I’m lucky to have supportive friends and family.

I wish I had more local female friends that recognized their neurodivergence. People don’t want to be told that their camouflage is failing.

Right now zoom is tiring as I adjust to my new meds and new diagnosis, so it’s hard to connect with my openly neurodivergent female friends that all live out of state.

I’m posting this so that others might realize that they could be more open about being Autistic and various types of neurodivergent.

Or go take Penelope’s class: Autism research that fixes your life – Penelope Trunk Careers


To revisit later – stub

Ok, so I’ve known for a while that education is broken. I’ve been homeschooling with an IEP and a charter.

I’m finally ready to take more action.

Public schools will not work for my child.

There are a variety of private or non-public schools (NPS) that would work.

We cannot afford the private pay option.

School systems can (and until they can’t, it will be very hard to rebuild the education system, so overloading them is really the goal).

How do I legally get the school system to pay for an NPS without the step of allowing my child to be harmed/traumatized?

If I attend class with him, I can protect him.

I have no intention of arriving before 10am for my own mental health.

Truancy – Attendance Improvement (CA Dept of Education)

EC Section 48260:

(c) For purposes of this article, a valid excuse includes, but is not limited to, the reasons for which a pupil shall be excused from school pursuant to Sections 48205 and 48225.5 and may include other reasons that are within the discretion of school administrators and, based on the facts of the pupil’s circumstances, are deemed to constitute a valid excuse.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 432, Sec. 1. (AB 2616) Effective January 1, 2013.)

California Education Code Section 48225.5 (

Reasons for Excused Absences

EC Section 48205:

(a) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:

(1) Due to the pupil’s illness, including an absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health. The state board shall update its illness verification regulations, as necessary, to account for including a pupil’s absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health within the scope of this paragraph.

(7) For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of the pupil’s religion, attendance at a religious retreat, attendance at an employment conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization, when the pupil’s absence is requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board of the school district.

(12) Authorized at the discretion of a school administrator, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 48260.

(b) A pupil absent from school under this section shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit therefor. The teacher of the class from which a pupil is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.

(d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state apportionment payments.

The California Code of Regulations Title 5, Section 421 states that the verification of illness or quarantine shall be made in accordance with any reasonable method which establishes the fact that the pupil was actually ill or under quarantine, if the method has been approved by a school district governing board or a county board of education. For verifying a chronic illness, districts like San Juan Unified School District have adopted a special form to verify the chronic illness. Appreciation is extended to staff members of the San Juan Unified School District who permitted the CDE to use their Chronic Illness Verification Form as an example for statewide use.

San Juan Unified School District’s Chronic Illness Verification Form
The Chronic Illness Verification Sample Form allows parents to excuse absences due to a specific medical condition with the same authority as a medical professional.

Child Welfare & Attendance – Attendance Improvement (CA Dept of Education)

District does not accept any CIVF that does not have
the expected frequency of episodes, length of absence, diagnosis, appropriate
symptoms listed, Provider’s or Medical Group letterhead/business card attached
and appropriate signature(s). Please return the form to parent for completion.
2) The school site may fax the CIVF back to the Provider’s office to verify the
document’s authenticity. An administrator or their designee must refuse
acceptance of any CIVF found to be fraudulent.
3) Schools will only code absences V when the parent provides written verification
listing one or more reasons specified on the form under “Symptom(s)”. Phone
calls are not acceptable

San Juan Unified School District’s Chronic Illness Verification Form


search string: ca state board of education “illness verification” regulations

To do: Bill Text – SB-14 Pupil health: school employee and pupil training: excused absences: youth mental and behavioral health. (

filedownload.ashx (

Child Welfare & Attendance – Attendance Improvement (CA Dept of Education)

Search Results (CA Dept of Education)

15 rights parents have in public schools | Parenting (

Can Parents Observe Children’s Classrooms & Placements? | The Wrightslaw Way

Special Education Rights for Children and Families – special_famlaw_selfhelp

California Truancy Laws – Rules for Parents & Minor Children (

California Education Code Section 48203 (

How do I get people to take my advice?

First I have a question – how do YOU feel when someone gives you unsolicited advice?

