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Autism Awareness Day 2022 #AutismDay

Posted by jpluimers on 2022/04/02

As today is World Autism Awareness Day – Wikipedia, and women are often not diagnosed despite them being in the autistic spectrum, let’s start with English and Dutch versions of a great book by Bianca Toeps.

Having lived most of her life in The Netherlands, but for years spending half in Japan and half in The Netherlands, she finally emigrated to Japan and gets to The Netherlands every now and then.


Autism – that’s being able to count matches really fast and knowing that 7 August 1984 was a Tuesday, right? Well, no. In this book, Bianca Toeps explains in great detail what life is like when you’re autistic.

She does this by looking at what science says about autism (and why some theories can go straight in the bin), but also by telling her own story and interviewing other autistics. Bianca talks in a refreshing and sometimes hilarious way about different situations autistic people encounter in daily life. She has some useful tips for non-autistic people too: what you should do if someone prefers not to look you in the eye, why it is sometimes better to communicate by email, and, most important of all, why it is not a compliment if you say: “But you don’t look autistic at all!”

[Wayback/] Home – But you don’t look autistic at all – An #ActuallyAutistic book on autism by Bianca Toeps


Bestseller. Bianca beschrijft op eigentijdse en humoristische wijze hoe het is om autistisch (en vrouw en ondernemer) te zijn.

[Wayback/] Maar je ziet er helemaal niet autistisch uit – Boek door Bianca Toeps

Me and autism

Me being diagnosed being in the autistic spectrum, which helped big time surviving rectum cancer that was diagnosed a month later [Wayback/] Thread by @jpluimers on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App:

Triggered by @jilles_com (link: next tweet), I was diagnosed with autism 18 months ago coincidentally in the same month my mentally retarded brother got the same diagnosis, followed by training.I got a vocabulary explaining so many good and bad things in our lives!


First the promised link, as it is a start of a wonderful thread:

Admit Friday: I have been diagnosed with ADHD, Autism and Binge Eating Disorder over 10 years ago after thorough examination. Therapy helped me discover my own manual. Although coping with being different has its challenges, I consider it to be the superpower I embrace.

The diagnosis tremendously helped me get through all the treatments and care after my rectum cancer diagnosis 17 months ago.

Yes, these diagnoses were only 1 month apart!


Being able to explain I’m autistic (as one does not look autistic at all: hello @biancatoeps), the consequences it has in approaching me, how to sense when I get overloaded and what happens when I do were key in getting proper care.


Care that was confused why I took Covid-19 isolation so well, which was because I’m really good at following routines/rituals when I understand they benefit me or the community at large:


Replying to @jpluimers @aboutanurse and @mirakelams

… dat ik niet boos of teleurgesteld was, maar juist blij dat er zo snel gehandeld was: zoiets, zelfs bij een prikafdeling, is een kwestie van pech, want er hoeft maar 1 superspreader op een ongelukkig moment geweest te zijn. Isolatie was op zich voor mij een soort… 3/


The diagnosis also unconsciously enabled me to drop almost everything else in life like a brick. Now I know why: I had to in order to be able to survive at all, as without survival, I would be there any more for the people close to me.


This “drop everything like a brick” baffled my Eega, as this was totally different than my normal modus operandi: I hardly ever drop things.

I now know that this is also one of my biggest weaknesses: being so conditioned not dropping things sometimes bites back big.


Having a vocabulary around autism also helped me to better understand why things happened the way they did in both my life and various lives of people close to me, including my brother and my Eega.

In addition, I can now better communicate with them and others.


That still often fails (you might think otherwise reading my streams of tweets, but trust me: communication for me is very hard), but not as badly as it used to.


It failed big time on Tuesday and I only could explain on Wednesday (it is one of the communication aspects I hate: only being able to see things in perspective very very late, often not being able to set things straight by then).


Tuesday had 2 important administrative deadlines. Administrative things are among the things I dislike very much, so they give me a basic stress level.

I did have enough spoons (see…) to get that done. But then things started failing.


Two hardware things and a software thing broke down unexpectedly and needed research in order to estimate when and what kind of actions to take.

Those took many spoons, but also put me into “the zone” – see… .


Being “in the zone” uses less spoons than normal, but hasn’t occurred a lot lately as I’m still recovering from all the treatments, so I did not even consciously realise I was in it at all.

Suddenly, I got kicked out of the zone, causing me to be very angry.


With the vocabulary and the workshops, I know how to handle that situation better, but not in my current state of recovery.

It has to do with awareness and being able to going slightly outside “the zone” to do minor communication, then go back into it.


This was a tiny insight into where I am in the autistic spectrum.

It is a spectrum so every autistic person is having aspects in that spectrum, but usually in different places or with different gradations.

Those have cons, but also big pros, especially for work.


The trick is to find where one can excel using the pros and coping with the cons, for instance by steering towards situations where cons hardly happen and pros happen very often.


I could tell many more stories and give lots more insights.

Others however are way better at phrasing this, so please read their work. A good start is this great book by @biancatoeps:…

It is just EUR 21, so get it while stock lasts (:



I wrote this inspired by [Wayback] Thread by @jilles_com on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App starting with:

Admit Friday: I have been diagnosed with ADHD, Autism and Binge Eating Disorder over 10 years ago after thorough examination. Therapy helped me discover my own manual. Although coping with being different has its challenges, I consider it to be the superpower I embrace.


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