THANKS to all for your questions, I am now logging off. I am tired but have appreciated being able to converse with you all today. I hope you have more questions, and encourage you to find an autistic individual in your community and ask them some questions if they are open to it. Many <3 (heart) for you all. Bye.

Hello Reddit, my name is Jory. Along with Lyric Winik, I am the author of the book How to Be Human: An Autistic Man’s Guide to Life, which comes out April 20th and can be found at a bookseller near you. I’m looking forward to this AMA!

With the book, I really wanted to give readers a perspective on autism through the vantage point of just one person (me). I think books can be a great way to explore and learn. Lyric and I worked hard to make the book accessible and hopefully interesting, and I want readers to feel like they are a part of the conversation too. Conversations about autism and disability (I have a medical condition and physical disability) are important for everyone to have. But since this is an AMA, I’m excited to know what other questions you have for me too. I live and work in South Carolina and enjoy reading, board games, bird watching, and Scottish country dancing in my spare time. I studied geography & earth/ocean sciences, and work in the climate change field at the moment. If you have questions for my service dog Daisy, I can also see if she is open to a few questions!

More on the book:

Proof: and

Comments: 353 • Responses: 91  • Date: 

linds210230 karma

My husband was diagnosed with autism last year at 34. He is discouraged that he will keep facing the same amount of immense difficulty understanding himself and society for the rest of his life. Did you have any specific support that was very helpful for you mentally or emotionally?

Jory_Fleming217 karma

I am almost 27 and still don't have a great handle on society either. I think I have grown in my ability to recognize my limits (e.g. in high stimuli environments, big social gatherings, etc.), being more confident to either express my needs to others, or by leaving a situation if I am too drained, which has been helpful. I am also fortunate to (in many cases) have a friend or carer present that can help me out (either directly or indirectly), which can be a great support

SmokeSerpent69 karma

Being able to understand that it is just okay to avoid triggering situations or leave them if you get overwhelmed is immensely helpful.

Jory_Fleming90 karma

Leaving can be awkward, but staying would be worse.

SpenceOrSpencer28 karma

Relevant song, actually. Also, I am on the spectrum as well, and am looking forward to checking out the audiobook when it comes out on Audible, since I have a credit left on that and I see that your book is up for pre-order. 👍

Jory_Fleming75 karma

The publisher informed me that people like audiobooks that are read by the authors, so got to do that. It was very quiet in the recording studio!

bete0noire31 karma

I've suspected in recent years that I may be slightly on the spectrum. I have symptoms similar to what friends (edit: they're moreso people I sometimes comment with on IG and not really friends I guess) with autism have described. Because I've also had chronic depression and anxiety since first memories, doctors have sort of by default attributed everything to those diagnoses. Things like being very sensitive to outside stimuli (light, noise, sensations on my skin, food textures), and having trouble reading people's faces and voices.

How does one even get tested???

I am 34yo and have no idea how to even bring this up with my physician. My primary care physician will refuse to discuss things that "aren't his area" but also doesn't ever have any recommendations for referrals. I'd have to go through random listings in my insurance book and "wing it"... and I simply haven't been able to do such things for myself.

Unfortunately I have no family, and honestly not really any friends (humans in general tend to be overwhelming for me). So I have no support system or anyone to assist me in doing "people" things. I recieve minimal SSI but was never "appointed a case worker"? I wish I had a better idea of what I'm supposed to do :/....

Jory_Fleming14 karma

In some states in the US, there are state-wide disability advocacy / rights groups (non-profits, community, etc.). They may be a good resource for information relevant to your area specifically. The same may apply for equivalent geography (sort of regional level) in non-US countries.

Thoreau8013 karma

He is discouraged that he will keep facing the same amount of immense difficulty understanding himself and society for the rest of his life.

That's just not the case. A diagnosis of autism should not be discouraging. Instead, it simply is an opportunity to gain a better understanding oneself and interactions with others.

ordinaryeeguy14 karma

Yeah, right. It's not like the diagnosis gave him autism. He is what he is, before or after the diagnosis. He already has had difficulty understanding society, the diagnosis should provide an answer why. And, hopefully, also steer him in right direction to make it better in the future.

Jory_Fleming26 karma

Sometimes people change their view of me when they 'discover' autism. I'm like hi still Jory!

thegeekist14 karma

You don't get to tell people how to feel.

If someone feels pain because of a diagnosis they get to feel that way.

Jory_Fleming16 karma

I think if we try we can create some space to help others in need

communal-napkin5 karma

If you don’t mind my asking, where are you located and how hard/expensive was it to get a diagnosis? I am the same age as your husband and I have been wondering for years about myself.

