Discovering Autistic perspectives

Autistic blogs represent both diversity and commonality of Autistic perspectives. Below are suggestions for using the Actually Autistic Blogs List.

  1. The Autistic blogs search engine produces a Google search restricted to Autistic blogs. This can illustrate how Autistic people feel about a particular issue, movie, book, TV show, organization, institution, or person. For example, type “Atypical Netflix” or “Identity First” into the search bar to find out how Autistic people feel regarding the Netflix series “Atypical” or the issue of Identity-First vs. Person-First Language. If you recall reading something by an Autistic blogger but can’t find the link, this can aid finding it.
  2. Text searches can be used to find bloggers within a particular demographic or with specific co-occurring conditions.
  3. Find popular blogs (as determined by Alexa rank) listed near the top of the Actually Autistic Blogs List.
  4. Browse the alphabetical listing for appealing blog names.
  5. Find bloggers of various ages in the blogs sorted by age of blogger.

How do (or will) you use the Actually Autistic Blogs List? How can it become more accessible and useful? Please offer suggestions in the comments below.

Thank you to everyone who has helped publicize the Actually Autistic Blogs List. Instructions for doing so are on the Share page.

The Actually Autistic Blogs List continues being updated regularly. (The date of last update is now included at the bottom of the home page.) Nearly all Autistic bloggers have been contacted to request input on how they want their blogs listed (and about a third responded). All previous issues have been resolved.
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Alexa rank and blog descriptions

The Actually Autistic Blogs List are now listed according to Alexa rank in order to objectively prioritize the best (or at least most popular) blogs. (Categories were added to keep autism-centered personal blogs from being buried under non-autism-centered content. The list was previously ordered according to a subjective rating system, which was problematic for several reasons.)

Please let us know what you think by commenting or answering the poll below.

Below are the results from our last poll, responding to “Please select all information that’s acceptable to include based upon information found in blogs”:

7 votes: co-occurring conditions (such as ADHD, depression, or anxiety)
7 votes: date or age of autism diagnosis
6 votes: occupation or interests
6 votes: It’s OK to place a blogger in the LGBTQ+ category if their LGBTQ+ identity is clearly stated on their blog
5 votes: blogger’s age
5 votes: which “LGBTQ+” initial applies
3 votes: Blogger’s real name
2 votes: Respondents selecting “Other” submitted the following comments:
“URL and blog title only. Nothing else. This is offensive.”
“Interests, but occupation could be stickier :)”

Summary: Of the (presumably) eight respondents, seven approved of including at least some information from blogs in the blog descriptions, with one stating that anything beyond the URL and blog title is offensive. Opinions differed on which information was appropriate to include.

To the respondent leaving the comment “URL and blog title only. Nothing else. This is offensive.”: Please explain your position and the reasons behind it so I can address your underlying concerns.

Conclusions: The main purpose of blog descriptions is to facilitate text searches. The rules governing blog descriptions will be strictly adhered to and interpreted conservatively. They been modified to include the following:

4. Bloggers’ real names are reported only when professionally involved with autism (such as John Elder Robison or Ari Ne’eman) or upon bloggers’ requests.

Please provide your thoughts by commenting below.

Rules to keep the Actually Autistic Blogs List safe

A comment was left on my previous blog post wondering if there is a need to categorize the list at all. Categories can be useful. My target audience (like myself a few years ago) wants descriptive information about blogs for the sake of selecting which to read. Categorization is also commonplace (see for example this recent survey). The problem was not with the categorization but with its inaccuracy and misrepresentations (caused by my cishet bias and because I hadn’t appreciated that not all publicly-available information is appropriate to share), for which I’m truly sorry.

Here is the perspective of Aspie Under Your Radar (who has collaborated on this project).

Below are proposed rules to make the list informative without endangering or harming anyone, followed by a poll for your opinions.

Proposed rules for including information on the Actually Autistic Blogs List

1. Bloggers’ Requests Prevail. Any request by an Autistic blogger overrides all else. Please tell us how you want your blog listed.

2. No Assumptions. Only explicitly stated information is included. Even if blogger is named Susan, has a husband, uses she/her pronouns, and blogs about “women’s issues”, their gender won’t be assumed unless explicitly stated.

3. Respect the blog’s focus by only including “introductory” information located on an “About” page, a sidebar, and/or the first blog post.

4. When in doubt, err on the side of privacy.

Question for readers: Should the LGBTQ+ category follow more stringent guidelines (such as requiring explicit permission from each blogger)? Most (if not all) complaints about previous categorization related to bloggers falling within this label. Would requiring explicit consent from bloggers before placing them in this category be prudent, or would it undesirably contribute further to their invisibility?

Please respond to the following poll.

Please leave comments below with your opinions.

If there are no substantive objections, the rules proposed above will govern future information included on the Actually Autistic Blogs List. (All bloggers currently categorized have contacted us directly.) The latest version of the Rules will be always be available under About from the top menu.

