Reappropriating a Definition

According to the American Psychological Association, autistic fantasy “is a defense mechanism in which a person deals with emotional conflict and stressors by indulging in excessive daydreaming as a substitute for active problem solving”. Makes sense to me; applies to my own private autism, but note use of the terms “excessive” and “substitute”.
I wonder: by who’s authority is autistic fantasy a “negative”? Well, of course, it has to be the neurotypical academics. I don’t always agree with them. In fact, I think autistic people should be studying autistic people. God knows enough of us are skilled enough to do it. You don’t really know autism until you’ve walked in an autistic person’s shoes. So, as an autistic person, I am reappropriating the NT term “autistic fantasy”. It is now a positive. It is productive. It solves problems. It is a context by which I can relieve my stress and anxiety and reach out to others. It’s how I communicate deep, personal, subconscious thoughts to the general public in a fun, interesting way. It is a new genre that I feel safe in. It is Autistic Fantasy.
Actually, I guess its a sub-genre of Fantasy, but let’s not split hairs. For decades, I’ve been at pains to explain what genre my writing belongs to, so please allow me this indulgence. Again, I figure genres were developed by neurotypicals. I just don’t fit into them easily. Not that I fault neurotypicals! After all, we need to classify things. As a man of science, I do this all the time. It helps us understand and reference things. It helps us explain and relate experiences. It avoids confusion and, for some, it alleviates fear of the unknown – discomfort with something new that does not seem to fit. As an autistic person, much of what I think and write may not fit into a given box. It may make people uncomfortable. I don’t like the term thinking outside the box, because for me there was no box to begin with. My traumas and sense of detachment have lead me into a rich inner world to help me SURVIVE. Survive and cope are key terms here. So, Autistic Fantasy IS NOT A NEGATIVE!
So, what exactly is Autistic Fantasy, you ask?

Autistic Fantasy

Here are 23 traits you could find in autistic fantasy:

  1. Playful use of language

  2. Creation of new language

  3. No language (lack of dialogue)

  4. Awkward / stilted dialogue

  5. Keen sense of observation

  6. High level of detail

  7. Highly visual (cinematic quality)

  8. Connections between seemingly incongruous elements and events

  9. Mash up of many influences / genres / styles / types

  10. Hybridization (could be symbols, icons, characters, people or ideas etc.)

  11. Disregard for convention (social, cultural, literary etc.)

  12. Subversive

  13. Inappropriateness

  14. Willingness to shock, confront and confuse readers

  15. Atypical sense of humour

  16. Simple, mundane, day to day activities made to seem fantastic

  17. Plays with time and place (temporal and spatial confusion)

  18. “Child like” sense of wonder and creativity (inner child allowed to flourish)

  19. Surreal, stream of consciousness (dream like or nightmarish quality)

  20. Focuses on author’s inner world

  21. Passive protagonists

  22. Strong moral foundation

  23. Pedantic quality

My particular blend of Autistic Fantasy includes talking animals, spacial and temporal distortions, atypical humour, supernatural powers and the surreal in place of the real – and much, much more!

Creating Thought Structures as Coping Mechanisms

I’ve found, throughout my life, that I need a personalized, differentiated philosophical base – thought structures to organize and build my work upon. Thus, I created Prerealism, the science communication interface, Zygotic Chaotic and the Hydrogen Economy etc. This need to create a personal safe place (thought structures and fantasy worlds) seems to be shared by other autistic people (please let me know if that is the case with you!).
Lastly, I have a habit of building my intellectual / creative safe places by bringing together agreeable bits and pieces of movements, philosophies, practices and schools of thought. I hybridize. Thus, surrealism, absurdism, existentialism, Buddhism, Stoicism, transcendentalism, individualism, science and more make up the foundations of my safe place. For me, these influences do not just exist in books, to be quoted verbatim like a bible. They are open to interpretation. They should be built upon – putting theory into practice. This is the basis of my safe place – a world of my own. The world of Autistic Fantasy.


“Everything Can Be New” by cogdogblog is licensed under CC0 1.0. To view a copy of this license, visit null


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