Autism Tales & Stories – The Ugly Duckling




(Thanks Kara!!!) 🙂

Hi everybody.  My name is Christa Holmans.  I’m an autistic adult, and when I was diagnosed autistic at the age of 29, less than 3 years ago, I started a passion project called “Neurodivergent Rebel.”  The blog was a response to all of the negativity, gloom, doom, and misinformation about autism on the internet.

I’m also an openly autistic business professional.  I’m the VP of Marketing for the Austin Alliance Group, and the founder of

I don’t think that being autistic makes me defective or broken.  I believe that I have a different type of mind that allows me to view the world with a unique and fresh perspective.

There is a Brené Brown quote I like and I’m going to read it off, so I don’t butcher it.

“The opposite of belonging, from the research, is fitting in. Fitting in is assessing and acclimating.  Here’s what I should say or be.  Here’s what I shouldn’t say and avoid talking about.  That’s fitting in.  Belonging is belonging to yourself first.  Speaking your truth, telling your story, and never betraying yourself for other people.  True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.  It requires you to be who you are.”

It’s so good.  It really applies very well to autism and neurodiversity.

So, if you know the story of the Ugly Duckling, three years ago before I was diagnosed autistic, I was an ugly duckling.

The ugly duckling grew up believing – falsely – that he was an ugly or defective duck.  Eventually the “duckling” learned he wasn’t a duck at all.  In the end, the duckling was a perfectly “normal” “average” swan and this knowledge set him free.

I was born autistic.  I’ve been autistic my entire life.  And, I will die autistic.  But I didn’t know I was autistic until I was diagnosed at the age of 29.

You know, that information really hit me hard.  At first it set me on a roller coaster of emotions.  I was skeptical.  I tried to seek out information that would disprove what I had been told in the psych’s office.

But, because the doctor had recommended books by autistic authors, their words really shook me.  It was as if someone had written down my own thoughts and experiences – the private ones that I thought nobody could relate to – parts of myself that I had learned to keep hidden were revealing themselves to me through the thoughts of others.

It was hard to deny after reading only a few of these autistic voices that I was autistic, and autism wasn’t what I thought it was.  And autism isn’t what most people think it is.

So, if you want to find out more, please subscribe to my channel because I will share about autism from my own personal perspective.  Thank you, guys, so much.  I will talk to you next week.  Bye!




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7 thoughts on “Autism Tales & Stories – The Ugly Duckling

  1. Getting tested was something that had been presented to me in the past that I avoided, I thought “what was the good of it, now?” right. I still probably should but the resources for doing so are slim. The book Songs of the Gorilla Nation is another excellent book by an autistic author, you may enjoy it. 😀

  2. This post makes me think of the play The Duck by Rhi Lloyd-Williams. It uses the duck allegory, too, and also really smartly ties in the Princess and the Pea. With the duckness, it also talked about how under the surface we (like ducks) are paddling really hard with all the effort it can take to interact with allistics, but on the surface, you can just see the smoothness of the duck sailing along. Also, flapping!

  3. In the weirdest kind of “synchronicity” , I’ve recently met online an “Ugly Duckling”… (I teach English) a young Chinese woman, who has just recently “discovered” that she is autistic. And Holy Guacamole! She damn sure is so much like me, or like how I used ta’ be before I learned some “social coping skills”, and how to accept myself and just BE myself. She’s having some trouble finding any autistic groups, resources, or even simple, information in print about Autism, in her home country. She needs it in Mandarin Chinese. She just messaged me asking for help with this, 2 days ago now.. She’d read in my bio that I’m an “Aspie”, and on the autistic spectrum. Is there anything you know about that could help me help her? Mandarin is her birth tongue, but she’s fluent in Cantonese as well. She’s had such a hard time, especially with the cultural differences there. She’s felt so alone her whole life. Her family is kinda’ brutal in their ignorance; but if she had some “hard data” in Chinese to share with them, she thinks that it might change their thinking.

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