Jory_Fleming6 karma

I am located in South Carolina. I was diagnosed as a child so cannot answer this well, but I know people can and do pursue diagnosis at all stages of life.

Onepopcornman91 karma

What role does your dog play in your life? Do you look for her for cues, as individuals with PTSD, Diabetes, and other disorders do? Is her service more esoteric in that she provides emotional support/reassurance?

Edit: Dog is a girl dog named Daisey ergo *her

Jory_Fleming118 karma

Daisy does provide general reassurance, but as a service dog she is trained to do certain things. Some cues relate to autism, others to my physical disability or medical equipment. I can signal Daisy with either voice or hand cues, which is great. I often rely on the hand cues more when I am in a higher stress environment.

Onepopcornman44 karma

Cool. If it's not too personal, may I ask what cues related to Autism she serves?

PS, this as we all know this is the way to succeed on reddit: Pupper related content!

Jory_Fleming93 karma

The one I use most frequently is one called 'rest' where I can ask her to lay her head on a part of my body. Hopefully you can see Daisy's excitement for being on reddit in the proof photo!

DrunkNPlatypus4 karma


Jory_Fleming12 karma

Daisy comes from PAALS (Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services), the Assistance Dogs International affiliate in South Carolina

ASpaceOstrich78 karma

I’m an autistic man too!

I’ve had a few situations where some part of human behaviour suddenly clicked due to an explanation. Specifically small talk (it’s a probe used to gauge mood and willingness to communicate) and flirting (is deliberately vague in order to provide a socially acceptable way to reject someone without actually rejecting them, which seems purposely designed to be difficult for autistic folks).

Are there any similar social concepts that clicked for you? And could you share them?

Also, how would you say being autistic has affected your writing, if at all?

Jory_Fleming47 karma

I'm afraid I have nothing useful to add when it comes to flirting, or small talk for the most part either. I often find these things difficult. I'm not sure if I've had any aha moments like that, but I will say I've found it helpful to see behaviour a variety of times (e.g. emotional reactions, nervousness, etc.). I sometimes find I'm quicker to notice if I have observed a similar reaction before, but not always.

My usual writing style probably wouldn't be the best suited for a general audience book, so I was very fortunate to have worked with a writer (Lyric) on the book. It is structured as a conversation, which I hope makes it more approachable for readers! Even in more normal writing (like in school or for work), I often find it helpful to have another person read my writing to see if it makes sense to them.

Thompson_S_Sweetback22 karma

(is deliberately vague in order to provide a socially acceptable way to reject someone without actually rejecting them, which seems purposely designed to be difficult for autistic folks).

Amen, brother. I'm autistic and 42. Never diagnosed, diagnosis for my form of autism was not available when I was a kid.

I'm realizing how much of human interaction involves games I'm not equipped to play. It's fairly overwhelming sometimes. It often feels like I'm being specifically excluded.

invisiblecity16 karma

I feel this too; I'm 43 and also undiagnosed because it wasn't on the table then. I'm a woman though, and i think that might be part of why i learned relatively early to fake the right responses - which comes with its own downsides, of course. Anyway thanks for this thread and this AMA; great shit and it's lovely to feel understood.

Jory_Fleming30 karma

The social contract had a big ole signing party, but my invite didn't arrive...

cloverdoodles73 karma

What’s your experience with neurotypical-neurodivergent romantic relationships? I’m neurotypical with an asd partner and I feel like I’ve been his mother for years. He’s 40 by the way. I have very little support in anything I (or we) do because our existence revolves around his rituals and anxieties. A great example was his suggestion of a trip we should take in 2019. I had to do everything. Plan the drive, book the hotel, pack literally everything, was told “we’ll just explore”, and then got yelled at for not knowing where some random trailhead was because I didn’t plan in advance (I should note, this comes from the anxiety from going “off script” not just because he’s abusive and controlling. He has lots of upsets due to things not going exactly how he expects them to go, and as his partner, I take the force of the upsets. We’ve had convos and he understands but it doesn’t change that the upsets happen and when you’re a human who can feel other humans emotions, just being around the upsets is really emotionally draining) :/ like the hypocrisy of demands on me is really annoying and upsetting, but as I understand asd, that’s just what he can handle. The overstimulation issue and ritual issue is real. He has limitations on what he can give me.

Edit: idk who might still see this, but thanks to the below commentators for their input and support. Just having that little bit of support is really helpful.

