Resources for autistic and neurodivergent individuals

Healthcare (UK) 
Information about getting this service and how to get one on your health records.  Very useful for UK residents who need adjustments to any part of their health and social care provision.  We have the right to access reasonably adjusted mainstream services, don't let any NHS service tell you they can't help because of your neurotype.


Benefits applications & financial support
UK charity with resources and helplines for all aspects of life including reasonable adjustments, benefits and policies
Bristol Autism Spectrum Service guide to ESA including guidance on what to write.  This document may also be useful for PIP applications.
Another guide to filling in the PIP form.
ESA/UC/DLA/PIP Benefit Help and Support UK Only - a Facebook group dedicated to advice and support for dealing with the DWP

Mental Health information
A must-read for understanding a neurodivergent-affirming approach to mental health treatments and therapies.  Conventional, neurotypical-suitable mental health support and interventions is often inappropriate and sometimes harmful for autistic and neurodivergent people.

My take on CBT for autistic people is here. 
Information on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy from an AuDHD therapist.  DBT is similar to CBT, but tends to avoid the harmful aspects of CBT on autistic people.
General overview of anxiety in autistic people.  Please note that although CBT is recommended here, I do not recommend CBT for autistic people when the target is anxiety based in sensory or social overwhelm - nor do I recommend exposure therapy or anything of the sort.  Read this to find out why.

Dr Luke Beardon's book: Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Adults is a good resource.

Emotional processing and regulation
A comprehensive set of articles and tests for understanding alexithymia and how this changes the internal (and external) experience and expression of emotion.  A must-read.

Tony Attwood post on Alexithymia
Facebook post from Dr Tony Attwood about alexithymia, contains several references for further research and a lot of information about this aspect of emotions.
A guide to connecting with and creating an understanding of your own emotional state.  My piece on assessing emotional states is here.
Autistic grief - how we experience and emote grief differently to non-autistic people.
Self harm can be a way of regulating and processing emotions, or it can be a stim.  These safe cut kits help redirect the activity from actual harm while retaining the regulatory/emotional processing elements that can actually be helpful when self-injury is not part of the activity.
This is aimed at the practice of self-reflection in terms of self-advocacy but the information is relevant for general self-reflection.  Self-reflection is an executive function that can be developed with practice, although it is often something that neurodivergent people find challenging.  This guide is really helpful for learning how to do it.

Burnout and exhaustion
A great insight into pre-burnouts and burnout phases, why they happen and what it's like.
How masking and passing can lead to burnout.
Research study on burnout.
The stages or levels of burnout.  This is based on one person's experience but is a useful starting point for understanding your own burnouts in terms of how they happen and the stages (which will hopefully help you recognise the signs so you can act on them, because it's possible to avert a full-scale burnout)

The double empathy problem and how it impacts on communication and understanding between autistic and non-autistic people.
The 'double empathy problem' - Ten years on.  Milton et. al. 2022.  A paper on the progress and status of this phenomenon authored by the researched who identified it.
The International Association for Spelling as Communication.  The place to start for information and support for nonspeaking, minimally or unreliably speaking autistic people (and non-autistic people who are nonspeaking).
Blog from a nonspeaker - read about the nonspeaking experience first hand.

A look at the costs of long term masking and passing.  Also relevant to burnout.
A research study into the long term effects of masking

My articles on masking:
On Unmasking
Mask deconstruction and rebuilding
Masking at home

Shutdowns and meltdowns
A look at the effect of repeated shutdowns and meltdowns.  Also relevant to burnout and recovery.
Excellent resource for understanding what these are, and the subtle differences between them.
One person's strategies for recovering from a shutdown.  This uses the language of the time and is reflective of an individual experience and identity.

Other aspects of neurodivergence

Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria - A great starting place for understanding it with links to next steps:
What AD(H)D really is - spoiler alert: it's not a behavioural problem!  A great insight into what people misunderstand about ADHD and why it's being diagnosed late in life for many people.
Generally excellent website about autism, by autistic people.  If you have a question, the answer is probably here.  There are all sorts of diagnostic tests with a deconstruction of their validity as well, I can highly recommend Embrace Autism.

Sally Cat's PDA Page - A quick guide to internalised PDA
A post from Sally Cat's PDA Page (Facebook) about PDA (clinical term: Pathological Demand Avoidance, community preferred term: Persistent Drive for Autonomy) manifesting internally.  PDA is a neurodivergent profile rather than a separate diagnosis.
An interesting exploration of the impacts of ADHD on driving, and some tips on mitigating the effects of inattention and/or impulsivity for safer driving.  US based, so readers in the UK should be aware that mentions of getting licenses/laws etc may be different in the UK.

Autistic Identity and culture
A deep-dive into the concept of identity and how autistic people experience and construct their identities differently to allistic people.  My piece on the same subject is here.

Neuroclastic: Values are not Opinions to autistics
Another Neuroclastic piece on autistic identity looking at how for us, values and opinions are more closely linked than for neurotypical people, and what this means for our sense of self.

Sensory processing and understanding
Article on the eight sensory systems.  Really important read because it will absolutely explain some things that you've never been able to work out before.  Learning about these was a game changer
Comprehensive guide to interoception (one of the eight senses) including resources for improving this sense and encouraging the mind-body connection
Sensory sensitivities leading to overwhelm and meltdown.

My introductions to interoception and proprioception.
Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which is separate diagnosis but accurately describes the sensory processing challenges autistic people face (you could have SPD without being autistic, but the SPD criteria are effectively part of the Autism diagnostic criteria)


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