‘Autism’ a message from a non-binary Autistic child

This was originally shared by Jess of Supporting and Celebrating Neurodiversity with permission from the writer and their parent. Written by a 7-year-old non-binary Autistic community member.


Some Autistic people have learning disabilities where they appear younger that their age. I do not have learning disabilities but I do learn differently. I have Dyslexia that means some things I can find more difficult to remember. Brave spelling really helps me.

I am really clever with thinking about things. I think about a lot and about other people and animals. I find drawing really relaxing. I find drinking from a straw or drinks bottle relaxing.

Some Autistics repeat a word after they’ve said it. Me and my Brother do this. It feels nice. Also saying things over and over is relaxing. I have strong sensory feelings. It means that to me I hate tight or itchy clothes, and even if other people don’t find clothes tight and itchy, I find it tight and itchy because I am sensitive to it, so I have to get bigger size clothes. Some autistic people like tight things and that’s their sensory need.

I struggle in a crowd of people and talking to a crowd of people. Sometimes I wear ear defender to block noise. I also struggle with listening for a long time, this is usually in the classroom. I like to move a lot and make noise, it feels nice, but I don’t like other people’s noise because it’s distracting or painful if in my ear.

There is lots of autistic people but not as many as people who are not autistic. There are speaking and non-speaking Autistics. Just because you don’t speak it doesn’t mean you can’t communicate or understand. Speak to autistic people even if they can’t talk.

I like routines because they make me feel comfortable and I don’t like changing them. I don’t feel comfortable when my routines get changed. Routine means when you like to do the same thing for bedtime or going to school.

I want to tell you that I am non-binary and this means I like boy and girl things. I don’t feel one or the other. This is more common in autistic people.

I want you to know that some of my noises or movements are not on purpose and I try not to do them but this makes me uncomfortable. That’s why sometimes I crawl under my table when there is just a little space.

Everybody, autistic or not autistic, has things they are good at and things they find hard.

I don’t want me and other autistic people being made fun off. I want everyone to be equal and treated fairly no matter what.

Am I really trans? Fighting with my imposter syndrome

By Katie Munday (They / them)

I have come out of the non-binary closet (see my coming out story here) , and I am so relieved: I am me, finally, entirely, me. When people refer to me as they/ them it makes me feel so euphoric, so seen and comfortable in my Queer embodiment.

It hasn’t been easy coming out, and I know I will be doing it for the rest of my life, which is quite overwhelming but also exciting (see my piece on navigating gender journeys). Other trans and non-binary people have been amazing with my pronoun change. The cis people in my life are finding it more difficult, many are clueless about how often they use my pronouns incorrectly in conversation. Most people outside of the gender divergent community don’t understand the profound power of pronouns, they were given theirs at birth and they fit them, so much so they’ve don’t have to question them. My assigned pronouns don’t fit me and I find it so difficult and uncomfortable when people still use them.

Despite this discomfort, I often do not correct people, or I go for a more subtle approach – the same way I role model appropriate language for the under 5s I work with – I mirror back the sentence with the proper pronouns. I’m not sure if taking a subtle approach is due to my discomfort around conflict or my inability to guess someone’s reaction and how I should respond to them. I have no social script for this situation –  I’ve never had to constantly explain and validate my identity and change people’s language to fit it. And now I must do this for being both Autistic and non-binary.

The lack of dysphoria over the use of incorrect pronouns makes me feel like an imposter, like I am not trans non-binary. I sit with this feeling every time I am misgendered, every time I don’t stand up for myself and correct people.

I feel like a fraud, I feel like I should look more androgynous, and I wish my sensory differences could deal with more agender-style clothing. Then I remember that being gender divergent isn’t all sadness and shame. It’s expressing myself in the way I want and feel comfortable, it’s referring to myself in ways that make sense to me: it’s enjoying my Queer existence.

How I feel about my pronouns and my social transition may change – it may get worse; it may get better – either way I’m out and I have more space to explore my gender until everything fits. There is no one way to be non-binary, or trans, or gender divergent. Questioning, confusion and flux are all part of transgender journeys. I don’t have to be 100% sure of who I am all the time, and I don’t have to stick up for myself every time someone misgenders me – sometimes it’s not safe and sometimes I don’t have the spoons.

This doesn’t make me any less trans, any less non-binary or agender. There’s no wrong way to be trans. If I identify as trans then that is exactly who I am. This may not be the same tomorrow, or next year but it is my truth right now and that’s all that matters.