Disability

An Autistic's Guide to Being Ghosted

Suddenly, a person you’ve been regularly communicating with is M.I.A. Without warning, a fixture of recent life can become a memory. Somebody you’d bonded with has abruptly stopped contacting you. The text messages have ceased, all traces of their presence in your life have been yanked away by them, and without warning or explanation. But just because the experience is stressful doesn’t mean it’s impossible to endure. There are ways for autistic people to come out the other side of getting ghosted.

Finding Our Own Voices: Renée Yoxon and Gender-Affirming Vocal Therapy

Historically, trans people and disabled people have had vocal training to change the way their voices sound; sometimes by choice and sometimes by way of strong culture pressure of what a gender and the voice of a person whose gender that is “should” sound like. Scarleteen volunteer Val was thrilled to sit down with a teacher who approaches the voice completely differently; not in the pursuit of “normal” or with an attitude of “fixing” but rather in the pursuit of uplifting self-expression and showing people the power of the tools their body has to express themselves. 

It's Never Too Late To Start To Date

Being autistic, some things just haven’t come as naturally for me as they seem to for other people. Unfortunately, these have included hallmarks of American life often used to symbolize being “an adult” like driving on my own or getting my first paid job. But human beings are not on a strict timetable to do all the same things at the same time. This is just as true of dating like anything else. Just because you (or I) haven’t been actively dating when a lot of other people in your life have doesn’t make you (or me) a failure. You’re just on your own timetable. So am I.

Love and Asperger's: An Interview with Kate McNulty, LCSW

Two smart, insightful and autistic people who like talking about relationships walk into an interview. What comes out is this fantastically rich conversation between Scarleteen columnist Douglas Laman and Love and Asperger's author and therapist Kate McNulty.

Pelvis Problems: Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a complicated and often debilitating condition. It’s believed to occur in approximately 10% of people with uteruses of “reproductive age." That’s approximately 200 million people worldwide – a whole lot of folks! About two-thirds of people with the condition will develop symptoms before the age of 20, but it may take several years and consultations with multiple healthcare providers to receive a diagnosis. One of my missions in spreading awareness about endometriosis is to help more people receive a diagnosis and appropriate care more quickly.

How Do I Tell If Someone Is Into Me?

You can read a book. You can read a map. But reading people, that’s difficult in any situation. Reading people to figure out if they’re actually into you romantically or sexually is even more difficult. Douglas Laman is here to give fellow autistic readers a little help.

Body Talk: Listening To and Learning From Your Chronic Pain

For those of us with chronic pain, living our lives with other people -- be that with sex or something else -- can be tricky. Why was I often having such a hard time communicating such basic things? I realized that some of the survival strategies I used to get through the day were coming back to bite me. Over time, I developed some strategies for re-learning how to listen to myself.

A Brief Guide to Consenting with a Nonverbal Partner

What if a partner is nonverbal due to disability? Here are some tips on how to seek and obtain consent and how to generally communicate during sex with a nonverbal partner, so sex can be safe, satisfying and fun for everyone involved.

The Unholy Din of First Dates for Someone With Autism (And How To Avoid It)

The options for people on the Autism spectrum looking to go out on a date are few.  This lack of options can help to compound problems people on the Autism spectrum already have with dating. Navigating social hurdles, like avoiding over-talking, while being on a date is, on its own, a plenty daunting prospect. Realizing that the options for a backdrop to a date are exceedingly limited is just adding salt to the wounds. Together, these challenges can make a person feel like the prospect of going out on a date at all is far more trouble than it’s worth.