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There was a time when all the literature on autism was authored by autism professionals or parents of autistic children, with the odd journal article here and there with quotes from an autistic person. The problem with this was obvious: People were writing about autistic people's lives and realities while barely, if ever, consulting an autistic person. Stereotypes abounded.

Then, autistic people started writing their own books. In 1986, Temple Grandin published Emergence: Labeled Autistic and David Miedzianik published My Autobiography. In 1992, Donna Williams published Nobody Nowhere. In 1994, Thomas McKean published Soon Will Come the Light and Desmond Meldrum published Growing Up With Asperger's Syndrome. These books fit some of the stereotypes, broke others, and created new ones. Whatever one believes about these books or these authors, they started the trend toward autistic input in autism policy. They shattered the myth that autistic people were incapable of reflection, introspection or communication. They paved the way for later autistic people to write our own books, articles, and web pages. To tentatively band together, talk to each other, and form our own ideas and self-concepts beyond the idea that we were simply defective neurotypicals.

In the midst of this, someone made a pun on the words autie and autobiography. Autistic people's autobiographies became known as autiebiographies, and the word entered the general lexicon of autistic slang.

Some autistic people use this as a derogatory term, questioning the motivations of autistic authors. Others simply use it as a descriptive term for an autobiography written by an autistic person. However people use the term, it differentiates autobiographies written by autistic people from autobiographies written by parents: An autobiography written by the neurotypical parent of an autistic child is not an autiebiography, even though it may include a biography of an autie.

Usage note: Although there is an equivalent term aspie that means someone with Asperger's syndrome, there is no specific term aspiebiography. An autobiography written by an aspie is still known as an autiebiography.

Example usage: "Do you know where I could find an autiebiography that wasn't written by Temple Grandin or Donna Williams? I've read those ones already."


At the request of another noder, I am including a list of autiebiographies and similar books in chronological order by year.

  • Emergence: Labeled Autistic. Temple Grandin, 1986
  • My Autobiography. David Miedzianik, 1986
  • Understand. David Eastham, 19862
  • Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic. Donna Williams, 1992
  • Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free from the World of Autism. Donna Williams, 1993
  • Soon Will Come the Light: A View from Inside the Autism Puzzle. Thomas McKean, 1994
  • Growing Up With Asperger's Syndrome. Desmond Meldrum, 1994
  • Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from my Life With Autism. Temple Grandin, 19951
  • Not Just Anything: A Collection of Thoughts on Paper. Donna Williams, 19952
  • I Don't Want to Be Inside Me Anymore: Messages from an Autistic Mind. Birger Sellin, 19952
  • In Dark Hours I Find My Way. Birger Sellin, 19952
  • A Real Person: Life on the Outside. Gunilla Gerland, 1996
  • Like Color to the Blind: Soul Searching and Soul Finding. Donna Williams, 1996
  • Autism: An Inside Out Approach. Donna Williams, 19961
  • Now All I've Got Left Is Myself. David Miedzianik, 19962
  • Taking the Load off My Mind. David Miedzianik 2
  • Light on the Horizon: A Deeper View from Inside the Autism Puzzle. Thomas McKean, 19961
  • Finding Out about Asperger's Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and PDD. Gunilla Gerland, 1997 1
  • Coping With Asperger Syndrome. Desmond Meldrum, 1997
  • Coping: A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome Marc Segar, 19971
  • Through the Eyes of Aliens: A Book About Autistic People. Jasmine Lee O'Neill, 19981
  • Life Behind Glass: A Personal Account of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Wendy Lawson, 1998
  • Autism and Sensing: The Unlost Instinct. Donna Williams, 19981
  • Lucy's Story: Autism and Other Adventures. Lucy Blackman, 1999
  • Discovering My Autism: Apologia Pro Vita Sua (With Apologies to Cardinal Newman). Edgar Schneider, 1999
  • Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome. Liane Holliday Willey, 1999
  • The Asperger Experience. Desmond Meldrum, 1999
  • Beyond the Silence: My Life, the World, and Autism. Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, 2000
  • Martian in the Playground: Understanding the Schoolchild with Asperger's Syndrome. Clare Sainsbury, 20001
  • Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything. Kenneth Hall, 2001
  • Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Stephen Shore, 2001
  • Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal. Liane Holliday Willey, 2001
  • Understanding and Working with the Spectrum of Autism: An Insider's View. Wendy Lawson, 20011
  • Your Life Is Not a Label: A Guide to Living Fully with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome for Parents, Professionals and You!. Jerry Newport, 20011
  • Cinderella with Wrong Shoes: Poems by a Young Woman with Autism. Jennifer Fan and Autumn Fan, 20012
  • Asperger Syndrome Employment Workbook: An Employment Workbook for Adults with Asperger Syndrome. Roger N. Meyer, 20011
  • An Asperger Marriage. Gisela and Christopher Slater-Walker, 2002
  • Standing Down Falling Up: Asperger's Syndrome from the Inside Out. Nita Jackson, 2002
  • Exposure Anxiety - The Invisible Cage: An Exploration of Self-Protection Response in the Autism Spectrum. Donna Williams, 20021
  • Living the Good Life with Autism. Edgar Schneider, 2002.

1 While not in the strictest sense autobiography, these books deal with autism, and heavily incorporate the personal experience of their autistic authors.

2 Primarily or exclusively poetry.

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