Alex Lowery speaks about autism

12 things to know about allistics (non autistic people)

Written on 26th Nov 2014 by Alex Lowery

Here is a guide on understanding Allistic people. For those of you who don’t know ‘Allistic’ is a term used to describe people who aren’t affected by autism. This article is the chance to turn the tables and talk about people who aren’t on the autitsic spectrum.


  1. Allistic Disorder is a spectrum condition so just how severely affected by the condition someone is varies greatly.
  2. It affects 99 out of 100 people in the UK. allistics are very different from one another, when you have met one allistic you have met one allistic. Everyone is an individual. No two people with the condition are the same. Everyone is unique in their own beautiful way.
  3. There are no known treatments for allistic disorder, and so there is no cure. A lot of allistics feel they don’t need a cure and want acceptance and understanding.
  4. No one really knows what causes allistic disorder, however there are a lot of theories. Some suggest it may be due to diet. Others say they have completely ordinary genes with nothing special or unique in their DNA.
  5. You rarely get over allistic disorder. It is a lifetime condition.
  6. People with the disorder speak in code. They say one thing, but mean something completely different. They use strange body language to communicate to each other. They sign e-mails with kisses. Yet, if you go to kiss them next time you see them they are freaked out. It of course makes sense that they are freaked out by kisses in real life but what doesn’t make sense is why it (not only seems to be accepted over the internet, but) the expected thing to do. What we need to do is learn to accept this inconsistent behaviour from allistics, because it is part of their condition not to think so logically.
  7. Allistics may ask unnecessary questions that they don’t want an honest answer to. They might ask, “Do I look fat?” And they want you to answer ‘No’. Those of us who don’t suffer from the condition know that it’s pointless to ask a question if you’re not going to accept the truth but allistics struggle to understand this concept.
  8. Peope with Allistic Disorder like eye contact. Yes! Can you believe it? They like to stair directly into your eyes when they talk to you, which might make you feel uncomfortable, but we need to make allowances for their social differences. Many people with the disorder may even feel that you are dishonest if you don’t give them eye contact.
  9. Allistics like playing really loud music and dancing around doing strange stereotypical movements. The name they give for this movement is ‘clubbing it’. Some allistics say that this behaviour helps them to relax after a hard days working. Why this behaviour helps them is a great mystery to those of us who don’t suffer from the disorder and I suppose we’ll never understand for sure. It has been suggested that therapy could be used to help them find a more socially acceptable way to relieve pressure.
  10. Allistics can be very obsessive and rule-based. For example, they may believe no one should wear shirts that are creased. They may even be obsessive about the way you hold a knife and fork, insisting it has to be a set way.
  11. In severe cases of allistic disorder; you may find that individuals will shelve books or DVDs in a really disorganised way. They may even place books upside down and have a series all muddled up. They can’t help it. They just don’t know any better. They’re simply unable to notice these mistakes that the rest of us take for granted.
  12. One very common trait of the disorder is to say some illogical things, like claiming their dog is the best dog in the world, which honestly makes no sense because they clearly haven’t met every dog on the planet so how can they possibly know?


Warning * Some people with the condition find the term allistic offensive. Many people prefer to say omething like, “I am a person who has allistic disorder”, because they don’t want the condition to define them (they want to be seen as a person first). Others prefer to say, “I am an allistic person” because they see the disorder as a part of who they are, and it shouldn’t be considered separate from them. Others prefer to describe themselves as ‘Neurotypicas’, but this term isn’t as specific as the term ‘allistic’. There are others who say they don’t like labels. Be careful what words you use when addressing allistics. Perhaps it would be better to just use their names and refer to them as people. I am also aware that not every single allistic person necessarily relates to all of the traits brought up in this article and not all people who do relate to it will be allistic. It’s very much a generalisation, but this is also accurate to a lot of autism lists. Rarely are they applicable to every single autistic person.

This article is said in jest I am friends with a lot of allistics, and a lot of my family are allistic and so no insult is intended. I just thought, since we read a lot about autistics, it would be fun to turn the tables for a laugh.

Alex and Sylvia wrote this article.

Alex’s book is available to buy here.









75 thoughts on “12 things to know about allistics (non autistic people)

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Lol! Very clever!

    • Zareen Cave says:

      I really enjoyed the article and appreciated the humour!

