Autistic love languages
Autistic love languages are ways that autistic people often prefer to express or receive love. While allistic people may also show or feel love in these ways, they are more common in autistic people.
Infodumping is when a person shares a large amount of information at once about something that they are very interested in or fixated on (commonly referred to as special interests or hyperfixations). Many autistic people express love by infodumping to their loved ones. Autistic people also often feel loved when their friends, family, or other loved ones infodump to them. The information itself is often interesting and a nice "gift" to give or receive, but even if the person on the receiving end of the infodump does not particularly love or understand the information, they can still feel loved during an infodump because the infodumper is sharing a part of themselves and their lives with the person by infodumping.
Parallel play is a term used to describe a stage that typically developing children go through, where they play in the presence of other children without attempting to impact the other child's play. Autistic children, and some other neurodivergent or developmentally disabled children, tend to continue parallel play at older ages than their peers instead of engaging in cooperative play (playing with others). This is often pathologized, but there is nothing wrong with a preference for parallel play! Many autistic people continue to prefer doing activities in the presence of other people over doing activities with them. This can be a way that autistic people express or receive love-- choosing to do the same activity (such as reading a book) or different activities (such as chores, or one person doing a puzzle while another works) in the vicinity of one another. This can have the added bonus of providing a body double, which is when the presence of another person helps reduce someone's executive dysfunction so that they can get more tasks done!
Stim sharing is when someone provides a stim for someone else, often through their body. Some autistic people find certain stims more regulating if they are done with someone they love (such as playing with their loved one's hair or rubbing their skin/clothes instead of their own). Additionally, some stims are only properly achieved with the help of another person, especially deep pressure stims like strong hugs or sitting in someone's lap. These stims can be regulating for one of the people involved or both. It is common for autistic children and adults to feel comfortable stimming with the help of their loved ones (such as caretakers or partners) and to use this stim sharing as an expression of love and trust.
Some penguins bring their mate a pebble as a gesture of courtship. This is similar to how some autistic people enjoy giving their loved ones special items that they find. These gifts are often unconventional and related to their or their loved one's interests. For example, a person interested in plants may give their friend a neat leaf that they found as a token of affection, or they may send their partner a video that they found that is relevant to the partner's interests. It can be seen as a way to communicate, "I was thinking of you when I found this thing, and I thought you would like to have it."
Support swapping is when people, usually neurodivergent and/or disabled people, accommodate each other. This can look like a friend reminding their friend to eat when they might forget, and that friend helping the first friend figure out how to word a text message. This can also look like partners dividing up chores to accommodate each other-- one partner has sensory issues with wet tasks like washing dishes, and the other can't handle tasks with steps all over the home like gathering trash to take out, but they are okay with the opposite person's difficult chores, so they do the tasks that are harder for their partner. Neurodivergent people can often meet each other's needs by having different strengths and weaknesses and helping their loved ones with weak spots by using their strengths.
- See also: Neuropeering