“You’re looking really well”: The curse of the invisible disability

The way human society is devised, the very foundation stones of its connectivity networks, is based on us all having relatable, sharable situations and people being able to recognise when another person is in strife. When you have chronic conditions that not only isolate you from other people due to an equally chronic lack of spoons, also causing you to be misunderstood by other people (as people tend to assume you are making up lame excuses when they can’t see the energy deficits you are having to work with!) then having the additional pitfall of nobody being able to recognise that you are ill, because your disabilities are hidden from sight, even when you finally come out of the woodwork, is the final sting in the tail.

Exploring the link between hypermobility and neurodiversity

The very fact of constantly having to adapt, to meet alien-feeling situations on their terms, when others just slide into circumstances like a hand into a well-fitting glove, exhausts systemically when we don’t even notice how much we are having to do it, how much we are constantly having to bridge the gap between what is and how we are. This may have been damaging our health for years, as surely as long term smoking or heavy drinking, only we didn’t realise it until it was too late to avoid the consequences to our health. This is why I am passionate about helping other high adapters, women especially, to realise, embrace and advocate for their neurodiversity early on in life. It seems to me, autistic women often have a sort of hypermobility of a more subtle kind; one that enables them to become whatever people expect of them…but at what cost.

When your autistic health is minutely synced to the (apparently discombobulated) seasons

When you thrive on predictability, how does your body cope with delayed or oddly-behaving seasons? Or with prolongued transitions? Or when "feeling too much" and energy overload (ironically) translate as deficit? Exploring the effect of seasonal changes from a neurodivergent perspective.

Why chronic fatigue syndrome is such a painfully inadequate label and considering how ME/CFS may be connected to neurodiversity

What's in a label and looking at the bigger picture: Considering the importance of using the right descriptor when conveying the seriousness of your condition to yourself and others whilst exploring a possible link between CFS / ME and neurodiversity.

Full spectrum

Being on the spectrum doesn’t mean one person lives at a high functioning end and some other autistic person lives somewhere in the middle or at the bottom. It means we are all a range, within ourselves, and some of those highs can mask the lows (a primary reason for missed diagnosis). One trait alone can overcompensate for several shortfalls and mean adults are so blinded by your ability they don’t accommodate or even see your considerable struggles. You then exhaust yourself by overcompensating for, or masking, your own struggles for years, burning yourself out by having to work twice as hard as everyone else just to get by or meet high expectations set by others which you took on at face value. Suddenly, you are hit between the eyes by the pathos of this…you were never really that person they thought you were, which you took on at face value, but rather this other person with such a wide mixture of gifts and challenges they almost seem to cancel you out.

Autism and feeling too much (not too little)

There are so many areas of human experience where autism is assumed to mean less than or shortfall whereas it’s often a case of more…so much more that it’s untenable and excruciating to be in the experience. Sometimes, the very appearance of so-called shortfall should prompt the question “is way too much going on in there, so much so that it can’t be handled or made sense of, can’t be articulated or processed in conventional ways?”.

Menopause…the time when “my autism broke”

Many women report that menopause was the time when their autism became much more pronounced or even a problem in so far as they were attempting to continue the status quo of their largely "adaptive" life as before yet that ability to mask and appear typical suddenly flew out of the window. It may even be the time when they first realised they were autistic, such were their adaptive skills up to that point.


Coming out as you truly are, to yourself and to others, can be so utterly monumental, so pivotal, to your own personal wellbeing; yet also something which cannot be adequately conveyed to anyone who has not ever had to feel like an exile fumbling about in the darkness of their own bewildering life until this point. Nonetheless, it's an experience that deserves celebrating and encouraging, as I do today in these few words on the topic.