Autistic Radio - Off the Air

Written in May 2024

I've been collaborating with some fellow autistic people for over a year now on a radio, audio-advocacy, conversation-starting project. Autistic Radio is autistic led, it's a passion project that arose from an Edinburgh based support group for autistic people and became a global thing – we have listeners and guests from all over the world.


Recently I've got into editing some of the recordings and live broadcasts we make, which started with the conversations based on the Neurodiversity Celebration Week prompts in February. Last week I edited one of the Sunday night live broadcasts where I deputised for Harry and read out the discussion prompts, which are the Facebook posts he's shared through the week.

Each time it has been both enjoyable and challenging. I find myself fairly easy to edit in terms of cutting repetition as my vocal cadence has a lot of ups and downs. This means it never sounds too clipped or edited when I cut sentences, phrases or even just the filler words I use. It's also made me realise how much I rely on the use of “so” as an oral springboard – it's a word that I can say that'll trigger the motor part of my brain into gear so I can let the words flow; without it I sometimes struggle to get started or to organise my thoughts into a coherent queue.


When I'm editing I can replay sections of the conversation in my head to check for continuity and flow, even if I am editing weeks after the fact. This makes me appreciate how good my aural memory actually is, for this purpose at least. It's also probably one of the things that drives my echologia (the internal repetition of words, phrases, names, sounds etc) because I can memorise the exact words someone's said, inflections and all, and replay those. I also create “voices” for names and phrases I've only seen written down and I hear those snippets in those “voices”.

The challenge is to edit others sensitively, retaining things that are important while cutting out bits where they've rephrased something (which involves deciding which seems best for the flow, if it's not obvious which version is preferred). It means making an editorial decision about how much of a tangent to leave in (easy when it's me tangenting, because I'm the one in charge of cutting it out and I tangent A LOT). Sometimes leaving a natural pause in works, while other times a natural pause can be cut, leading to a better flow for the listener.

I can keep all these criteria in my head while I edit and although these might be different thoughts or priorities, to me they are all part and parcel of the same task. Being in the right flow state for this task means being able to perform all these roles, to consider all these factors, in the pursuit of a single objective.


I'm hoping to edit the broadcast I'll be leading today as well, so watch this space!


The most recent Sunday Live I edited can be downloaded here: 



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