Jory_Fleming71 karma

I have not been in a long term romantic relationship. Something that may relate is my experiences with my mother. In the book I relate her importance to me, but also one time where I hurt her feelings because I was speaking in a monotone (it takes a lot of energy to modulate my voice so that it is not a monotone). I am not masking because of our relationship and I do not feel the need to mask, but at the same time this can make our relationship more challenging at times. I do not know if this is a helpful response, but it is what first came to mind.

OGGinga41 karma

What was the biggest obstacle you faced as a result of having Autism and how did you overcome it?

Jory_Fleming89 karma

Autism impacts me day to day in a sort of avlanache of tiny pebbles, I'm struggling to name a big boulder although I'm sure there are some in my life. Support from family & friends (e.g. having a carer present) has been helpful, experience has been helpful (even if an experience doesn't go well, I can still use it to maybe avoid some of the pebbles next time), etc. I expect the pebbles to continue honestly, no matter how experiences I get in certain environments.

33countries27 karma

This comment alone is helpful for me to understand a bit of the experience of living with Autism. I just think that’s a great way to conceptualize the daily challenge.

Jory_Fleming46 karma

ALso, thinking you've accurately judged the size of the pebble but actually it's bigger than predicted and just sort of bowls you over for a moment while you attempt to regain your footing

ugagradlady40 karma

Do you think some of the current educational trends do more harm than good to autistic students? Flipped classes, for example, are difficult for me since I have trouble interacting with other people.

Jory_Fleming62 karma

I'm less sure I can competently answer this as I'm not sure what trends you're referencing. I think this past year has had pros and cons for me. Being in the home environment has been helpful for controlling stimuli, but at the same time I have communication problems with Zoom and friends so it is hard for me to gauge overall...

amaezingjew37 karma

Autistic female here - how did you stave off burnout during college?

Jory_Fleming42 karma

I did not do a whole lot my first year. I think that helped, taking the time I needed to adjust. I took about 3 months at Oxford also before I really started doing things. Also, SLEEP. And saying no to events I just couldn't do well or would be too draining (like parties, except birthdays where I'd go to support for an hour or so)

klang00932 karma

Do you mind sharing your learning strategies ?

What are the difficulties you encountered during the writing process?

Jory_Fleming58 karma

I enjoy learning in a variety of ways, but my preferred is definitely visual, followed by active learning (movement, etc.). Part of the writing process I found difficult is naturally ordering language and content in a way that would make sense to others. This was one way that working with a collaborator (Lyric) was very helpful and I think made the book way better!

jammyso29 karma

Ah Jory! I went to USC with you! I was in SEAs, loved hanging out with Daisy, and going to Zumba with y’all! Hope you’re well and can’t wait to read your book!

My question: what was were your perceptions of how Oxford worked with neurodivergent students versus USC? And what could be improved upon for USC? Also do you have any plans for a PhD?

Jory_Fleming28 karma

ZUMBA. I feel like my Zumba experience helped me get involved with Scottish dancing, so very thankful for that! No PhD plans at the moment, we'll see but the one dissertation was kind of a lot.

Oxford had its own idiosyncracies when it comes to supporting students, I'm less sure how the differences could translate back to a US university. Overall I feel like there was a better awareness of autistic people in the UK?

jammyso18 karma

I’m glad you’re publishing this book to help start a conversation around this and hopefully increase support/awareness for ND students! Also if you haven’t figured out who this is yet, we also hosted Friendsgiving at my apartment! If you’re ever in the Beaufort Area, give me a shout, I’d love to catch up!

Jory_Fleming16 karma


hardyflashier24 karma

Question for Jory: How do you react when your hear someone linking vaccines and autism?

Question for Daisy: Who's a good girl? Who's a good girl?!

Jory_Fleming32 karma

Jory: Many myths refuse to die, some have consequences. Daisy: Surely this question doesn't need to be asked ?!?

notmycuppatea24 karma

What does Daisy like most about her job and what do you appreciate most in her?

Jory_Fleming34 karma

Daisy enjoys being out and about for sure. She enjoys routine (like me), and I always appreciate how calm she is as a matter of course.

notmycuppatea15 karma

Sounds like the two of you make a great team!

Jory_Fleming18 karma

Thanks! We've been together almost 7 years now.

FaithInStrangers9417 karma

Do you feel that even in the supposed age of self expression and neuro divergence and mental health awareness and acceptance, being transparent about your differences is still likely to work against you socially and professionally?

Jory_Fleming20 karma


vnza15 karma

At what age did you begin speaking? Was language a challenge and if so what helped?

