Autism without trauma

From ActuallyAutistic Wiki

Here is the link to this @Twitter thread🧵

A lot of Autistic people occasionally ask “Is there Autism without trauma” and yes, yes there is. I have met at least one and there is a model for non-traumatic Autism.

Unfortunately this is a “luck of birth” kind of thing but it is out there.

These people are not talked about as being Autistic because, among other reasons:

  • These people are out there living their awesome untraumatized lives.
  • Their life always supported their needs, so Neurodivergence never came up

Here is the formula for non-traumatic Autism.

1) A childhood in which the child receives abundant support and is somehow sheltered from negative social events.

This is rare but can happen any number of ways. The right home school environment is one example. Also an environment where the child’s special interests push them into specialized environments.

2) Their special interests is rewarding enough to themselves and society that it becomes a career and their mastery of that skill is high enough that people accommodate the person’s needs.

That is it. It helps a lot if the Autistic drives are supportive of it.

There are many examples of these types of people.

The most famous example is Olympians and other high end athletes.

I am not saying Autistic people who fit this model can’t have trauma. I am just pointing out the model that can and does manifests adult Autistics without trauma.

I know this for a fact because I know one. They are not an athlete.

They grew up isolated, with low social needs, love from their family, and an environment that stimulated their special interests.

They acquired a career that was in line with their special interest and they were so good at it, and it was so lucrative for their employers that they could do anything they wanted until they retired.

This person grew up with a complete awareness that they were different but… They grew up knowing their difference was a strength. That their outside view was something they brought to the table.

They never needed someone to explain to them that they where Autistic because they were in their ideal environment and happy as hell.

And even now knowing they are Autistic, they are not on Social Media or writing a book about their Autistic life.

They are enjoying their Special Interests as they always have and part of their Autistic drive is staying out of the spot light when they don’t need to be.

This is one example of why you rarely see examples of non-traumatized Autistics.

Autism is rarely anything but a hypothetical to those not traumatized by a world that does not accept them.

Any time you see a person who is driven and passionate and been in the same field for over a decade, so respected they can do anything they want. At the same time their are groundbreaking doing things that nobody has done before, like the rules don’t matter, pushing the envelope

Never settling for anything less than their vision.

Standing up to anything in their way.

You cannot tell me that person is not Autistic. (At the very least they are Autistically coded)

Anyone you can name at the top of their field and stayed there for more that a decade is very likely Autistics.

Writers, Directors, Musicians, Performers.

You think someone stays in music for 40 years because they need the money? Or because of an unyielding drive to do it?

Not sure how to close this one, but if you want examples of what Autistics care capable of when they have support and how wonderful their lives can be or heroes for your Autistics, just point to anyone whose became a master of their field, loved it, and was rewarded for it.

Oh, and for those that don’t know, it is well documented that those Autistic people who choose to apply themselves to individual physical excellence (and don’t have problematic complications) EXCELL.

Reps, restricted diet, hyper focus, etc, … all in our well house.

There are plenty of examples of these characters in media.

Ron Swanson is the one on the top with the least offense. Secondary to that is the whole cast of Parks and Recs minus Anne because she is the token NT and Ben Wyatt because he arguable has trauma.

A problematic but viable example of non-traumatized Autism is Sheldon Cooper.

(Yes the character is problematic.)

Sheldon had a good childhood and excels at a profitable special interest to the point that people accommodate his wants and needs.

Ash Ketchum is another great example of this. He had a great 10 years of childhood and then spent 36 years (this May 22nd) trying to be the very best, the best there ever was …


Statistically You have a pretty good chance of encountering non-traumatized Autistics if you go to a LEGO convention.

The displays at LEGO conventions are usually made by adults who have invested a lot of money in an expensive artistic medium then took vacation time, to transport their fragile art to a convention. Showed up at least a day before to rebuild and then reverse the whole process.

And they pay for this privilege. let me repeat that. LEGO convention hobbiest, called AFOLs pay to display their art, and the Convention makes the money.

The link between LEGO and Autism is real.

Those AFOLs who have the resources to do what I just described as a hobby disproportionate to the Autistic community, have lucrative jobs and lives that support them.

I should be clear here that the AFOLs are not being taken advantage of.

Autistic Empathy is real too. A LEGO con, for the AFOLs is a massive amount of Autistics with the same special interest converging for a days to celebrate their mutual special interest together.

Basically, the AFOLs bring the art to share with the other AFOLs and the space and event exists because money can be made to cover the expense by charging the public to see the art. It’s a symbiotic system.

This is a consistent model. Anywhere you have passionate hobbyist creators in anything cost prohibitive converging you have a disproportionate chance to encounter untraumatized Autistics.

Cosplay for example.

To be clear, Lots of traumatized Autistics become AFOLs and Cosplayers and other high-end cost prohibitive hobbiest creators to escape from their trauma.

The thread is about where you can find Autistics without trauma.

Please never assume someone has not experienced trauma.

I will talk about a second model that leads to non-traumatized Autism that also flies under the radar.

Autism can manifest as a “Multigenerational Disability.”

A multigenerational disability is one that is inheritable.

Any multigenerational can begin to develop a cultural impact on the family if not a group.

Societal Pressure like Autistic Empathy can even result in both parents of a child being Autistic without realizing it.

If you talk with older Autistic people, some of them have stories about their parents teaching them how to manage Allistic society: “look at the bridge of the nose to seem like you are looking people in the eye”

These are conversations from 30+ years ago where a Parent clearly had Autism and recognized it in their child or just assumed their child had the same challenge and taught them to handle it.

Lots of these parents accepted their children had challenges without having the name for it, because they empathized with what their child was going through.

So when challenges occurred, they where there with the support.

Now, if this family also had a multigenerational career path, then they also set up the kid for a stable accommodating job.

If you want a specific example:

Agriculture, at least 40 some years ago in the States.

But there are many family business and cultures and societies that embrace training the young into jobs over a lifetime.

As long as the job isn’t counter to the Autistic person’s Autistic needs it can set them up for a non-traumatic Autistic adulthood.

This model is really just a more focused version of the other when you break it down though:

1) support the child when they are young.

2) give them the tools to thrive as an adult.

The aspect of the multigenerational model is that, until someone realizes the family has Autism, no one in the family will question Autistic behaviors in the children as noteworthy. It’s literally normal for that family.

Here it the link to this @Twitter thread🧵