As the parent of three diagnosed autistic persons, and as the founder of Life Guides for Autistics | NeuroGuides, I’ve devoted untold numbers of hours to serving autistic persons and documented around three thousand hours of direct one-on-one coaching with autistic persons in service through our non-profit organization. In doing so, I’ve gathered a great deal of empirical evidence as to the challenges autistic adults face in social and occupational settings.

Autistic persons, who have been a vital part of our combined social history and civilization, have been subjected to unwarranted, unnecessary discriminations and lack of appropriate engagement from the…


For me, the thing which lingers most in my mind, my memories, is the look in their eyes.

How can I describe to you what it is their eyes have told me? Eyes which have told me stories of buried pain, deeply blurred aches of long years of being relentlessly misunderstood, overwhelmed by their own bodies, minds, senses. Eyes telling stories of deep scars of undeserved traumas and yet wondrously — holding present a boldness, a furious presence of hope. In those eyes I’ve seen unconditioned, unredeemed stories of truth. …


As an ambassador of the Neurodiversity movement, I recently took a brief pause to step back and take measure of the landscape of change occurring around the pursuit of neurodiversity understanding in the culture.

In the past two years, since launching my own non-profit organization dedicated to serving autistic adults, working towards opening dialogue building the neurodiversity movement, we’ve seen much change and forward momentum has been gained.

And with change, momentum, has also come misunderstanding, hurtfulness, and much needless confusion over the meaning of neurodiversity.

I’d like to invite you to come with me for a moment to experience…


Aubrey felt the cool mist of the early fall breeze cross her neck. She’d bundled up before leaving her small apartment, taking the stairs down and out into the late morning of the city. With the wet sidewalk greeting her feet, she stopped for a small coffee at the corner store then she went outside again to meet the quiet like an old friend in the park two blocks away from her building.

The last few weeks had been a whirlwind for Aubrey. Twenty-eight years old, and after a mind boggling number of ups and downs, she was now in…


My first memory was holding the hand of my Grandmother Catherine at a train station in Chicago. The warmth of her hand stood in contrast with the chilly, rainy day. I remember the crunch of the rocks under my shoes as we stood together beside the tracks looking up at the massive locomotive engine.

My Grandmother knew I’d wanted to see the great engine on the iron tracks up close, and had simply climbed down with me to see it. I must have been three or four years old then, and my small hand reached out to touch the metal…


The month of April is now over, and with it an overstuffed ensemble of competing colors, puzzle pieces, symbols, fundraisers for bloated organizations supposedly serving the suffering masses, those persons supposedly reeling from the condition of autism.

Like the aftermath of some human-stoked windstorm of desperation for being aware of the plight of millions of the misunderstood, we look across the landscape of the empty fury of “Autism Awareness Month” and find ourselves richer in memes, catchy slogans, extra t-shirts to line our drawers- but somehow poorer than ever in actually coming to terms with the deeper knowing of our…


I remember the acrid smell of something broken. Salty, sour, it permeated the Gulf Coast air like the scent of some fading electrical fire, or burnt gunpowder perhaps. A battle between sky, sea and land with humans in the crucible.

Looking out across a nearly empty motel parking lot, broken glass dully shone in the morning light. An early morning haze blanketed the wounded sky. A haunted sky, not yet ready for the sunshine to plunge through the mask of the remnants of the hurricane. There had been only one room habitable in the one operating motel in Rockport, Texas…


Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Every week, it is my privilege, my heart’s delight to work in service as a guide to autistic adults worldwide. Their unique life stories are their own, and are not mine to share publicly, but I will say- my knowing them, their distinctive humanity, has expanded my mind, my heart immeasurably.

Each day, I’m blessed to have the support, the cheering on, of thousands of autistic persons, and their allies worldwide. Though I’ve not personally met most of them, I nonetheless count them as true friends.

As an ambassador of neurodiversity, inclusivity, acceptance of all persons- regardless of their bodies…


In the context of my service with autistic adults, I often hear the question from the public- and I’ve heard it so, so many times, is- so, you just work with “high functioning people with autism”? And I usually answer with - I don’t cherry pick who the Universe sends me to help, I work with everyone who needs me.

Aside from the strange, awkward verbiage of the general “autism culture”, the lie of the term “high functioning / low functioning autistic persons”, has been pervasive, allowed to stain the page of every conversation on neurodiversity since it was first…


Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

He told me a little about her over lunch last week. He described her to me in a halting, wavelike motion- offering a few details, then quickly retreating again. I’d ask a question and he’d offer something about her, then quickly change the subject.

It reminded me of standing on the sandy shores of the Texas Gulf Coast and watching the advance, then the retreat of the waves along the shores.

Understanding, acceptance darting out into the foamy waves like a child carrying a plastic beach bucket. Waiting on the waves.

In the context of my work as a life…

J. David Hall

Writer, Speaker, Maverick, Neurodiversity Ambassador, Relationship Purist, Rebel and Founder, CEO at www.neuroguides.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store