Waiter #2: *brings giant red velvet cake to the table, adorned with many a decorative, edible flower*
Waiter #3: *brings comically large valentines card over (even though it’s only half way through January)
Baz: *actual rabbit in the headlights*
Simon: *starts babbing* “So, that feeling I was feeling was love and I got carried away and gosh, I was just thinking about everything and things and then you! And then I asked these waiters to come over here and bring all this stuff and so *takes deep breath* Basilton Grimm-Pitch… will you be my valentine?
Baz: *deadpan glare*
Simon: *puppy-dog eyes, looking adorable*
Baz: *deadpan glare*
Waiters: *uncomfortable squirming*
Baz: “SIMON SNOW WE ARE MARRIED!”
Waiters: *still uncomfortable, now also confused puppies*
Baz: *resigned sigh* Yes, I will be your valentine
Simon: *fist pumps in the air* *whooping and holling with pure joy* *high five’s confused waiters*
Baz: *blushes* *hides behind his menu and secretly grins at his adorable amazing sunshine husband and thanks his lucky stars he’s married to the most wonderfully amazing goofball in the whole wide world*
As a writer, we’re sure you are aware that words are important. You can’t always substitute one for another because they all have their own depth of meaning and their own subtleties. So if you want to write an autistic character, you’ll have to refer to autism using the right words. This post will help you do just that!
Autistic person? Person who has autism? Which one should I use?
This is a highly debated question. You might have heard “You have to say “person with autism” because you’re talking about a person first; the person is not defined by their disability!”. While this is a nice thought, it is largely misguided, and this way of talking are mainly used by non-autistic persons while talking about us. The autistic community doesn’t like this “person-first” language very much for several reasons.
First of all, if you need to use specific language to remind yourself that we are people, you may have a problem that no amount of linguistic workarounds can solve. We say “a French person”, not “a person who is French” or “a person with Frenchness”, because we don’t need to remind ourselves that French people are people. Why should it be different with autistic people?
The second reason most of us don’t like saying we are “persons with autism” is that our autism is not something that we carry with us. We are not a human person + a terrible disorder. We are fundamentally different. Being autistic is an integral part of who we are as people, and touches every sphere of our lives. If someone somehow managed to take away our autism, they wouldn’t reveal the “real us” that was hidden behind it: they would create a whole different person. We can’t be separated from our autism, and this should be reflected in the language you use while talking about us.
So ideally, you’ll want to use “autistic”, as an adjective: Cat is autistic, they are an autistic person. Some of us sometimes use “autistic” as a noun as a shortcut, when we’re tired of repeating “people” all the time, but it’s best to avoid it when you can, especially if you’re allistic.
What you really need to avoid is “a person with autism”, or heaven forbid “a person who happens to have autism”, “a person who suffers from autism”, “a person who lives with autism”, or any variation thereof. I’ve also seen a few people write “an autist”, but I don’t get why they do that. Please don’t do it.
And please don’t refer to us as being “on the spectrum,” we don’t need a euphemism to soften the blow of the word “autistic.” We are autistic! Even those who don’t seem disabled. Please remember that, while it is all too often misused in an insulting or pejorative way, “autistic” is not a bad word. Don’t be afraid to use it! In fact, using it more and in a positive way is the best way to stop it from being misused as a pejorative.
You keep using these words I don’t understand…
Alright, let’s get a glossary going! We’ll update this post whenever we use a word that could be hard to understand (if we can remember to do it…). If there is any word on the blog that you can’t understand, check if we’ve explained it here. If we haven’t, shoot us an ask and we’ll do it ASAP. :) All of the titles are clickable and will take you to the corresponding tag so you can check out everything we’ve written about a subject.
AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Encompasses all means of communicating used by nonverbal people which are not spoken/sign language, such as using a text-to-speech device or a pictogram system to communicate.
ABA: Applied Behaviour Analysis, the most common type of “therapy” autistic children are subjected to. It can have lots of negative long-terms effects on the person’s life, such as PTSD or vulnerability to abuse.
Ableism: Treating disabled people (including autistic people) poorly because they are disabled.Treating someone differently because they behave in autistic ways, punishing autistic people for stimming, forcing nonverbal autistics to communicate verbally (and ignoring other types of communication), etc. are all examples of ableist behavior.
Alexithymia: Difficulty identifying one’s own emotions, very common in autistic people. They may not know how they feel at all, or simply unable to name their feelings. They are often unable to answer the question “How are you?” or “How are you feeling?” and may be aware only of whether they are feeling “good” or “bad” (and sometimes not even that).