Jory_Fleming26 karma

I asked my mother this question as I don't recall those memories. I could repeat sounds and echo things I've heard at 2 or 3, and I improved a lot between age 5-7. She also mentioned that speaking words is different from communicating, which makes this question challenging. I did have speech therapy but I do not recall any of it.


What's your favorite board game? And do you think you have a type of game that you really like playing? I work with a lot of ND people and I have some ND friends that are attracted to the same kind of board game and I'm just curious for another anecdote.

Jory_Fleming25 karma

I enjoy a variety of games. I'm pretty deep into a DnD campaign at the moment, family is really into Exploding Kittens atm, some great ones I've enjoyed with friends over the past few years have been Clank, Catan, Wingspan, Takenoko, etc.

Jory_Fleming20 karma

But to answer your question, I am terrible at picking favorites! I like party games of medium complexity, also definitely down for a game od Twilight Imperium from time to time with a good group.


Oh sick! Have you ever DM'd?

Jory_Fleming11 karma

I have not, I'm still fairly early into my DnD journey actually. It sounds super fun though!

HalcyonTraveler12 karma

As an autistic aspiring author, I was wondering if you had any tips for how to manage long-term writing projects without feeling overwhelmed?

Jory_Fleming16 karma

The book took 3 years, so don't feel afraid to have things take the time they take.

OsborneCoxMemoir311 karma

Hi - thanks for sharing with us today. What drew you into the field of climate change? Did cause-and-effect play a role in your decision to choose this career path? Greetings to Daisy as well, a beautiful creature with soulful eyes.

Jory_Fleming17 karma

Daisy does have nice eyes. She is not a puppy at all anymore but does a great puppy eyes impression. I studied geography, and climate change falls under that field. I was drawn to it because of my general interest in the environment, and helping reduce pollution will make the world a better place.

TwoUglyFeet11 karma

I don't think I'm autistic, as in I am probably on some sort of spectrum but not enough to be an issue in my life. I have noticed I have a hard time connecting emotional with people. I can read social cues and situations well but it was hard for me to feel connected. I ended up being quite good at reading body language to help with that and I feel like its a superpower sometime because I understand much better. Is that something you go through or have experienced as well?

Jory_Fleming13 karma

In a similar manner, I have asort of memory bank for each person that I know past a certain level. I feel I can read them a bit better over time. Body language is still hard for individuals, and near impossible in group social settings though..

Timthemedic10 karma

My 8 year old son is on the spectrum and also has a diagnosis of PANS.

Your book sounds interesting and insightful - I’m going to look for a copy.

Have animals always played a large role in your life? How so?

What advice do you have for kids? Neurotypical or otherwise?

In what ways were your family most supportive of you?

Jory_Fleming17 karma

Thank you, it is released tomorrow and should be widely available in the US (immediately) and other regions over the coming months. - Yes, I was (and still am) huge into bird-watching (and also like other animals). I think animals are easier to communicate with than people, and I personally feel relaxed a lot of the time when I get to be outdoors or in nature. - Have fun! - My family has been supportive, both in my education and personally. My mother has played a huge role in my life, and I am fortunate to have lovely siblings as well. I think of family support as a basket of little loves, if that makes any sense...

belfman10 karma

Hi Jory! I'm also Autistic (currently going through a rediagnosis in order to apply for welfare recognition - not an easy thing to do in my country), about the exact same age as you, living in Israel, and currently a bachelor's student for Political Science and Sociology and Anthropology.

I had two questions -

  1. Are you familiar with any Autistic people who have been able to succeed in Social Sciences or similar academic fields?

  2. How were you able to get into publishing and writing in the first place?

Congratulations on your book!

*Edit - grammar and correction of your name - sorry!

Jory_Fleming11 karma

Hiya. Well I am in social sciences! I'm a geographer. I have also met others yes. I got into this crazy book journey after I was selected as a Rhodes Scholar, there were a couple media stories about me. It is hard to see yourself as interesting sometimes (me at least anyway).

wikipuff9 karma

How long did it take from the time you started writing the book to the time the publisher gave the final approval of the book?

Jory_Fleming11 karma

I started the book process in 2017, and the final draft was handed in early last year. Editing happened through Fall 2020.

blissful_existence9 karma

I'm a mom of 2 confirmed ASD men. My youngest son (Aspie) is very intelligent and has a strong vocabulary, but cannot translate his words to paper. For example, in high school he often was allowed to give a verbal report, rather than written or have a scribe to get it to paper, so that he could complete his assignment. He knows the subject matter, but cannot seem to put it in written form.

Do you find it difficult to get your words to paper when you write or does it come naturally, but needs tweaking by others (i.e. sentence structure, the flow, etc.)?