    • sal says:

      I have two children with autism, and since the nt’s are the ones that 1) have jobs, 2) don’t have to relay on people for everything they do 3) will probably have life partners or at least enjoy sex 4) nt’s are not deemed mr or developmentally delayed, I would do anything to get my autistic children to be nt’s..

      • Sylvia Lowery says:

        I felt like that once about Alex but as time went on I came to see that if I hate the autism I hate my son. I am sorry that you feel like this and really this article is just a lighthearted way of making a point.

      • david jackson says:

        You have such a negative view of Autism.

        1. It does not stop you from getting a job, the right career is important.
        2. Many are independent, and do not rely on others for everything.
        3. Sex is enjoyable.

        How many NT men/women are bored with sex??

        Sadly you fail to accept your kids for who they are.

        I feel for your kids.

        • Raquel says:

          My son’s 1st child, my 1st granddaughter is being tested for early intervention and her placement on autism spectrum. I have been privileged to work with a very beautiful and talented young man in my church who is labeled on the spectrum and I work with a dispatcher at my job as well whose also a meteorologist and travels frequently. I appreciate this article so much. If really shed light on the quirky behavior of us all and points out how every one has a unique make up. So I agree with you, it’s sas sad this mother is so unappreciative of the gifts God blessed her children with. I have found that all of the people I have met are extremely talented in some great way if you focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. I pray that God will encourage this mother to be more resourceful and a better steward over those He has placed under her authority, so that they all as a family and children of God shall prosper in every area of life with the utmost abundance. In Jesus name. Amen

      • Ava says:

        Whoops, your abusiveness is showing. It’s very clear you hate your children. It’s sad to see people coddling you. I’m autistic, I have a job, and I like sex.

        I feel terrible for your kids, not because they’re autistic, but because they live with you, an abusive monster who thinks so low of them.

        Shame on you.

      • Sonia Hiley says:

        Hello Sal
        You don’t say how old your children are.
        You sound exhausted and despondent and I wonder whether this is because you haven’t received the support you need at home to care for your children.
        I hope that you can obtain more support through your GP or your children’s social-worker or perhaps your family and/or friends.
        Many parents find parenting the hardest thing in the world, irrespective of one child or more being Allistic or Autistic; try not to feel judged in reaching out for help.

      • Ray says:

        hi sal, what is wrong with you. they are autistic. accept it. if you werent prepared to have disabled children then you shouldn’t’ve had children at all. they will go through the “i wish i was neurotypical” phase on their own, you don’t have to contribute to that. please take care of them and make sure they have the proper resources to get through life without copious amounts of trauma. autistics are able to have jobs. why do you care so much about their sex lives?? (also what if they were NT and asexual or aromantic? what would you think then?) autistics don’t necessarily have to relay on other people for everything. ur children may need help in some aspects but it is still very much possible for them to be completely independent later in life. whats wrong with being delayed in some ways?? everybody has their strengths and weaknesses. just because somebody is disabled, it doesnt make them any less human. do better. your blatant ableism are one of the many reasons autistics tend to struggle in society so much. my heart goes out to those kids.

      • Sageyo says:

        Very uneducated mind. You feel embarrassed your kids are autistic and don’t know how to get them to be able to relate to the other kids huh?

        Or you’re just a pretty incompetent guy, & you blame them for your lack of purpose too I assume. Considering you posted what you said tells me your unhappy with life in general & also, I feel sorry about your kids being raised by inferior male oblivion.

    • Linda Ward says:

      Ha ha loved this, I just found it. I am on my journey of self discovery while waiting for my assessment within the next 12 months. I was looking for something to show to my friends if they ask what ‘allistic’ means, and this is perfect.

      Really enjoyed it both as fun and a bit thought provoking.

  2. Alison Keen says:


  3. Beth says:

    Very funny Alex – and a point well made about uniqueness! Well done!

  4. Hilary Gibbons says:

    Thank you for turning the tables..made my day 🙂

  5. Jacqui says:

    Brilliant! I loved it. Finally realised i might have NT! Off to GP for possible diagnosis ! Thank you!

  6. Donna says:

    Yes good to read made me smile, well done you two.

  7. Richard says:

    Brilliant !!!

  8. Jean says:

    This sure has made me smile, which i needed today!

  9. Annie B says:

    This is fantastic. It really put a smile on my face.