Allistic: Someone who is not autistic. Used as an adjective and sometimes as a noun.
Asperger’s Syndrome: An outdated diagnostic term for an autistic person who is generally able to communicate verbally at a typical age and shows interest in social relationships. This is no longer considered to be a thing which exists. (See our masterpost on functioning labels.)
Autistic: Someone who is autistic (ie the subject of this whole blog) (I don’t know why we added that to the glossary)
Cure Culture / Curism: The attitude held by many allistic groups (most notably the hate group “Autism Speaks”) that autism is a disorder or disease which should be eliminated from the human race and place a priority on “curing” it. This is similar to the old belief that homosexuality is a disease that should be cured, and just as harmful to autistic people.
Disability: There are two main definitions to this word: 1- Not being able to do something that the majority of people are able to do. For example: hear (deaf), see (blind), smell (anosmic), walk (para/quadriplegic), etc. 2-Being impaired by a physical/mental difference in a way that restricts one’s professional, social, personal, or leisure activities. Depending on the definition and personal opinions, autistic people can be considered disabled or not disabled.
Dyspraxia: Difficulty with gross and/or fine motor skills, very common in autistic people. To a casual observer they may appear clumsy, often dropping things, walking into things, or tripping over their own feet (gross motor skills), or with poor handwriting, poor ability to hold a writing instrument, etc. (fine motor skills).
Echolalia: Use of verbal repetition to communicate, usually used by those who are not fully verbal. Words and phrases can be immediately repeated directly (“You OK?” “You OK.”), or with some changes (“Are you OK?” “I am okay.”). They can also come from memory (“Who gave you that?” [Darth Vader voice] “I am your father.” = my father).
Executive Dysfunction: Difficulty with executive functioning; skills used to make decisions and carry out tasks. Many autistic people have problems with this. They may be unable to make what appear to be simple decisions or figure out how to accomplish a simple goal. They may know exactly what they need to do but be unable to get their body to move to do it. It has been described via metaphors in a few ways: one is having all the ingredients to make a cake but no recipe, and being expected to make the cake, but having no idea how to do it. Another is that the body is like a horse and the brain is the rider, and the rider tries to get the horse to move, but it simply won’t budge.
Functioning Labels: Outdated and inaccurate (but sadly, still commonly used) labels for autistic people based on a narrow set of criteria. Those who don’t communicate verbally are normally considered “low-functioning”, for example, and those who can are “high-functioning”. See our masterpost for more information on why these labels are damaging and should not be used.
Hyperacusis: When a person is extremely sensitive to sound and the world sounds far louder to them than to others. It is often extremely painful, like having the volume on the world turned up way too high, and can be disabling. Many people with hyperacusis have or develop tinnitus (a constant sound, often ringing, usually caused by nerve damage in the ears).
Hyperempathy: Having far more affective empathy than a normal person. This can result in things like crying often, being unable to comfort upset people because their emotions are too overwhelming, etc. Some people feel hyperempathy all the time. Some have it only sometimes or for some people, or for inanimate objects.
Hypersensitivity: A blanket term which means “being more sensitive than most people to something”. When it comes to autism, it can refer to several things. Most of the time, it is used about sensory hypersensitivity, such as sensitivity to sounds or bright lights. There is also emotional hypersensitivity (easily getting hurt feelings/responding very strongly to positive feelings).
Hyposensitivity: The opposite of hypersensitivity, some autistic people feel a lack of sensory stimulation. They feel understimulated and may constantly feel the need to seek sensory stimulation. It’s important to note than an autistic person may be hypersensitive in some ways and hyposensitive in others, or at different times.
Infodumping: Sharing a large amount of information on a single topic all at once, often without pausing or allowing others to speak, due to overwhelming enthusiasm for the subject. It is usually done on subjects of special interest.
Low empathy: Some autistic people feel reduced or no affective empathy for other people (do not identify with their emotions or feel inspired to a certain emotion when they see others having that emotion). This does not necessarily mean that they do not care about the emotions of others - some may not care, some may care a great deal - only that they do not feel what others feel. Some people with low empathy for other people have hyperempathy for inanimate objects or fictional characters.
Meltdown: When the brain is too overloaded with sensory information or stress and can no longer function properly, an autistic individual may have a very violent reaction, called a meltdown. The person melting down is generally in a lot of pain. They might scream, throw things, yell curse words and insults, cry, hurt themselves or other, and try to hide themselves in absurd locations like under couch cushions or behind doors. This neurological event cannot be controlled or stopped once it begins. It can be made worse by interfering and adding more sensory input (by touching or talking to the person) and usually will not subside until the person is left alone to calm down.
