When I'm out and about in the non-autistic world, however, it's a very different story. I'm not exactly sure why the rest of the world doesn't find at least some fascination in the things that grab my attention... but oh, well. It's their loss. I can often convey at least a little bit of my enthusiasm to others. And I can often get people excited about things they never thought were exciting in the first place. But it's a lot of work. And I'm not always as successful as I'd like to be.
All in all, I have to say that I function extremely well in the non-autistic (or "allistic") world. I make pretty decent eye contact. I can put myself in others' shoes. I can engage in small talk, even if I'm not even remotely interested in what the other person is talking about. I can keep my tics and "stims" to a minimum when others are around, or I can camouflage them by careful placement of my hands in my pockets or behind my back.
I do so well acting the allistic part, that precious few people would ever guess just how hard I have to work at it. Hard work is a way of life for me; it's just how it is. But it's still hard. And it can be, well, disabling.
Not all the time, though. Autism wouldn't be a spectrum condition, if it involved consistent and predictable traits and impairments. Every day is different. From one moment to the next, it's different. That's just how it is. That's just how I am.
So all that being said, this is my little corner in the Patreon world where I'm going to do my part to explain what it's like to be a woman on the autism spectrum -- a grown woman who was un-diagnosedly autistic as a child -- with all the bumps and thumps and jumps for joy that come with it.