If you have difficulty, have you developed a way to overcome your "block" (for lack of a better word) or do you need help to get all down?

Jory_Fleming7 karma

Language is not intuitive to me, nor is writing. I do not have any difference between speaking and writing in terms of difficulty, but in your question you mentioned a verbal report, which is great. Good writing can sometimes feels similar to speaking. The language barrier is one example where I feel working with Lyric has made the book much better!

afwhite8 karma

Hey Jory! Thought I was in r/gis or r/geography for a second.

I don't think it's been asked, but what's your dream job / work assignment?

Go Cocks!

Jory_Fleming8 karma

That's a great question, I'm not entirely sure. I like being outdoors part of the time, and interacting with others part of the time, and the ability to positively impact others with the job.

Pluckt0078 karma

How did you become a Rhodes Scholar? I didn't even know about it's existence until I was already in college.

Jory_Fleming13 karma

I applied. Not trying to be weird (not sure what the right term is), I did not know about it either until near the end of my time in college when I was considering graduate school options.

JaCoBaLlEn7 karma

Got a favorite soup?

Still_City66316 karma

This is the best question.

Jory_Fleming7 karma

I made this great miso recipe from the back of a seaweed packet, GREAT STUFF. ALso, found this soup with tomatoe, white beans, and an IMMENSE amount of garlic that is really amazing

Jory_Fleming10 karma

In South Carolina it is already far to hot for soup, many sad

Jory_Fleming6 karma

What is your favorite soup?

JaCoBaLlEn6 karma

I like your soup style. My favorite today is the humble french onion

Jory_Fleming3 karma

Got a good recipe? Love to bank it for next winter!

harlequinnx6 karma

What is your advice for low income or impoverished neurodiverse people? Most of the advice I read- preventing burnout, reducing stress, finding supportive workplaces, stability- isn't realistic for those lower than middle class. How can you survive in those environments?

Jory_Fleming5 karma

Thank you for this question. I think we (plural, e.g. society) should support neurodiverse people (alongside everyone) in both healthcare policy and with poverty policy. I'm not an expert in either, but my general feeling is that low-income / poverty status is a problem in its own right that can be exacerbated by identity, disability, health, many axes. This is not loving that these things exist. They should not exist. A future where they do not exist is possible, and I want to live there. I am also not well-versed in immediate solutions that may be applicable or helpful for you, but I would possibly recommend visiting your local library and/or reaching out to state level disability groups to inquire about resources or groups that may operate in different places. If others have better or more helpful comments please add.

argylesox19996 karma


Jory_Fleming6 karma

You already sound like a lovely parent :)

My relationship with my mother is one of the most important things to me. I don't have any specific advice, but it may be helpful to relate that my family tried many things to support me, many of which were not successful or I did not like.

Chaco_Jesus6 karma

What sort of work do you do in the climate change field? Geoengineering, environmental policy, computer modeling?

Jory_Fleming7 karma

I currently work in climate adaptation, but I do a mix of things focused on helping folks with questions or needs in South Carolina & North Carolina. I also teach an udnergraduate class at the University of South Carolina

Chaco_Jesus4 karma

Oh cool! I’m sorry im not familiar with climate adaptation. What is that?

Jory_Fleming8 karma

People who work in climate do different things. Some try to stop pollution from occurring (carbon emissions, 'mitigation', policy, etc.), some try to help understand climate impacts (extreme weather events, sea level rise, etc.), some try to help those hurt by said impacts and/or help them be less hurt by future impacts ('adaptation', 'reslience', 'recovery', etc.)

TadpoleAngel6 karma

Hi fellow Oxonian! How did you like your time at Oxford and what college did you attend? Have you found any major differences in accommodations in education in the US (presuming) and the UK? I also birdwatch! What is your proudest ID-ed bird?

Jory_Fleming15 karma

It took me some time to adjust, but I really loved Oxford. I was at Worcester College, and my time there was a huge part of my Oxford experience. I did notice several differences, both Oxford related and UK related (the NHS, more societal awareness, etc.). The background support was higher in the UK, which was helpful. I am very proud of the hummingbird that has begun visiting my sugar feeder: . I'm sort of a day-to-day birder, I still get excited about the robins and other common birds. I miss the Oxford pigeons, I loved making up stories about them and their crazy selves

TadpoleAngel8 karma

Worchester is so pretty! Oxford pigeons were definitely fashionably portly. I think I too am a day-to-day birder. I will never not be excited to see a blue jay or a cardinal, even if they are bullying the other birds out of my backyard. Thank you for the great AMA! :)

Jory_Fleming8 karma

Yes it is a lovely place full of lovely people (and birds)!