We may be contacting individual bloggers but I make no promises on this. (More volunteer offers to help would be much appreciated.)

Please tell us how you want your blog listed. Do not wait for us to contact you (which may not happen).

Tell us how you want your blog listed

(Edited on 1/20/17 upon request to remove links.) Because of recent complaints (including three blog posts, comments starting from here, and private communications), all personal information has been removed from the Actually Autistic Blogs List. I apologize for having caused unintentional harm.

(Edited on 1/20/17) We will soon may be sending email to bloggers on the list for input on how you want your blogs listed. Please help us out by answering these questions.

(Edited on 9/19/17) Most bloggers on the list have been contacted, usually through comments left on their blogs. If you did not receive one it may have been mistaken as spam. Please tell us how you want your blog listed.

(Edited on 9/20/17) Just to clarify, all practices that have been objected to have been discontinued and all consent issues have been resolved. If you have any concerns please comment below or contact us.

Thank you.

Judy (An Autism Observer)

Calling for Autistic blogs

Since my last post, the Actually Autistic Blogs have been categorized and the top menu has been revised. Please check it out. The blogs are also sorted alphabetically by blog name and by URL.

Please send me names and/or URL’s of Autistic blogs that may not be on my list. Feel free to send me your entire blogroll and I will sort them out.

I’m grateful for help I’ve been receiving. Visual Vox created a nifty page to showcase Autistic blogs on the actuallyautistic.info domain she registered. (Please show her your gratitude here. I’ve donated to her elsewhere.) Another volunteer wants to remain anonymous. Both are contributing new ideas about how to improve user-friendliness and accessibility as the list grows.

I want this to be a community project. Any offers of help are much appreciated. Help is particularly needed categorizing blogs and assigning recommendation levels (number of asterisks). Many of the current recommendation levels are inaccurate due to limited reading time and/or poor memory. Let me know if you want access to the shared spreadsheet being used to manage the list.

Please help publicize this list. Some suggestions are on the “Share” top menu item.

Thank you.

Judy (An Autism Observer)

This blog’s purpose

This blog’s purpose has become to provide a home for the HUGE list of Autistic Blogs I’ve installed on the menu above. Maintaining and improving this list is my contribution to the Autistic Community.

Hungering for a sense of community

Ever since I retired in 2008 I’ve been hungering for a sense of community. The closest kinship I’ve found so far has been through lurking on Autistic blogs. I thought I might work up to participating actively through my own blog but my desire to do so has been decreasing. I’m a private person and don’t feel comfortable broadcasting my inner world to unseen strangers (though I’m grateful to those who do). I’m also not a natural writer nor do I aspire to be.

I found a satisfying way of contributing recently through sharing portions of my extensive blog list, both on the menu above and at myspectrumsuite.com (thank you Marcelle for allowing me to contribute there). I like being a behind-the-scenes resource person for natural leaders. I plan to contribute further to her list and am actively looking for similar behind-the-scenes opportunities to enhance Autistic Community. If anyone has any ideas please contact me.

I’m still hungering for a connection that feels more personal. I haven’t been looking very actively yet because I don’t know specifically what I’m looking for except for knowing how it feels when I find it. I’m thinking that a telephone connection with another middle-aged Autistic woman like myself (I’m 59 but not picky about age) might assuage this hunger.

If you feel similarly and are willing to connect by phone or Skype, please contact me or leave a comment below. Thank you.

Judy (An Autism Observer)

Autistic blog list

Realistically I’m dubious I’ll ever blog seriously. I’ve never been successful at keeping a diary. My gifts are mathematical not verbal. I may forever be mostly a lurker on Autistic blogs.

I nevertheless want to repay my extensive debt to the Autistic blogging community. One way I can do so is my sharing my extensive blog roll. I am currently following 494 blogs, mostly Autistic, (many defunct, which I follow in case they revitalize). I can also supply a list of numerous Autistic blogs I’m not currently following.

Would a list of these blogs interest anyone? If so, please email me or leave a comment. They are currently disorganized but if there is sufficient interest I may organize them.

Thank you for participating in the Autistic community.

Judy (An Autism Observer)

How do I learn how to build relationships?

Disclaimer: This post no longer reflects the focus of this blog.

Q: How do I learn how to build relationships when socializing doesn’t come naturally for me?

A: I look for people to learn from who’ve succeeded at solving that problem, which I’ve found that through reading Autistic blogs. I’m encouraged by those who’ve found satisfying relationships online when face-to-face socializing doesn’t work.

Reading blogs is like learning a card game with the players’ cards laid down on the table. Blogs make explicit the social cues that I can’t normally decipher.

I’m still figuring out how to share my inner life in a way that others might find interesting. I’ll stop her for now.

Thanks for reading.