  • Patronized? (Mansplained)
  • Condescended to?
  • Defensive?
  • Criticized?
  • Angry?
  • Annoyed or irritated?
  • Appreciative?
  • Grateful?

If it’s more like the first ones and not the last two, why would someone else feel differently?

What would happen if instead you asked if they were open to you sharing ideas or your experience?

What if you respected if they weren’t ready to hear it, but at least they know you’re available if they want it?

What if you asked them what they think they need or what they want, and why they want it? Could you ask leading questions so they could figure things out on their own?

What would happen if you took your own advice first? What would it look like to be the change you want to see?

What are you missing if people aren’t listening to you? Are you not connecting first? Are you regulated? Are they?

Cassandra from Greek Mythology embodies the anguish of seeing the future and not being able to do anything about it. But it’s a misleading tale – we can do something about it, but not the thing that is easy for us – telling others.

We have to do the hard work of helping them see for themselves, or the even harder work of connecting with others so strongly that they trust us to be looking out for their best interests as well.

Eye Contact and Listening

Things folks could learn to say:

I feel _________ when you don’t make eye contact when ________________ (I’m talking to you/you’re talking to me).

Uncomfortable, disrespected, ignored, irritated, insulted, angry, annoyed


I feel ignored when you don’t make eye contact when I’m talking to you. Can you face toward me, and if not, is there another way you can let me know you are listening?


I can orient my body toward you without eye contact.
I’m listening when I’m looking at this fidget.
I’m listening when <insert visual or auditory cue that you are listening>

I feel disrespected when you don’t make eye contact when I’m talking to you. Can you face toward me, and if not, is there another way you can let me know you are respecting my need for your attention?


I can orient my body toward you without eye contact.
I’m paying attention when I’m looking at this fidget <or other visual or auditory cue>
I understand that you feel disrespected, and I would like you to respect my need to avoid eye contact. How can we compromise?

I feel uncomfortable when you don’t make eye contact when I’m talking to you. Can you look at me when I’m talking?


I can orient my body toward you without eye contact.
I understand that you feel uncomfortable , and I feel uncomfortable with eye contact. How can we compromise?

I feel irritated/insulted/angry/annoyed when you don’t make eye contact when I’m talking to you. Can you look at me when I’m talking?


I can orient my body toward you without eye contact.
I struggle with eye contact and it would be a kindness if you can be flexible with me.
I understand that lack of eye contact is viewed negatively in our culture. I’m trying to advocate for diversity by expressing my need to avoid eye contact in order to focus and listen.
I’m sorry, I understand that currently lack of eye contact is considered rude in our culture. I’m Autistic and eye contact is challenging for me. By being open with you, I’m hoping that we can be part of the change that helps our society become more open and tolerant of differences such as neurodiversity.
I understand the struggle when our communication needs aren’t met. Will you meet my communication needs?

Being on the same level is more important than eye contact (think sitting side by side facing the same way instead of towards each other, or those conversations that happen in vehicles) – come down to their level or bring them up to yours.

Communication: Scripts aka Mad Libs for Life

The Gottman books and NVC (Non-Violent Communication) are both good for giving alternative ways to express things.

The simple way is this script:
I feel: emotion or sensation
when: very specific action observed, include only the direct observations, not judgements or assumptions
I need:

This is the hardest part, being vulnerable and expressing what you need.

Basic human needs:

Sensations (interoception)

Observation words: noticed, saw, heard, watched, was looking, spotted, felt (touch)

Judgement/opinion words: good/bad, positive/negative, ugly/beautiful, yucky/yummy

Instead of:

  • This food is gross!
  • What is that terrible smell?
  • Ew!
  • That looks yucky.
  • It tastes bad.


  • This is not to my taste.
  • I’m not a fan.
  • No thank you.
  • I have food/sensory sensitivities, and I want to enjoy your company, is it ok if I just have something to drink?
  • I’m not sure I’ll like it, but I can try a bite.
  • I feel uncomfortable, I’m not used to this type of food.
  • It was one bite yum, I liked it, but that was enough for me.

Instead of advice or commiseration (me too!), try to restate what they said in your own words – focus on the emotion.