SpaceGeneralAmerica6 karma

For an autistic young man who finds complicated math hurts his brain, what advice can you give? I do want to get published myself, at some point, but doubt it will happen.

Jory_Fleming11 karma

I somehow survived calculus to get my science degree. I thought the Khan academy videos were helpful at times, some of the videos are good at using drawings or repeating concepts. In college courses I also tried to go to all the math tutoring, sometimes office hours if it was a nice professor, etc.

swingthedoc6 karma

Hey Jory! I'm a current USC student who heard about you from the National Fellowships and Scholar Programs staff. Just wanted to let you know your story is still inspiring students to apply for and win some awesome awards.

Any favorite memories from your time on campus?

Jory_Fleming4 karma

Cockys Reading Express I think, reflecting back. Casual chats with friends in between classes. Walks around the campus.

shot_a_man_in_reno6 karma

How was your experience with the Rhodes interview?

Jory_Fleming9 karma

I thought I face-planted (figurateively speaking)

johnnychase5 karma

What are your thoughts on psychedelics and autism?

Jory_Fleming4 karma

No thoughts at the moment, this is new to me.

Jory-5 karma

How do you like being named Jory? That was my name before I got adopted around a month old.

Jory_Fleming8 karma

Haha I was amzed that all the Jory usernames were taken. HELLO JORY. I feel like a Jory conference would be great fun.

cozy_boi5 karma

(re-commenting bc auto-mod said my question had no question mark in it lol oops)

Hi! I was very recently diagnosed autistic in my mid 20s. In this season of my life I'm finding it more difficult to speak out loud in my day to day life, and it feels like with increasing pressures in my life that I am becoming "more autistic" (quotes because I know the spectrum doesn't work that way 🙂 but I basically mean that I am finding it more difficult to mask my sensory and communication differences).

I am ready to accept that I may not be able to mask as an adult like I was able to as a child and as a teenager, but I feel unsure about how that will look and what that will mean for me as I try to find work.

Anyway, this is a super open-ended question (but that means you can take it wherever you want to go, heh), but I was wondering if you had any thoughts or personal experiences living with what looks on the outside as a highly "variable" disability. For instance, I am starting to use an AAC text-to-speech app part-time as I need it even though growing up I never used any AAC or speech therapy (I was told I was "just shy" and had to work harder at speaking out loud 🙄)... So some days I may be using my mouth to speak and some days I may be using text-to-speech. And also I'm just wondering in general what you think in regards to disability not being a static state of being, but something highly variable from day to day and from situation to situation?

Jory_Fleming10 karma

On masking, I have had engaging conversations on what is or is not an autistic behavior. I know people that are neurotypical but pick at their fingernails, fiddle with pens, hum, etc. How it is seen by others is something that those same others can change!

I have physical disabilities, I have noticed that those can be treated differently. My strength level can vary day to day, and this is often accepted and unquestioned. I feel like speech can take more or less energy on a given day too (autism), but this is not accepted as readily or even criticized. What precisely is the difference?

supreme_leader2564 karma

If you could travel to someplace you've never been, where would you go and why? DAISYS SO FLOOFY BTW OMG

Jory_Fleming7 karma

My experience in the UK was a positive one, and I hope to explore more of the world over the course of my life. I would love to visit friends who are now spread across the U.S. when it's safe to do so again!

angelarise34 karma

Do you think California is in any jeopardy of becoming an island due to tectonic shifting?

Jory_Fleming5 karma

Not 100% sure what this is referring to (and not sure this would be possible on any time scale we would care about?), but from my limited knowledge in this area I think that the U.S. in general is kinda under-prepared for infrequent but severe events of most kinds (including high magnitude earthquakes, also impacts from climate change).

neverdoneneverready4 karma

What do you think are the biggest factors in your success?

Jory_Fleming8 karma

Other people who care about me and for me

domisntasheep4 karma

Do you feel your book is relevant for other neurodivergent people, such as people with adhd as a condition?

Jory_Fleming5 karma

I'm not 100% sure, but I suspect there may be some things to relate to, and if not then it is similar to any book where you have encountered a different perspective.

rocketparrotlet4 karma

Many novels with an autistic character are not written by an autistic author. Are there any fictional stories that you think provide an accurately represented autistic character?

Jory_Fleming6 karma

I can't think of one that I have read personally in the fiction genre, but I have heard of The Kiss Quotient and would be curious if you've read it? Would also be curious if others (any librarians on?) have better thoughts here, or recommendations to read.

