Things I Was Told Were Personal Failings But Were Actually Autism

A wonderful read.

Autistic Academic

The original edition of this post was written for Tumblr last August.  Until my post on “ASL for Autistic Adults in Tight Spots” (see previous post), it was my most-Tumblr’d piece.

This edition is updated to reflect the intervening gain in self-knowledge &etc.

An incomplete list of things I have been told all my life are personal failings and/or signs of immaturity that I would eventually “grow out of,” but that actually turned out to be my autism.

1.  Not being able to remember faces.  Even if I have seen them many times before.  I have actually failed to recognize members of my own family when I have run into them in unexpected situations (grocery stores, movie theatres).  I now alert my students at the start of every semester: even if I manage to match names and faces inside the classroom, I will probably fail to recognize them entirely…

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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


Cork Evening Echo Opinion Column: Why I spoke up for marriage equality

140 characters is usually enough

My feet were sore and my back was at me.

It was two days to the Marriage Equality referendum and I’d taken some time off work to help with Yes Equality Cork. I had never canvassed for anything in my life and my experience of going door-to-door in rural towns and villages had been almost universally positive. I was finding standing on the street in Cork a lot more daunting.


Outside the city library at lunchtime, I decided a friendly, indirect approach was best.  Holding my Yes Equality leaflets in my hand, I greeted people “Hello! Are you voting on Friday?” The most common answer I got was along the lines of “I am voting. And I’m voting Yes.” Some people said they hadn’t made their minds up yet. I asked if they had any worries or doubts and almost all said they didn’t, which led me…

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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


Don’t go anywhere: Risk management for women

Feminist Ire

You leave your house very early in the morning. It could be anywhere between 6am and 8am, but it’s mostly around 6.30am. You take the bus to work. The streets are deserted. Most mornings, your boyfriend walks your dog down the road beside you to the bus stop. Some days, you are on your own. On your days off work, you would like to walk your dog across town at 6am, the route you would take in the daytime when there is hustle and bustle, but maybe it isn’t safe enough when it is early. There aren’t enough people about.

There are shady looking characters that lurk around the streets in the morning. You get nervous when you see them. You wonder should you alter your route to the bus stop but each route you would take would require you to walk down a street that might be a little…

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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


Louise O’Neill: A word after a word after a word is power

Louise O’Neill: A word after a word after a word is power

The Coven

Margaret Atwood wrote “A word after a word after a word is power.”

I am blind in this world. I do not know what direction in which I face. I do not know what I believe. I do not know who I am. Then I begin to write.

A word after a word after a word, each one slides off my pen and drips onto the page, drip, drip, drip. A word after a word after a word. And it, whatever it may be, begins to make sense to me. There it is. A story. My story.

They say that artists have themes, issues, motifs that they keep returning to. There is one story buried so deep within our bones that we are compelled to tell it in an effort to draw it to the surface. We must tell it and re-tell it again and again, until finally, it will…

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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Guest Post: On Being a Trans Woman and Crossing the Bathroom Line

Please take the time to read this.

The Belle Jar

By Xeph Kalma

I don’t work for a big company. It’s tech, and it’s a small office, and everyone knows each other. The people are generally kind, I guess, and frankly, I mostly feel like I should just be so gosh darn happy to even have a job me that I shouldn’t have any problems with the situation there.

I tell myself that I should just deal with the constant microaggressions, the misgendering, the fact that no one speaks to me unless they have to; I should get used to the fact that I basically get treated like garbage there, because HEY, LET’S BE REAL. As a trans woman of colour, I am literally super, duper, lucky I have a job. Not kidding. Look at the stats. Probably the only reason I’m employed right now is because I started transitioning while at this company.

So I guess what I really mean is…

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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


Alliance For Choice and BFN response to abortion consultation

Belfast Feminist Network

Alliance For Choice and Belfast Feminist Network Joint Press Release:

We welcome today’s consultation paper from the Department of Justice – The Criminal Law On Abortion, Lethal Foetal Abnormality And Sexual Crime: A Consultation On Amending The Law By The Department Of Justice.

First of all we would like to draw attention to the fact that there are now no women on the Justice Committee. This is the Committee dealing with issues such as abortion law, sexual crime legislation, law governing domestic violence and law affecting sex workers, all of which overwhelmingly affect women. It is completely unacceptable and reflects the deep chasm between the experiences of more than half the electorate and the understanding of those with the power to make change.

We would also like to highlight the limits of a consultation paper on abortion that refuses to acknowledge, issues often labelled as ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’. There…

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Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Uncategorized


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