Neurodivergent/Neuroatypical: Having a neurology which is different from the most common ones, such as being autistic or having ADHD. Some people include mental illnesses in this label, some do not.
Neurodiversity: The philosophy that in order to succeed, survive, and thrive, the human race needs many different types of neurology, and that neurodiverse people are an important and positive component of our species.
Neurotypical: A term which is defined as “having the most common type of neurology” (ie not autistic, without ADHD/dyslexia/tourette’s, etc.). Someone with a mental illness may or may not be considered neurotypical depending on people’s opinions.
Nonverbal: Someone who cannot or does not communicate verbally (using spoken language, often including sign language). Some autistic people are always nonverbal. Most are nonverbal under stress or overload. Some are always verbal.
Passing: Successfully behaving enough like an allistic person, particularly in social situations, that no one suspects you are autistic. Often important or even necessary for some people, especially when it comes to work situations.
PECS: One of the AAC methods which is most commonly used with autistic children (and sometimes adults). Stands for “Picture Exchange Communication System”. A pictogram-based system.
Proprioception: All of the sensory input which comes from inside your body. Includes your brain’s awareness of where the different parts of your body are. Autistic people often have very poor proprioception. As a result, they may have some type of dyspraxia, odd facial expressions, odd posture and walking gait, etc., all of which they may not be aware of until someone tells/shows them.
Sensory Processing Disorder: The clinical term for someone who has difficulty processing sensory information. Includes sensory hypersensitivity, hyposensitivity and differences. Too many details to process can lead to sensory overload, shutdowns, and meltdowns. Some autistic people don’t agree that it is a disorder, and prefer to talk of “sensory processing differences”.
Sensory Overload: When too much sensory information is being sent to the brain and the brain can no longer keep up. It becomes painful and the person can become incapable of accepting new sensory information until the brain has time to catch up (like a computer freezing when too many programs are open). This often leads to shutdowns and/or meltdowns.
Shutdown: A defense mechanism against sensory overload and stress. The brain attempts to shut out all sensory input by disconnecting from the environment. The person might no longer understand speech (or even fully hear it), be able to think in language (or to think in any way at all), move their body, or communicate in any way. Their eyes might unfocus and they may seem to be completely “out of it”. This state is usually a sign that the person needs to be left alone for their brain to calm down, but if pushed by those around them, they may switch to having a meltdown.
Special Interest: A subject which an autistic person is extremely interested in and will go to great lengths to learn everything possible about.
Spoons: A metaphor used to indicate the (limited) amount of energy a disabled or sick person has to devote to various tasks. There is a whole script blog devoted to this (@scriptspoonies). Many autistic people rely on this metaphor to describe their (lack of) energy.
Stimming: Repeated actions which are used to stimulate one’s own nervous system, done for various reasons including to soothe oneself/calm down, express emotions, communicate, or just because it feels nice. Common examples include rocking back and forth, flapping hands, clenching jaw, tapping a part of the body, making a repeated noise, etc.
Verbal: Able to communicate using spoken language.
Okay, so after reading @sir-scandalous ‘s Abuse AU (or something like that, I believe?) I have feelings and thought god dammit, so lets get down to it. I’ve mixed it with an AU I’ve been drafting for a fic as well, which is Mute!Lance/Highschooler!Lance and Cafe owner!Shiro. (Lance is 17, Shiro is 19)
Lance has an abusive father with anger issues, and at the age of 9, Lance suffered severe damage to his vocal chords after a bad bout with his father strangling him. So he is no longer able to talk, which makes it even worse for him because he can no longer voice for help when he needs to, which his father fully knows and abuses this fact.
Lance is taking the long way hope one day, wanting as much alone time to himself before facing whats at home, and he discovers a new cafe opened just several blocks away from his neighborhood. The big banner over it reading The Noir Lion, and the smell of freshly baked blueberry muffins made his stomach growl painfully.So, he decides to head in and take a seat at a semi closed off booth area.
Because his other employees are busy cooking and tending to others, Shiro himself dusts himself off and grabs a black waiter apron to wrap around his waist to go and get Lance’s order. He asks the usual way and waits for an answer, to which Lance starts to get nervous and anxious over because damn, it was too crowded today and this handsome gentleman was expecting an answer and oh damn, his phone almost slipped from his fingers. Good job. Shiro notices the boys growing anxiety and holds out a hand, telling him to take it easy and go slow, with whatever he was doing. Lance nodded, smiling small, and took a deep breath, before typing out his reply on his phones notepad.