Lickiecat4 karma

I have aspergers, is the book aimed at neurotypical people, or everyone who wants to read it? Do you think there might be any coping mechanisms and useful things in it that I could possibly use to get by in overstimulating environments a bit easier? Needless to say I'm interested in reading it anyway.

Jory_Fleming4 karma

Thank you for your interest! I'll say my goal was not to explicitly provide coping mechanisms, although there is perhaps something there that could be useful to you. My goal personally was to try to engage in conversation with readers that have less context.

Cruxito11114 karma

With so much negativity around, what do you enjoy about the world around you?

Jory_Fleming6 karma

Small joys. Smiling at people. Gardening. Calls with friends. Etc. etc.

Jory_Fleming12 karma


feverbug3 karma

What is your favourite bird?

Jory_Fleming8 karma

depends on the day. sometimes hummingbird, sometimes the humble pigeon, sometimes cerulean warbler, sometimes cardinal, ...

Outsiderx113 karma

What is your favorite food ? And which countries would you like to visit if any ?

Jory_Fleming5 karma

I'm a fan of more foods now than when I was younger. Pasta is still one of the favorites though for sure.

I would love to visit countries where friends live, I think that's a great way to experience a new place!

Outsiderx113 karma

I hope you get friends from Turkey then! You are so kind btw

Jory_Fleming3 karma

Do you have a Turkish pasta recipe ?!?

-trusttheprocess3 karma

Do you have any therories on what causes autism?

Jory_Fleming13 karma

No, my only biology classes were on ocean life which (as far as I know anyway) is not at all useful for answering that! I have heard of this site before which tracks autism research, which may or may not be helpful for your questions, or I encourage you to ask others that know more.

Aleph_Alpha_0013 karma

Can you imagine being a different person with a different experience? Can you imagine being a person without autism? If so, how is that person different from yourself?

Jory_Fleming8 karma

In the book I describe how having an autistic brain is different. As a result, it is hard to imagine a different experience of the world. However I can definitely learn about others, whether that's from them directly or through things like books, etc. I love learning about other people, and think it is something I can do even if I'm maybe not as intuitive at it.

TheJokersChild3 karma

Just caught this AMA. I'm on the spectrum myself and I've got a few questions for you that I hope I'm in time to ask:

  1. What kind of work/therapy went into getting you to where you to the level you're at today? Seems like you're doing pretty well right now.
  2. Do you still have any residual stims or habits that you haven't outgrown?
  3. Most of the talk about autism and treatment centers around children. But as a high-functioning adult who still receives care, how do you feel about the level of services available in general to adults on the spectrum? Are you satisfied or do you feel like the number of resources has diminished as you've aged?

Jory_Fleming9 karma

1) I had many therapy types, it is hard to know what was helpful or not. I cannot recall many of them. I do recall physical therapy quite well, and feel that was helpful in many ways. 2) Yes, many. I speak to this in the book too, how I still do them and how they are viewed by others. 3) The idea that carers exist seems completely absent in the United States, unrecognized and unsupported (as is the medical system writ large here). I am completely unsatisfied with the U.S. health system, although my personal GP is fine. I am especially enraged after living in the UK and seeing the NHS system.

AmblonyxCinerea3 karma

I honestly have met the most genuine and authentic people who are autistic in a collegiate environment, and I'm still in awe of how they (generic reference) just it, if that makes sense? I still try and say hello everyday and ngl slightly in awe of their work.

That being said, how has your experiences in the workplace/scholastic environment influenced you?

My mother is also an elementary school teacher and I'm sure she'd love an insight for students' future

Be well!

Jory_Fleming3 karma

That's interesting thanks for sharing, I sometimes receive remarks too when it comes to being authentic. Maybe something there to explore further. To answer your questions, I feel like I grew a lot in college due to the influence of friends and mentors I met. And thanks to your mom for being a teacher! I don't have any expertise when it comes to the education field, but from volunteering know how overworked and undervalued K-12 teachers tend to be (if you're in the US).

Jantin13 karma

As an autistic geographer how do you cope with fieldworks? I imagine situations of longer periods (2-3 weeks, a month) stuck with a small group of people with little space for privacy or longer mental recovery can be very taxing for a neurodivergent person.

Jory_Fleming5 karma

I have not had extended field deployments, although this is actually due to the large volume of medical equipment that I need to carry when traveling. But yes project management and other 'soft skills' often present unique challenges

Bumgurgle3 karma

I’m almost certainly on the spectrum and ha e been struggling to write due to concentration issues. Do you have any tips, or is concentration not an issue for you?