  10. Luke Beardon says:

    This is absolute genius – thank you

  11. Ros says:

    a funny, clever and simple way to illustrate our differences and similarities., NT or not. Thanks.

  12. Scott Bodilly says:

    Love this!

    Point taken, pure genius!

  13. Melissa says:

    Absolutely Fabulous!

  14. Jean says:

    Hilarious….it’s even more funny because it’s true XXX

  15. eve says:

    Haha loving this .. just Starting to doubt I am nt. I for one find clubbing fairly boring und unnecessary waist of time. I do like dancing but like salsa or ballet.
    I would never put my dvds not in order or upside down who does that. I find it intimidating if people look me right into my eyes unless its my partner its just creepy. Just look in my derection thats enough.

  16. Morwenna says:

    Awesome (and that’s aspie honesty, not exaggeration). Thanks.

  17. Fiona Sutton-Wilson says:

    Very funny and so very true!

  18. katherine says:


  19. Alice says:


  20. Sky says:

    This is fantastic…may I share it on my website?

    • Sylvia Lowery says:

      Hi yes you can include it on your website can you just ensure that a link is included to the original content on Alex’s website. Also, if possible, ask your web developer to include a rel=canonical tag on the page where the article is displayed on your website.

  21. Lynne Milne says:

    Fantastic! I love this. My son Rory has autism, and I run a support and info sharing group for parents of any disability – many of their children/adults have autism.

    This is such a refreshing read and really turns the tables! Can’t wait to share it!!

  22. Veronica Zundel says:

    As the probably NT wife of a possibly AS man, and mother of a definitely AS son, I laughed my head off! (not literally….)

  23. Rachael Stocks says:

    Love this, thank you! Made me genuinely laugh out loud

  24. Mikko says:

    Hi. I’d like to remind you that autistic people are not the only ones who are not neurotypical. The tribe is larger and the title, hence, misleading.

  25. Ian D Osmond says:

    I am a neurotypical person, and one thing that you have to understand about us is that we have an entire part of our brain dedicated to being Neurotypical, and it cannot be used for anything else.

    Neurotypicality is caused by an excess of mirror neurons, which just mimic things which they see on other people’s faces. We are unable to use those neurons for anything OTHER than mimicking other people’s faces, and they are SO overactive that we will see “faces” in just random things. This is called “pareidolia” and is probably one of the most blatant diagnostic criteria for neurotypicality. For instance, severe neurotypicals will ACTUALLY PERCEIVE 🙂 as a smiling face on its side– not just as a random code which means “happiness”.

    This normally doesn’t cause serious problems for neurotypicals, as long as their environment is designed to accept that. Neurotypicals don’t actually think that 🙂 is a face; we CAN tell the difference logically, but we emotionally actually react to it as a face.

    The downside of this overabundance of mirror neurons is simply that we don’t get to use them for other things, such as detecting patterns and enjoying them.

    • Peachy says:

      Hahaaa, truth. But cumbersome in reality, I get very frustrated trying to explain to my partner why I am crying at a film- I know rationally as he says that they are just pixels representing people faking a made up incident that is not actually sharing our time and space, but I can’t override the emotional response and all honesty I don’t really want to, but he makes me feel as if I am strange for having it…. 😀 Great article

  26. Jeannette says:

    I thought this was really funny! It’s great to see an article that both does a 180 on the usual subjects and is decidedly lighthearted about it too!

  27. Spiked Lee says:

    I heard NT is caused by vaccines. Is this true? and fluoridated water. do you know anything about that? I shelve my books in color order, does that make me NT?

  28. Pieplup says:

    I’m Pieplup from Wrongplanet. This is great. Hopefully Autism speaks doesn’t take this down like they did to xD. 10/10 would read again.

  29. Kris Hughes says:

    That’s right. I want eye contact.

  30. Lew says:

    Bravo! You are receiving a whole lot of well, deserved praise. I am somewhat dismayed, however, that no one, except perhaps Pieplup has indicated that they gained any insight into your very clever way of holding up the mirror for everyone to look inside themselves and to understand what those on the Spectrum see and feel. Other than what I have found in Wrong Planet, which I believe had formerly been, “Oops, Wrong Planet” many years ago, I have not found anything matching your work.

    Please keep writing and posting your thoughts and insights.