Shiro wondered why the boy couldn’t talk, but he wouldn’t pry, instead giving him a nod and gentle smile before going to get Lance a muffin and a cup of coco on the house because the boy looked so sad and stressed. So when Lance is about to leave he tries to pay for the coco too, but Shiro refuses it and tells him to come back anytime. Later on when Shiro goes to clean the table, he sees ten dollars, to which he simply pockets to save and give back.
This continues on for a whole month, Shiro learning of Lance’s inability to speak, and always saving Lance’s money he leaves behind rather then putting it in the register. Lance starts developing a crush on Shiro after two months and starting to actually flirt with gestures, brush of finger tips and cheesy as hell pick up lines on his phone. Shiro always makes time to sit with Lances on each of his visits now, and even invites him to a private back room where the employees go for lunch, when Lances come in overly stressed, breathing hard or crying. Lances never outright admits his abusive household, but Shiro already has strong suspicions, but doesn’t force anything yet.
Just imagine Lance, instead of going home right away, he goes to Shiro’s cafe and shows him his progress in grades and trophies in swimming and track competitions, and Shiro always smiling brightly and occasionally giving Lance a hug when the boy was ready for such contact.
Then imagine Lance’s father finding out where Lance has been going and getting upset at not knowing, so he goes over one time and publicly humiliates Lance in front of a half filled cafe and Shiro, but Shiro is having none of that and despite Lance’s dad being somewhat bigger than him, Shiro is still hella strong enough to grab the man by the arm and manhandle him out of there and away from Lance, defending his dignity all the while. Lance is in tears for both Shiro defending him and because he was now scared to go home. Shiro invites Lance to stay the night at his place, and until closing time teaches Lance how to make buttercream roses on cakes and how to make his favorite blueberry muffin as distraction.
As soon as you entered your apartment you knew something was wrong, the place was too silent and too cold for your liking. Your heart broke when you saw your boyfriend cuddling up with your pillow and blanket in your bed.
He looked so vulnerable right now, he was relaxed but at the same time, he looked like he hadn’t slept in ages. Your heart breaks a little because he looks so adorable, that you can’t help to lay next to him and trace your fingers in his jawline and hair.
Even being asleep you can see how tired he is, he has bags under his eyes and he still has his scruff for a few days ago. You plant a kiss in his forehead making him moan, you doubt that he even knows what is happening right now “Wake up, baby. I am here and I love you.” You say softly, making him know that he is safe.
i need domesticated cooking at three in the morning because neither party can sleep.
lazy afternoons on the couch; cuddled up together while one watches some tv show that they’ve become recently obsessed with and the other reading a book on something they enjoy, every so often looking over the rim of their glasses to see how the show has progressed and look up out of the corner of their eye to their partner with a fond loving smile.
early morning baking sessions. cupcakes, or sophisticated cakes. learning how to make fancy frosting, throwing flour at each other. one cracking an egg on their partners shoulder, which becomes an all out food war, but they manage to salvage enough to make a few of the original cakes.
late night love making. not sex, not fucking. just pure love between two people. sharing soft whispers and kind words, warm gazes. nothing crude about it but just pure love.
six in the morning walks in the snow because “wow new york looks beautiful right now” with the snow on the ground and covering essentially everything and the sun just poking through the white clouds to throw a few beams of magnificent colour through the skies.
i need domesticated coupley!things with no angst in sight.
This is dedicated to @connorxxmurphy and her wonderful cake! This is for you!
Evan hummed to himself as he stirred the cake batter. Soft instrumental music played in the background as the oven beeped, signifying that it was preheated.
Evan was making a cake for his boyfriend. Ever since he was little, Evan has always enjoyed baking, but now he had a reason to make a birthday cake for someone!
“How are you doing, Hon?” Heidi poked her head into the kitchen. Evan smiled warmly at her, and started to pour the batter into the pan.
“Good, Mom. It should be ready around 6, and Con and I are having a date here at 7.” He said. Heidi beamed.
“I will get out of the house by then, in that case, don’t want to ruin a special birthday date!” Heidi walked over to her son and rubbed his arms. “Do you have anything else planned for tonight?”
“Yup. Ordering pizza, and I have his favorite movie. For a gift, I got him a new hoodie, and the cake.”
“Aw, Evan, you are the sweetest boyfriend. Connor is going to love it.” Heidi gave Evan a small kiss on the cheek, one last arm squeeze, and walked out of the kitchen. Evan put the pan full of cake batter in the oven, and set the timer.