Jory_Fleming7 karma

Concentration can be an issue yes, depends on the day to an extent, and also the activity type and duration. When I'm drained, I'm done, which can be problematic if it happens at an inconvenient time. I have grown in awareness of my energy levels overall, which helps to an extent.

TheLastMuse2 karma

Have you had any experience with ABA therapies in your life? If so, what did you think of them?

Jory_Fleming3 karma

My mother said that I had some ABA therapies in the school system before I was home-schooled. I personally do not recall anything. I have bits of memories of some therapies (aquatic, equine, occupational) and much more memories from physical therapy, which I was in for the longest period of time.

dustyoldbones2 karma

What is "Jory" a nickname for?

Jory_Fleming6 karma

It is not a nickname actually! I have not met too many other Jory s

Glaeal2 karma

How do you feel about Cecil Rhodes’ legacy in Africa?

Jory_Fleming2 karma

I feel his legacy is terrible and he did a lot of harm. I think we can see injustices and try to do something to help however we can. I also think we should listen to people who call South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia home.

armhat2 karma

As a parent of a child with ASD I am constantly worried about the way I interact with him. I sometimes feel very worried that I’m not doing the right things to make him at ease. He also has a neurotypical twin brother, as well as an older brother. Do you have any input on things I can do as a father to make sure I am handling situations correctly? I think my biggest concern is making sure he doesn’t feel different than his brothers.

Jory_Fleming3 karma

It sounds like you are an engaged parent, I think that your caring will be the foundation for support.

Similar to an answer above, I don't have any answers per se, but things my mother tried were not always successful or things I kept doing. I think the foundation of kindness and love is the key element.

flip11232 karma

The autism spectrum is incredibly wide and there can be many different symptoms of it (as I'm sure you know very well).
What kind of struggles and obstacles does your autism give you and can we expect to see you handle (in what ever way) in your book and what kind of story can we expect?

Jory_Fleming2 karma

Yes, that's why I always like to say you are meeting Jory if you read the book. The book is a conversation, I am hoping readers feel like they are conversing with me if they read the book. Autistic behaviours are challenging because of society (mostly), those that are obstacles for me are interpreting language, communicating with others, processing the environment, etc.

gorro19942 karma

What are you thought on the meaning of life and a higher power?

Jory_Fleming5 karma

Life is kinda cool. I consider faith to be important to me, and I was confirmed to the Church of England while I was at Oxford.

coralrives2 karma

How would being at a professional baseball game with thousands of people around you make you feel?

Jory_Fleming6 karma

I have been in these environs before. They are draining, but being in any non-home environment is draining to an extent, so it comes down to choices with what I want to use my energy for day to day. If I go to a bigger event like this, I will often do less with my remaining time, if that makes sense

Madgirldy1 karma

I’m a young writer who really wants diversity in my writing. I’d really like to write some characters with autism but I don’t want to do it wrong. Could you give just a few things to avoid or to show? Like I know the obvious stuff like not showing people as ‘emotionless’ but ‘deal with emotion differently’. But I want my characters to feel authentic

Jory_Fleming3 karma

Autism is not a collection of stereo-types. Maybe read works (incl. fiction works) by neurodiverse authors to see the inverse (assuming you are neurotypical)? Envision your character, imagine your character, etc.

Clearlybadstudent1 karma

It's become common belief now that we autistics should spend less energy adapting to others, and that others nerd to adapt more to us.

When did we stop with the adspting all together and just start forming our own towns and societies? I'm in my mid 30s. NTs have no desire for us to be around and I'm tired of ending up on the streets

Jory_Fleming3 karma

I tend to think of communication as a two way street. It is indeed difficult when one side does not wish to try. Everyone can try though, so I hold out hope for a better future for everyone.

Clearlybadstudent2 karma


I just realized how many typos my post had, haha a lot.

I do often feel like i'm talking to a wall when trying to advocate for my self and other autistics to NT's. There is a lack of desire of most of them as you say. They're not interested in learning how to communicate with us, just as they haven't learned sign language or Spanish.

Jory_Fleming3 karma

Foreign language is a good example. Some are not supportive of English as 2nd/3rd/4th language speakers, whether its immigrants or tourists. Some are supportive though and do put forth effort.

rngtrtl1 karma

do you think Autism is over diagnosed? I swear every third comment I see across various subreddits has someone that is autistic in it.

Jory_Fleming4 karma

I cannot speak to this competently and encourage you to look into it more directly. I know part of the diagnosis question is an increasing societal awareness of neurodiversity though.