  • Let me see if I understand what you’re saying…
  • It sounds like you’re feeling really….
  • If I were you I would be <emotion>…
  • I think I hear you saying….
  • Before the conversation moves on, do you feel like I understand things?
  • Is there something I missed?

After they feel heard, then you can add something like:

  • Do you want to vent or are you looking for advice?
  • I have some ideas if you’re interested.
  • What advice would you give me/someone else in that situation?

Conversing is hard. It is ok to ask the other person what they need or want – comfort, commiseration, to bounce ideas off you, to inform you, advice, connection, entertainment, etc.

You can also try for some humor when someone uses one of the socially expected greetings like “How are you?”:

  • Insert small talk of your choice.
  • Socially acceptable reply.
  • Greetings and salutations.
  • Mutual acknowledgement of existence.
  • Within normal limits.
  • Fine, for certain values of fine.
  • Do you want the real answer or the expected answer?

Instead of:

You are so mean!


You make me so <feeling/emotion>!


I feel so <feeling/emotion>!

Some examples: angry, frustrated, annoyed, irritated, furious, impatient, mad, hurt, disappointed, exasperated.

Converse | Living with Asperger syndrome (

My umbrella hypothesis about sensitivity, Autism and neurological differences

Just found this October 23, 2022: How Childhood Trauma Leads to Addiction – Gabor Maté – YouTube


Lacking those needs, we lack health.


This is my rough draft, I’m throwing things out before they are polished to get the ideas out in the world sooner.

HSP 20%-30%

So if Neurodivergent (ND) = HSP

Then ND = 20-30% and Neurotypical (NT) = 70-80%

OCD, ASD & ADHD are not neurotypes, they are collections of challenges that ND/HSP have or they are symptoms of an underlying problem (impared sleep for example) or lack of certain skills.

For example:

  • Emotion regulation is a skill. NT tend to learn it innately, ND often need direct instruction, which they may or may not get as children. (ND tend to learn scholastic skills innately instead, but NT need to be taught that)
  • Executive dysfunction is often impaired by sleep issues which can stem from many sources. NT with sleep problems also have executive function challenges. Sleep problems are just much more common and harmful (larger impact per degree of problem) for ND. Part of that goes back to the self regulation skills and whether they were taught or not, such as good sleep hygiene and routines.
  • Anxiety is common among ND, that’s actually their role – to be the cautious future thinkers. Again it comes back to learning emotion regulation skills to manage the anxiety (Think Cassandra of Greek myth – if you’ve identified with her, you’re probably ND)
  • In OCD the ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) have tuned their brain to be even more sensitive to danger and the compulsions are a coping tool. Either they are hyperfocusing on something to avoid the pain of the anxiety or they are using a strategy to calm themselves or it was a self preservation habit or something along those lines
  • ADHD and Autism: Aspergers or ADHD? The answer will surprise you. – Penelope Trunk Careers
  • ASD difficulties in social interactions and communication – again just a skill not taught that NTs pick up automatically and NDs don’t, and also there has been research showing that ND communicate fine with ND, it’s just the ND-NT communication that is challenging. Yes, talk to us like you would a 5 year old. Direct, detailed, clear, concise language, with compassion and kindness. And if that’s not how you communicate with a 5 year old, I don’t really want to be communicating with you anyway.
  • ASD repetitive behaviors are again compulsions like OCD, they are a coping tool – so adverse events paired with a lack of (socially acceptable) coping skills/tools can result in presenting as ASD
  • ASD intense interests – again, this is the role of ND/HSP – I would guess that every advancement ever was made by someone ND, either because they didn’t realize not to do something just because no one else did it or because they were curious. NDs with good social & emotional skills have intense interests/are deep thinkers (see HSP descriptions) – they just mask or control them successfully when interacting with NT folks or a mixed crowd.
  • unusual responses to sensory stimuli – Again this is just the role of the ND – high sensitivity for danger detection paired with a lack of coping tools or skills – NDs are the canaries in the coal mine of the human race (link rise of Autism with chemical farming, smoking, sitting, sugar, processed foods, diabetes, Alzheimers, microbiome)
  • The reason people have been able to “cure” autism is because they have been able to teach the missing skills or to correct an underlying health problem caused by the high sensitivity, such as intolerances to gluten, food coloring, etc. The person is still ND, but the problem behaviors (maladaptive coping tools, missing self-regulation skills, dysregulation caused by a health problem) have been resolved.
  • Ehlers-Danlos has a high co-morbidity rate with ASD
    • It’s a collagen disorder, the hypermobile type is the only one they don’t know the genes for the last time I checked – which would make sense if they are trying to compare people who have EDS and are diagnosed because they are suffering from it, and people who don’t have it + people who have it but are undiagnosed because they are not suffering from it or it has been labeled something else like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, etc.
  • One of the symptoms of defective collagen is increased tissue permeability
    • That could be a major factor for the sensory sensitivity of ND (HSP)
    • Again, there are things that can be taught to reduce the risk of challenges, there are those who innately figure them out or are taught in childhood and they often go undiagnosed unless it causes problems later in life (arthritis, joint pain, etc.) or they are misdiagnosed because EDS is “rare” – even though they know it’s a dominant gene????

