you were autistic. Here are some things I wish I could go back and tell you.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Dear Little Lauren,

Big Lauren here. Recently, I found out that your brain works a little bit differently from other people’s. And that’s ok.

It is what makes you great at all the things you are great at. Like solving problems, and organising things, and being very understanding to your friends and family.

It does mean some things are a bit harder. That’s ok too. I’m writing this to help you understand why some things are hard. So that you can explain them to other people, and not have to fight them by yourself. …


The adventures of a newly diagnosed and slightly confused autistic woman

Photo by natalia congregado on Unsplash

Once upon a time, there was a woman. A few months ago, that woman was diagnosed as autistic.

As part of her diagnosis, the woman discovered that she has magical powers.

Lots of her senses are ✵supercharged✵ She can hear and smell and see and feel every tiny detail of the world around her. She can notice things that most people do not, without even trying!

Unfortunately, while she is so aware of the world around her, something else happens too. Her brain forgets to notice what is happening inside her body.

This can make things very, very strange.

The…


What I have learnt so far about being autistic at work

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Spoiler alert: they are all me.

I have been an adult woman for approximately ten years. A manager of some description for approximately five. And an autistic person for… I suppose my whole life. I just didn’t know it.

Eight months ago, my therapist suggested that I might be autistic.

I already knew quite a lot about autism, from studying brains and working in educational psychology. It wasn’t even the first time I’d thought about it in relation to me. The problem was, although a lot of parts fit, it didn’t 100% add up. I have lots of friends, a…


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Figuring out how to approach my autism diagnosis at work has been one of the most difficult things for me.

Who do I tell? How much do I tell them? How weird is too weird? How open is too open? What if I seem quite different? Will people still like me?

I wanted to share one thing I did, in the hope that it can be useful for other people “coming out” as autistic at work.

After receiving my diagnosis, I had a lot of conversations with colleagues about how that had been, how I felt, what it means for…

Lauren

D&D enthusiast and DM. Autistic woman. Humanist. Data person. Likes: woodlice, Agatha Christie, rain. Dislikes: human interaction, lack of human interaction.

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