Instead of just sitting back and letting an NT make declarations about what autism is, a bunch of us are speaking for ourselves. This is my contribution; this is (my) autism.
It’s a mix. There are goods and bads, challenges and joys. It is not any one thing.
It is difficulty making and keeping friends.
It is passionate joy about my interests…
… Which translates into not-insignificant skill in those interests.
It is sensory processing difficulties.
It is both joy and confusion in the friendships I manage to have.
It is my childlike joy and silliness that I hope I will always experience.
I spend time sitting at my craft table, intent on whatever it is I am making. I have no idea what my facial expression is reflecting; I am far too consumed by what I am doing. It is joyful, and I love the things that I make. This is (my) autism.
Other times I am overwhelmed. Too many sights and sounds and feelings and people throwing their emotions and thoughts all around them and I just need it to stop and I either catch it in time and escape or I start screaming. This is (my) autism.
I think and feel in black and white. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it isn’t. I am either passionate about what I am doing, wanting to throw myself into it utterly, or I simply do not care. This is me, and this is (my) autism.
Oh, and just for the record – it is far more than what I can simply list on a page. It is integral to me. It is my brain, how I think, how I perceive the world and how I perceive myself.