So that leaves us with two things:

First – how can we test this hypothesis?

Second (wish I could recall what I meant, maybe the “what should we do about it?” part?)

Research studies that screen for EDS (somatic traits), HSP (mostly cognitive traits), OCD, ADHD & ASD, ACE & PCE scores and brain scans.

Participants should include large cohorts that are already diagnosed with one of the above issues and screen for the rest in addition to NT controls.

ADHD symptoms arise from executive dysfunction,[6][7][8] and emotional dysregulation is often considered a core symptom.

Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental and behavioral disorder in which an individual has intrusive thoughts and/or feels the need to perform certain routines repeatedly to the extent where it induces distress or impairs general function

Risk factors include a history of child abuse or other stress-inducing events; some cases have occurred after streptococcal infections.

Obsessive–compulsive disorder – Wikipedia

The autism spectrum is a range of neurodevelopmental conditions generally characterized by difficulties in social interactions and communication, repetitive behaviors, intense interests, and unusual responses to sensory stimuli. It is commonly referred to as autism or, in the context of a professional diagnosis, as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the latter term remains controversial among neurodiversity advocates, neurodiversity researchers, and many autistic people due to the use of the word disorder and due to questions about its utility outside of diagnostic contexts.

Autism spectrum – Wikipedia

Having a partner is overrated if you aren’t happy.

I replied:

Only someone with autism would say that. Having a partner is absolutely NOT overrated. Steering one’s own ship IS overrated. Wanting to do everything how we want to do it at the cost of making compromise to share life with someone else is the definition of autism…The human race would not have survived if it were normal to want these things.

She replied:

[I had] a narcissistic/borderline mother who made emotional chaos normal in my childhood…So I picked two husbands where emotional chaos was normal. Then I got sick of feeling emotionally drained and got out. Since then I’ve navigated carefully to protect my serenity. In therapy again now to expand my thinking around this and more. I don’t think I’m autistic. 

I replied: You’re autistic. Here’s why:

Self-analysis is autism

Just because you can spew DSM stuff doesn’t mean you’re not autistic. In fact, analyzing ourselves as a hobby is a marker of autism — we are constantly trying to understand how to world works, and how we feel comfortable. Because actually we can’t do either of those things. And the real reason we are out of step is that our brain makes us blind to ourselves. We see other people clearly but we don’t see ourselves.

But wait, all that analysis has payoff. People with autism are better writers than everyone else, because we spend our life memorizing dialogue and replaying it in our heads trying to figure out what just happened. ]….

Autism – Penelope Trunk

[Borderline personality is autism

So many autistic women think they are not autistic but “just recovering from a mother who has borderline personality disorder”. But autism and BPD frequently go together and scientists think BPD is so similar to autism that it’s another autism spectrum disorder. BPD is caused primarily by a mother who has BPD and autism; her erratic parenting causes her autistic daughter develop BPD.

Narcissism is autism

Narcissism and autism are so similar that scientists are thinking narcissism might be a subset of autism so we could just delete the narcissism category from the DSM.

There are many published papers explaining why narcissism is part of autism. You don’t need to know every piece of research but you do need to know that if your therapist diagnosed your parents or your spouse with narcissism it’s because the therapist doesn’t understand autism, and you have it, and that therapist can’t help you.