As he started to make the frosting, Evan let his thoughts travel. Connor and Evan had been dating for about five months now, every day better than the last, but this was the first birthday they had spent together. Evan wanted it to be perfect, and the one thing he knew for sure that he could make perfectly was cake. He hoped that Connor liked his new hoodie as well. Evan has been guilty of stealing a few (or more) of his boyfriend’s hoodies, but he couldn’t help it! All of his hoodies were constantly warm and smelled like Connor.
Evan finished the frosting (It was a regular green frosting with a hint of a mint taste) and set it to the side. The cake still have 10 minutes to bake, so texting Connor seemed like the most attractive idea right now.
Evan: hey connor!
Evan: how does it feel to be an old man now? youre officially 18!!
Connor: i kinda want to take a nap
Evan: con… its 5:30 in the evening, plus we have our special birthday date at 7… pls dont sleep
Connor: bah humbug
Evan: babe…. Thats christmas
Connor: what are you up to?
Evan: stuff hbu
Connor: very specific
Evan: shut up
Connor: im gonna take a shower i will text you when im on my way to your house
Evan: okie dokie!! See you soon!!
Evan put down his phone. There was a few more minutes on the cake, so Evan pulled out the rest of his supplies. He would need to wait for the cake to cool before frosting, but Evan was always impatient when it came to baking.
A mint bar, some sprinkles and more green food dye. Connor liked mint, so Evan couldn’t help but go all out for his boyfriend.
An hour later, everything was set up. The cake was frosted, and was sitting in the fridge (to hide from Connor). Evan had ordered the pizza, and it should arrive around the same time that Connor comes over. Evan’s phone buzzed.
Connor: i know im early but is it cool if i come over now
Evan: of course
Connor: see you in ten?
Almost exactly eight minutes later, there was a knock on the door.
“Coming!” Evan said, shoving the cake haphazardly into the fridge. Heidi came downstairs as Evan reached the door. He opened the door with great flourish. “Happy birthday Connor!” He shouted as his boyfriend came into view.
Connor was wearing his standard black hoodie and jeans. His hair was pulled back into a bun, and he was smiling.
“Thank you! How are you doing, babe?” Connor stepped into the house, giving Evan a quick kiss on the lips. Heidi walked in, and hugged Connor.
“Happy birthday!” Heidi said. Connor smiled. “Now, I will get out of your hair. Have fun you two!” In a flash, Heidi was gone.
“Ready to watch the movie?” Evan asked, grabbing Connor’s hand. Connor beamed at him, and let his boyfriend lead the way.
A few hours and a pizza later, Evan had decided that it was time for gifts.
“Babe, you really didn’t need to get me anythi-” Connor tried to protest as Evan ran out of the room to get his gift.
“Shush!” Evan called back, grabbing the hoodie. He didn’t bother wrapping it. “Happy birthday, Connor!” Evan wasn’t going to lie, he almost felt jealous about the look of pure joy that Connor had on his face when he saw the jacket.
“Evan!” Connor had simply exclaimed before slipping the jacket on. It was a good fit, amid the sleeves that went a little past Connor’s hands. “Thank you so much!” Evan kissed Connor before standing up again.
“I got one more thing for you,” He said before going into the kitchen. This time, Connor didn’t protest, only watched him go with wide eyes.
Evan brought out the cake with obvious pride. Connor’s jaw dropped as Evan placed the cake on the table in front of him.
“Ev…” Connor said in a breathy voice. Evan lit one of the candles that was placed in the center and sat down next to Connor.
“Happy birthday to you,” He started to sing softly. Evan was by no means a talented singer, but this was a special occasion. “Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Connor, happy birthday to you!” Evan kissed Connor’s cheek and rested his chin on Connor’s shoulder. “Make a wish babe.”
Connor started to lean towards the cake but instead turned to Evan and kissed him deeply. It was only when Connor pulled away that Evan realized that Connor was crying. He quickly blew out the candle and hugged Evan tightly burying his face in Evan’s shirt.
“Hey. what is wrong?” Evan asked softly, feeling panicked. Did he not like the cake? Instead of responding, Connor just shook his head. After a few moments, Connor inhaled a shuddering breath and pulled out of the hug. Evan was quick to wipe away Connor’s tears. “Is it the cake? Is it too much?”
Connor laughed a watery laugh. “No, it’s not the cake. It is just, no one has ever done this much for my birthday, like ever. It means a lot to me.” Evan smiled, and moved close to his boyfriend.
“Alway, Connor. If I could, I would get the moon for you.” At Evan’s words, Connor smiled brightly, and kissed him. “Now, let’s get some cake, okay?”