Hi, I’m Kourtnie, a 34-year-old English instructor, and I’m autistic.
As an autistic woman, I experience several of the symptoms of the spectrum, including sensory sensitivity, social blindness, and digestion issues, as well as a deep interest in pattern recognition. I’m convinced my sensory sensitivity includes empathy; to put it another way, I’m hyper-empathetic, i.e., I feel the pain I observe as if it’s my own.
Also, because of my social anxiety, I’m hyper-aware; that makes my social blindness unique. For example, I’m keenly observant of nonverbal behavior, but I have face blindness, which means I recognize individuals by movements, not by physical identity from the neck up.
This is just scratching the surface of how much autism affects the way I experience life.
While my experience is unique—every autistic person’s experiences are unique, just like allistics—I think some of my stories could contribute to the larger narrative of acceptance.
I can’t wait to share stories with you about the good sides of autism. I want you to understand why I see my developmental disorder as integral to my life; why I’m at peace with the drawbacks, as long as I get to live openly with the upsides. And I’m secretly hoping you’ll have stories to share, too.
Kourtnie has an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Fresno and a BA in English from CSU Fullerton. When she isn't writing or making art, she's moonlighting as a professor at community colleges. Read her writing at Kourtnie.net or Wattpad.com/user/KourtnieNet.