Divorce is autism

When the commenter writes that she’s been divorced twice. That’s probably because she decided the men have a problem (narcissism) and she has a problem (raised by a mom with BPD) and she felt depressed. But depression is part of autism, regardless of who we pick to marry, and staying married protects against the worst depression.

Autistic marriages are likely to end because we have the most emotionally compromised dating pool. If you’re not autistic you sort out people who violate all the social rules for dating. So autistic people are left with a dating pool of each other, and we don’t even notice there’s anything wrong.

Loneliness is autism

That is, until the honeymoon glow turns to marital glower and loneliness seems hard to separate from choice of spouse. I’ve done that. But once you get divorced, you’re forced to diversify your ideas about loneliness.

I used to think loneliness was something I had from not being around enough people, and that’s why I feel less lonely when I write on my blog. But I discovered that loneliness is a neurological disorder. Loneliness isn’t caused by a lack of social support. Loneliness comes from chronic illness or social anxiety. And the only way start feeling less lonely is to first acknowledge it’s an autism thing.

Interestingness is autism

So, yeah, I do think the commenter has autism. She must be really interesting to have appealed to her ex spouses because she — like me — is totally interested in her own stuff. So we are magnets for people who like interestingness. And wanting life to be interesting is not normal. There are higher values than that. But not for us.

So it’s no wonder that adults with autism know more about autism than mental health professionals. And if you want to know if you have autism, don’t ask a professional. Ask someone with autism. And if you want your life to get better after you find out you have autism, talk to people who also know they have autism. You get really smart about yourself really fast once you have that label.

Autism – Penelope Trunk

amygdala vs prefrontal cortex

my hypothesis is that there is a common neurodivergent brain type identified as HSP, also seen in non-human populations and that OCD ADHD and autism are conditions that affect that neurotype based on: chemical exposures, childhood ACE or PCE and epigenetics. Especially with chemical exposures, ehlers-danlos seems to be also tied in, as that may make tissues more permeable and more susceptible to chemicals creating epigenetic changes, also might support the sensitivity trait

Disabled by the environment or the social model of disability

survival and success through diversity

Societal roles and functions of neurotypical and neurodivergent

Two sides of any trait, for example: anxiety stems from future thinking, future thinking allows planning for the future – for example this climate crisis

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs versus the Blackfoot Native American system

United States medical system is broken. The education system is broken. The legal system is broken. The economy and government are broken.

This is how humans learn – through failure. We break things to figure out how they work. And with that understanding we can repair or rebuild better.

Mental health is physical health – the brain is part of the body and what you eat goes into your body and is what your body uses to run itself, so food is medicine.

If the soil is lacking nutrients, then the plants will also, and so will we or the animals we eat who eat the plants. Without the nutrients we need, our immune systems end up in overdrive or we end up with “neurological” disorders because we don’t have the components needed to work properly. Our immune systems get overwhelmed or confused and we end up with inflammation, which ends up being the root of so many diseases.

Notes from Stanford Neurodiversity Summit:

Rehearse for life

I can’t find the article, but when the kiddo was biting more, I remember reading that you can’t tell a child not to bite when they are flooded (Gottman term for the amygdala being in charge), and just telling them not to bite when they are calm doesn’t work – they can’t remember in the heat of the moment. You have to role play appropriate responses.

Like training for martial arts so that when you are in fight/flight/freeze your automatic reflexes take over.

We have a policy that once calm and we’ve figured out what the problem was, we have to roleplay a healthier/more adaptive method at least 3 times so that those neural pathways are reinforced more than the maladaptive ones that were defaulted to. And for really big things like hitting or biting we do at least 5 – and include variations. Basically the “What Would Danny Do?” (there is a Darla one out now too) books, but instead acting them out and using our situations. We also tell (and keep meaning to write up) “choose your own adventure” versions – the first is what actually happened and why, and then we come up with two or three more other options and results.

This can also help with theory of mind and empathy. It is the reason that pretend play is so important and if it doesn’t come naturally, it should get modeled. The Hot Wheels City videos on YouTube actually helped us with that. The kiddo didn’t like watching real life people but that one only shows the hands using toys to do pretend play.