About

Hello, I’m Drew! Welcome to my website. Here I’ll cover tons of helpful info about what it’s like to be an adult on the autism spectrum, and how that’s different for women.

What does autsiverse mean?

Autsiverse means “autism universe.” I made it up because myself and so many other autistic people feel like we’re kind of from another universe and that’s why this one doesn’t make complete sense.

I use ‘autsie’ to refer to autistics. It’s kind of like aspie, but since the Aspergers label was merged with ASD, I don’t feel like that applies to me. Plus, I feel like autistics need our own nickname.

So I call autistics autsies and our families and friends allies. I’d love for the autsie label to catch on… *hint hint* šŸ˜œ

A little bit about me

I’m 19 and I was diagnosed this year with autism and anxiety. I’ve always known that I was a bit different and I struggled with a lot of things, but now I have an answer.

I grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada until I was age 8, and then we moved to Ecuador. We lived in Ecuador for six years, so I also speak Spanish. We moved back to Nova Scotia in 2014.

I’m an only child and I was homeschooled my whole life. I spent about four months in pre-school, but that doesn’t really count haha. Up to grade 7 my mom homeschooled me. Then for grades 7 to 12 I did distance education with a school in the US.

I graduated high school when I was 16. I worked at a daycare for about 6 months after I graduated, and I loved spending time with the kids. But things happened and I quit, and I’ve been working on my own online businesses ever since.

I took a Chinese language course last year in a nearby city for four months. So I speak a little Chinese now, I really love language but I’ve been so busy *cough* exhausted to keep learning. But I’m hoping to get back to it.

Because I did my schooling with US textbooks, my writing style and grammar gravitate that way.

I also use weird words like gravitate. And therefore, and thus, and presuming. I use very big awkward words, I always have. But now I have a bit of an explanation for that šŸ˜‚.

If you want to learn a bit more about how I got my diagnosis, check it out here!

I also want to mention that I use “autistic” language instead of “person with autism.” That’s a personal preference, though many autistic people do prefer to be referred to that way. Autism is not an illness, it’s the way my brain works. So I’m happy to be called autistic.

So that’s a bit of my story! I’m hoping to help all of you to learn more about autism and what that really means. It seems like so often all we hear about autism is a 4-minute news broadcast about how difficult it is for the parents.

And sure, it is. But there is so much more to the story. I’m hoping to help autistic people feel understood and to help neurotypical people to understand us better and know how to help us.

Please comment with your stories, or with suggestions for articles and/or videos. It’s always great to hear from you!

Love from the autsiverse!

3 comments… add one
  • James Gadd Dec 22, 2019 @ 18:55

    Hi Drew.

    My 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Autism 2 weeks ago. She is finding it tough at the moment. She has huge anxiety and spends most of her time in her bedroom. Hopefully things will improve.

    I went in to see her this evening (after knocking and getting her permission obviously) and showed her a few of your funny Autsie memes. She laughed out loud at them and I knew they immediately struck a cord with her.

    Iā€™m planning on showing her a few more tomorrow.

    Keep up the good work!

    James. Dad of Immy.

    • Drew Haines Dec 22, 2019 @ 19:18

      Hi! It makes me so happy to read this, I’m so glad she likes them šŸ˜.

      Those first few weeks after the diagnosis are really tough. I was super happy, but also exhausted as I was reexamining my whole life haha.

      I have bad anxiety as well, the teen years are especially hard for autistics. Expect her to slow down a little, she may need a lot of time to herself. I needed a lot of sleep, I took naps most days. It will be so good that she knows she is autistic, it will be easier for her. I’m 19 now, and I’m finding things are starting to get easier now.

      I struggled a lot with exhaustion and anxiety, shutting down, burning out, not being able to do my chores. But I didn’t know why I struggled, so I beat myself up for it, I felt guilty almost all the time. I wanted to do so much more, I wanted to help around the house but I just wasn’t able to.

      You may have already learned this, but a lot of autistics can have a hard time interpreting things that aren’t said very simply and straightforward. So make sure you tell her that she isn’t a burden, that you love her, and that she just needs to do her best and you’re proud of her. I know my parents loved me more than anything, but I struggled with feeling like a burden because I couldn’t help as much as I wanted to.

      Sorry if this is info dumping and unsolicited advice haha, I just love hearing your story and want to help if I can šŸ˜Š. It sounds like your doing a great job, with showing her interest but not pushing her. Feel free to ask anything you want, I’ll do my best to help if I can šŸ˜ŠšŸ’•.

  • Angela Nov 23, 2019 @ 22:59

    Hello autsiverse, as an allie of an Autsie, I look forward to learning more about what adult autism is like.

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