• autism

    Purpose as a Brain Hack to boost your Resilience

    A while ago, I received a postcard of a beautiful Japanese art print. On the backside, someone had written a joke about “fighting like a girl” and concluded with the words “Thank you for being a strong woman in our dojo.” I was happy and touched by this act of kindness. But I also felt a bit puzzled. Being a “strong woman” – or any person, for that matter – when you have autism… is that even possible? In this blog post for the website Art of Autism, I explore this question through the lens of neuropsychology.

  • autism

    Happy with the lockdown – the last taboo?

    In April 2020, when the Netherlands just entered into a “smart” lockdown, I wrote the following blog for the Art of Autism website. It offers an autistic perspective on staying at home, and now that we seem to be opening up again, it also serves as a reminder to myself, to create a “new normal” with all I enjoyed during the lockdown.

  • autism

    Autism & Eating

    For The Art of Autism and Proud2Bme, I wrote this blog about the challenges around eating that persons with ASD might face. An abridged version (in Dutch) was also published in Lister magazine UP.

  • autism

    Inside the Autside – on autism & identity

    For “UP”, the publication of the Dutch organization Lister, I wrote this piece on autism and identity, in which I discuss forming an identity and expectations, prejudices about autism, and having an “autistic identity”. The Dutch (slightly shorter) version can be read here. All comments are very welcome.

  • autism,  iaido,  karate,  kendo,  kobudo,  martial arts

    The dō less travelled by

    A ‘90’s schoolyard, somewhere in Suburbia. The children are happily playing soccer, with their teachers as referees. But one chubby girl sits aside. She is not joining at all, not even looking. She is playing with a stick, quite monotonously and repetitively trying to draw perfect straight lines in the air. “You see, we just cannot have her join…” – the teacher explained to the girl’s father. “She doesn’t understand the rules and will just try to get the ball in order to bounce it and roll around with it, refusing to let go. Then of course, the other children will get annoyed and start kicking her. So that is…

  • autism

    A misplaced alien (on autism & communication)

    I found that these people possessed a method of communicating their experience and feelings to one another by articulate sounds. I perceived that the words they spoke sometimes produced pleasure or pain, smiles or sadness, in the minds and countenances of the hearers. This was indeed a godlike science, and I ardently desired to become acquainted with it. (Chapter 12, paragraph 9) According to Dr. Frankenstein’s “monster” (Mary Shelley). Communication is complex and does not come naturally for everyone. Personally, I often feel as though I am a misfit, someone described by Temple Grandin & Oliver Sacks as “an anthropologist from Mars”, and by me as a misplaced alien. That…