My legal name is Marcelle but people call me “Sam.”
More people know me by my author’s name, “Samantha,” than not. It’s my adopted nickname by choice. I am comfortable using the name Samantha in the autism community. Samantha is a part of who I am and who I grew into after I recognized I was autistic. I am upfront about that on my About pages and on my website. My book will have the name “Samantha Craft” because that’s how others in the autism community who know me identify with me as well.
My prior writings include words such as “I have Aspergers,” “condition,” “with Aspergers.”
That’s where I was at the time. That’s how I felt. Now I choose “Autistic” or “Aspergerian” or “Aspie,” more times than not. You will still see those phrases in my old writing. My writing authentically represents where I was at the time. That’s not changing.
I started writing my blog in 2012 when VERY little was on the internet about females and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Four years ago, male stereotypical (falsehoods) Aspergers traits were circulating online, such as: lack of creativity, lack of empathy, lack of imagination. None of the lists or tests about Asperger’s Syndrome made any sense to me. They were not relatable. So I created my own list. This was after years of studying autism, as my middle son was diagnosed at the age five at UC Davis Mind Institute in California way back in 2005.
My 10 Traits List is geared toward “females” and “women” because four years ago there were ZERO online lists I could find related to the female experience with Aspergers.
Now, in retrospect, when considering Aspergers traits, I can see that there is great overlap between males and females. Since writing that list 1,000s of men have reported they identify with my “female” list. Nonetheless the list remains “female” as that was its original form in 2012. But the traits I wrote apply across all genders.
I get a bit restless inside when someone assumes I am using gender pronouns to breed or unintentionally foster separation. Anyone who knows me also knows I never wish to cause separation (unless you are my Aspie partner and I am PMSing). I was raised by a Hippy Mama in the 70s. Nude beaches and the works! My mother’s partner was middle eastern, my mom’s best friend was black married to a white man, and my mother’s roommate was gay. Back then it was very dangerous to be different. My mom’s friends had their tires slashed, were called names, and so forth. But I never learned to judge because my mom saw everyone as equal. I was so open-minded and accepting that the teaching assistant in my first college psychology class in the late 80s (a kind man who was facing the ridicule of being gay in an era of the AIDS epidemic) had flowers delivered to my house in gratitude. The same rings true for an individual’s right to identify with a specific gender or no gender. Makes no difference to me. I just care about the heart of a person. So it irks me just a tad, like I said, when people who don’t know me start pointing fingers and telling my how I should act, what I should say, or how I should be, based on one sentence or two I wrote out of 100,000 sentences.
Today there is a lot more information about females and Aspergers available online (and in some books) and new “experts” and “professionals” are piping up with “new insights” and “new theories” all the time.
Lots of articles become viral, if a writer choses the right autistic titles. Unfortunately, the majority of the news is still light fluff geared toward attracting online traffic, and if not that they are regurgitated stories typically not written by someone who is autistic. Be that as it may, they are tooting the same stuff I’ve been saying, and other informed bloggers like myself that are autistic have been saying, for years.
The Ten Traits brought a lot of people seeking answers to my blog.
Ten Traits (on my original blog) was written fast in one long flow of consciousness, in one sitting, without editing. I just wrote what I heard in my mind. Shortly after that blog post, the 2012 checklist brought more of us together. Between those two posts, I had many people asking me for advice, direction, and support, daily.
I created online groups for the purpose of community and support.
I monitored a “closed” support group with about 400 members every day for about a year, and then left it in the trust of six Aspies. About that time, I also started my Facebook page @everydayaspergers. I still update Everyday Aspergers on Facebook almost daily and have been for four years. I answer 100% of people who message me there. Sometimes I take a week or more off to regroup and recenter. I believe I have promoted the page twice in four years. In other words I have stated, “Please share this page with people you know,” just twice. I didn’t make the page to get likes and increase numbers. That was never my intention. I believe your vibe attracts your tribe and that your heart’s intention affects what you create. And I rather like our clan.
I have only been bullied, “trolled,” insulted, or treated outside the limits of respect less than ten times in four years, and that’s with over one million views on my blog Everyday Aspergers.
This includes interactions with thousands through the years on my retired blog, this blog, my artistic blog, my author’s page “Samantha Craft” on Facebook, and @everydayaspergers on Facebook. Just this week I “unfriended” two people who had just met me online. (I had friended them during a “stimming episode” in which in an OCD-like manner I friended some friends of a friend.) I don’t and won’t hesitate to “unfriend” people who I feel are dragging me down; and even so, I’ve unfriended about four people in four years! I’d say that’s huge testimony to the integrity, trust, kindness, and love of autistic community, both those on the spectrum and those supporting loved ones on the spectrum. Thank you!
I don’t tolerate or associate with people who try to draw lines between NTs and Autistics. (Or official diagnosed or self-diagnosed/ or autistic or with Aspergers)
I see this behavior as counter productive and hostile in its approach. I am an INFJ Idealist and a Cancerian, so good luck trying to get me to change my mind. I wrote about my thoughts regarding using NT as a put down here; it’s called “Stupid NTs.”
I try my best to NEVER talk badly about anyone I associate with in autistic circles, especially on Facebook pages.
If I need to debrief or process, I have two close go-to friends. When I do talk about someone else “behind their back,” I feel terribly guilty. Again, it’s how I am made. I belong to dozens of online Aspergers and Autism groups and refuse to engage in gossip, name calling, or blaming. People sometimes interpret my kindness as a weakness. I see kindness as a great strength, particularly when practiced in combination with self-respect, education, boundaries, and limits.
To date I have corresponded with over 40,000 autistics through this blog, my other blog, my two Facebook pages, and other social media.
I have been responding to private messages on Facebook since day one. I correspond with approximately 100 folks a day, either through private message, answering my blog comments, or on my Facebook page. That’s about 3,000 interactions a month at minimum. That doesn’t count Twitter, my community outreach with my job, and other conversations with autistics outside social media or the Internet.
I try not to offer out advice, except on rare occasions.
I offer out my life experience as example of what I have done but I rarely give advice. As each person has their own challenges and gifts and experiences, I never assume to know the answers. My writings are based on my stories and outlooks and experience. I never presume I know what is best and don’t push my beliefs on anyone. I try not to attach to specific truths and ideologies beyond service, love, and authenticity.
I don’t think someone needs to have a high IQ to have Aspergers.
I would score very low on an IQ test. I have great difficulty with the memorization of facts, names, and dates, and faces, too. I am dyslexic and have dysgraphia. I get brain fog and have a host of other cognitive hinderances. In the Ten Traits I talk about “highly intelligent” as a trait of having Aspergers. I don’t mean IQ. What I mean by “highly intelligent” is if a person is autistic, then I believe, by their very nature, they will have a complex, dynamic, and unique way at looking at the world and approaching problems. The way autistics scaffold off of previous input to rebuild and reconnect is extraordinary, in my opinion. Thusly, by default, if you have an autistic mind, I think you are intelligent. Hinderances might hold some back. Still, I think if an autistic person can find their passion and a supportive community, they can excel to great heights in their chosen field of study. “Intelligence” is a subjective word.
Absolutely nothing I write is fact.
Everything I write is based on my opinion and limited perception and bias. Most “scientific” research related to autism is biased in approach; intended output and desired end product directly affect results. It’s been “proven.” < kind of