  31. Katherine says:

    This had me in stitches!!! Now I know what’s wrong with me! Bravo!!!

  32. Tulip says:

    enjoyed reading this article. It might sound like it’s a funny post but it’s smothered with reality. 🙂

  33. Sandy says:

    No words… Just awesome!! I am parent of two non NTistics, I hope they can be like you in some way!!

  34. Kerrie says:

    Fabulous turnaround, what a wonderful way to say so much, love it Alex

  35. Penny says:

    Absolutely taken in the spirit faith which it was intended! Made me laugh! Good to turn the tables and see things from a fresh perspective!

  36. Kate says:

    Genius! I loved this so funny..yet spot on. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Jane says:

    Some of my friends are on the NT spectrum and this post has been written with such great sensitivity I feel that I could actually share it with them.
    (Personally I would have just written how annoying they are!! )

  38. Donna says:

    Just re-read this article and some comments. You made a topic fun to read

  39. Brilliant – from a typical ‘NT’ with huge respect :))

  40. Martina Prout says:

    Fabulous! Just loved this!

  41. Dot says:

    Absolutely brilliant. What an amazing person Alex is

  42. Alex, your blog will soon be added to our Actually Autistic Blogs List ( Please click on the “How do you want your blog listed?” link at the top of that site to customize your blog’s description on the list (or to decline).
    Thank you.
    Judy (An Autism Observer)

  43. Tamara says:

    Clever, yes. But dividing the community further even with humor isn’t helpful. I’m considered an Allistic parent and in support groups and other groups, my experience is viewed “less than” The biggest problem is we are fighting each other for understanding vs fighting for progress. Look at the movements like black lives matter or the lgbtq+ movements, they have gained not only national attention but actual acceptance and understanding. Yet in the Autistic community we are still bashing each others brain wiring?…. I feel sad so many people enjoyed this.

    • Sham says:

      Tamara, I agree. Tit for tat gets no one anywhere. If they know how it feels to receive these comments why do the same?

    • I felt this work was intended to help create understanding. It didn’t feel bashing to me at all. It felt light-hearted.

    • Alex Lowery says:

      It wasn’t bashing anyone. It was just meant lightheartedly.

    • David Wright says:

      Interesting how you describe yourself as an allistic parent but then go on to place yourself in the Autistic community. I’m sorry but as an autistic person myself that sounds wrong. Being an “associate” of the autistic community doesn’t mean you’re part of it. It sounds patronising to me – like you want to be two things at once.
      What I take from the article as an autistic man is that it’s good to try to see the world from someone else’s point of view. That’s difficult for everybody and it’s even more difficult for a lot of people with ASD. If a lovely funny article like this can help people like me, frankly, I don’t care if you’re offended – it’s done me good and I’m grateful for reading it.

  44. Ashley says:

    I’m actually allistic and I find this hilarious! So glad I came across this post today.

    Note: In the US it is not okay to sign e-mails with a kiss. However, the greetings are just as inconsistent. I guess it’s just a part of the condition.

  45. Izabela says:

    This is brilliant! Thanks for making me not only smile but also reflect on life 🙂 Greetings from Poland!

  46. Sarah says:

    Thank you for this amazing post, I really needed it in my life. I can see that I probably do not have Allistic Disorder but I recognize it in my husband.
    Kisses in emails, what do they mean, my previous work colleagues who were on the Allistic Disorder spectrum would send work emails with kisses, I never personally liked this but to be inclusive of all I would sometimes reply with just one small kiss.
    Thank you.

  47. Reuben says:

    Oh thank goodness that I don’t have Allistic Disorder! However the fact that it affects 99 out of 100 does disturb me a lot. I mean, are you seriously telling me that people who don’t mean what they say and who do things that make absolutely no sense form the majority of society, possibly they even rule the world? Scotty, PLEASE beam me to another planet!

  48. Crowsy says:

    I have noticed number 8 a LOT in my everyday contact with people with allistic disorder. They are so extremely sensitive and dependent on these cues that they are unable to understand you are listening to them if they can’t see you staring!

    I have also noticed a lot of people with the allistic disorder are unable to understand if you are not hot/cold when they are hot/cold. They think because they are cold, everyone must be cold! How silly.

    The worst part is most don’t even realize they have allism and think there is nothing wrong with them. Maybe one day we will find a cure for this terrible condition they suffer from.

  49. Opposite to 99% of people it seems says:

    I have come to see the needing to be told you are wearing a nice dress when in fact you are not as part of an allistic need often to wrap themselves in comfort through lies. It is all about emotional need, irrational therefore, and a need to believe something to be the case because it is comforting and you feel better rather than to believe the truth. For me, lies make me very uncomfortable – both to tell them and to be told them. For the aliistic person, they are an essential emotional need, the same as they play censored songs in public and can collectively deny that they mean what we all know they mean as their denial makes themselves comfortable. For me, unfortunately, I could not deny the truth or maintain what was their metaphorical elephant in the room and was left highly uncomfortable at their normal activities and ended up eventually with post-traumatic stress disorder. Lockdown has helped my mental health enormously, a more quiet and stress-free life, but now I am being dragged against my wishes back to normal – the allistic people’s “normality” that caused my stress illness. This is because their mental health is suffering and they just cannot resist their sole specialist interest of socialising/social contact as they get upset when they can’t pursue it. However, even with vaccines, given half the population will not yet be vaccinated, and with still high levels of the virus (and a fifth of local authorities virus levels actually increasing again even in supposed lockdown), the greater social mixing – for unnecessary things like chats over coffee that are necessary to allistic people – will simply increase transmission and virus levels and thus their so-called freedom cause me to have to remain inside my home even more (though I don’t see how I can stay inside even more since I am only leaving when forced to do so for medical reasons) as they are simply making the outside world more dangerous by social contact spreading the virus. I have been prompted on this by a news presenter claiming that “we all recognise the dates [in the Government roadmap] as gateways to freedom”. This is of course untrue since I don’t, they are gateways to me having to stay inside my home even more so as the outside world will be more dangerous after allistic people are allowed out to mix for coffee chats and Easter meet ups. The dates however provide “hope” (a vital emotional need) for allistic people, when I have no need to either hold out hope or have any lack of hope but feel neutral either way, and the presenter’s point is that, regardless of stating caveats, once you give dates people get them into their head and expect that they will be kept – the behavioural science says as much and it will therefore be very difficult to row back on them but, in the event that the later ones of the dates end up slipping, those dates will be “lies” and, in that situation, it occurs to me that the dates are there to allow allistic people to wrap themselves, once again, in the comfort of lies. Whether lies or truth, the dates offer no such thing to me and allistic people, if the dates are not met, will have been having hope that will have been false hope or holding hope on a false basis. But it does occur to me now that, yet again, if some of the dates end up being lies, they are there to give allistic people the emotional need of hope and there to provide them with comfort that they will be met but which, if they turn out not to be, will be another comforting in lies. I get no such comfort – I am usually comforted by truth – and, on this occasion, neither knowing whether the dates will become lies or true, I have no need to hold out for any such thing as allistic people hold out for at all and have no feeling about the dates one way or the other, except that each of them, with high transmission rates, will increase the risk of the virus being spread and higher levels of virus in the community after each date will increase the danger of the outside world to me so I would rather I stayed in lockdown until cases were really low.

  50. Opposite to 99% of people it seems says:

    Actually allistic people don’t like “dancing around doing strange stereotypical movements” called “clubbing”. When I went to Christmas parties (pre-pandemic), I was always the life and soul of the party in that it was me, the autistic person who loves dance music, dancing around more violently than them. They all did this strange moves that didn’t match the beats of the music, strange emotional messaging it seems now to me rather than just going for it. In fact, they often weren’t dancing, they were usually sat down talking to each other in their social groups whilst ignoring my presence and talking amongst themselves if I was sat with them (it turns out because no body language cues to remind them I am even there so that, despite being asked by me beforehand for them to include me, they would still end up talking amongst themselves and forgetting I was even there). They were usually sitting down chatting among themselves, not getting up when the song was the best one, and their involvement with dancing was mainly because they were drunk, not because they really liked the music (and I ended up dancing to the music by myself and not being with them sitting down because I didn’t go for the socialising – I was boring or eventually got a route in to talk immediately after they had already ended the topic and moved on so that whatever I said was now boring to them).

  51. Sonia Hiley says:

    Fabulous, Alex! I couldn’t agree with you more!

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  • Autism Cymru
  • Chester University
  • Glyndwr University
  • National Autistic Society
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