Posted by: E (The Third Glance) | December 19, 2013

The Third Glance… 2 years later

Two years ago today, I made a decision that changed my life. I was just finishing up my first term in graduate school, about to spend 2 weeks with my very dysfunctional family, and still coming to terms with the fact that I was actually autisitc, a fact that I had stumbled across obsessively about three years prior. I hadn’t really told many people I was autistic. I’d told a few people form whom the information was relevant, but for the most part, I kept my neurology to myself. I was lonely and just trying to make it in grad school. And I had been reading and more recently leaving eons-long comments on autism blogs. So I decided, in a stroke of randomness, that I would start a blog. Choosing the platform was easy – I didn’t want to accidentally manage to confuse my personal google account with an anonymous blog, and further, I really liked the wordpress ability to follow comments via email without having a wordpress account. Plus, it was easier for me as an anonymous person, to comment on a wordpress blog, since there was no mess of signing in. And so, I made a wordpress account, and set about trying to come up with a good first entry. I’ll tell you something interesting… the first round of this blog was called “Seulement E” – French that  roughly translates to “Just E” or “Only E”. Because that’s how I thought of myself in terms of the blog. I was just “E”, and I was telling my story. I registered the domain, and went about writing my first blog post.

As I sat down and wrote that first blog entry, it was just an introduction. I started out introducing myself… on the surface, this is what you see. And then I started to describe how autism plays into my daily life, and how that changes peoples’ perspectives, often for the worse. But that some people look beyond that and move straight to acceptance and friendship. And then suddenly, the concept of The Third Glance was born, and I knew, just knew, that I had something really neat, something more than “Just E”, but a powerful tool and perspective for helping change the lens autism is viewed through. Before I had even posted anything to my brand new autism blog, I had changed for the better, and The Third Glance blog was born.

I polished that first essay and obsessed. And obsessed. And obsessed some more. Then I sat down and hit “publish” to the blog. That very same day, I went on facebook and I put up a nearly identical copy of the essay and tagged a bunch of the people I went to undergrad with. I decided that I was done trying to hide. I didn’t tell everyone in my life, just a few people, but more than I had ever told previously. And I began to live more openly as autistic. Today, I’m not much more “out” than I was 2 years ago, though more people in my life know about my autism, and my blog. After I wrote The Third Glance, I went to my family’s holiday world, and the Autistic’s Holiday Survival Guide was born as I watched myself with new self-awareness trying to navigate the social minefield of the December Holidays. I wrote one of my all-time favorite pieces, Words, on the airplane ride back home, on a tiny little notebook (one of those 2×4 spiral bound pocket notebooks). And just like that, my little blog had grown. Over the next few months and years, I met some of the most amazing, supportive, wonderful people, and I’ve participated in some incredible things using the power of the internet and the power of the written word.

So today, as my blog celebrates its 2nd birthday, I was going to take you on a little highlights tour of the blog. But honestly, that’s not what I’m here to do. I have a page for that, it’s called “Posts I’m Most Proud of” – it’s not up-to-date, but I’ll get it there eventually. Instead, today, I ask one thing of all of my wonderful readers. Today, take that third glance at people in your lives. Remember that they, too, have difficulties, whether diagnosable or not. They too are human. And spread a little bit of compassion. And encourage others to do the same.

TheThirdGlanceAvatarThank you all for reading, commenting, sharing, and participating in this journey with me. I hope to continue for a long time.

The Third Glance

p.s. I am interested to know, for regular readers, what the first post you read of mine was, and why you came back after.


  1. The post that led me here was My Hands Are Echolalic, and it was one of those big “wow, I thought only I did that” moments of discovery for me. I went back and read everything else and have been eagerly waiting for every post since. Thank you for taking the leap into blogging, for sharing your experiences and insights, I know it’s not ever easy to feel that exposed. I can’t wait to keep reading in 2014 🙂

  2. I’m personally thrilled you did decide to start this blog! It’s honestly one of the very best ones out there.
    As for your question, I tried to remember what was the first post of yours that I read. It was, actually, Words – the one you mentioned is this post. And I got there from following the first link here: , on ‘sleep wake hope and then”s list of ‘brilliant things’ 🙂

    It read so beautifully, and it made me just a little bit wiser as to what being autistic might actually be like – which is exactly what I’m trying to achieve. So yeah, I was pretty excited.

  3. I found you and your blog through a comment you’d left on someone else’s. It was such a kind and loving comment I went to your blog and read My Cat is My Hero. Since my husband and I had just gotten a new cat and fallen hopelessly in love with him, I sent him the link to your post and then proceeded to read everything you’d written up to that point. There were too many really powerful posts to list here, but I was hooked and have been reading all your posts ever since! So glad you are here and continue blogging, E and Happy Anniversary!!!

  4. I think for me it was Autism, Pain, and Self-Injury…, which immediately hooked me with its honesty and wry humour. After that I read Words and The Third Glance and then I had to read the entire blog archive. As you do. I got here through a blogroll link on either Musingsofanaspie or Catastraspie, right at the beginning of my journey of autistic self-discovery, and your blog has definitely played a role in how I see autism, how I’ve advocated for my diagnosis, and how I’ve come to terms with it afterwards. Thank you so much for writing! You have a very strong voice.

  5. Where’s that “Holiday Guide”??? Need it. stat 😉
    And thanks for this blog – this is my first post and I will come back,

    • Found it, thanks so much ❤

      • awesome 🙂 You beat me to it – its linked at the top of the page. 🙂

  6. Happy Blogversary! I don’t remember what the first post of yours I read was, but our circles overlap in many ways (twitter, triberr) so I find myself reading your stuff regularly.

  7. I think the first blog post that I read was “Words”. I was looking for a resource for my daughter’s teachers to give them insight on how my daughter “K” experiences conversations as described by an adult on the spectrum. I found the post to be absolutely “spot on” and in my daughter’s case, I can almost see the thought process that you described when she’s trying to follow conversation. Too often, she’ll give up and just remain silent or zone out, because things just move too fast. My hope is that her auditory processing skills will improve as she gets older and this will become less of an issue, however, I also hope that by educating the educators (about the adult autistic perspective) they will be able to provide a kinder/more inclusive experience for all kids.

  8. I was formally diagnosed in February of 2012, but leading up to this I was already convinced I was autistic. After the initial thought of “Huh, that sounds like me.” I embarked on a journey of self discovery and was consuming huge amounts of data about or related to autism. I happened across your original post around that time; it brought me great comfort, as do all of your posts. So yeah, that’s why I keep you at the top of my RSS feed.

  9. I think the first post I read was The Third Glance… I am not sure, but it is certainly one of the first and one that stood out very powerfully.

  10. Foreign Languages and Autism was the first post I read. I was trying to research different ways of language learning, and my brain tangented (we’ll pretend that is a word) off and I eventually ended up here. And it was so interesting, so I clicked on more. And more. Finally I had read everything, and I emailed you at one point. Everything in your blog has helped me understand myself and people in my life on the spectrum more fully. Thank you for your blog E 🙂

  11. I’m pretty sure the first one of your posts I found was Words. And I read it and I had never before seen something that described me. And I just read it over and over and over again. And then eventually I realized there were more posts and read it over and over and over again just completely and utterly amazed because it was me. (You’re a grad student, too!) There were so many things that were me and that made sense and that I had never successfully explained to anyone. And it helped me figure out that maybe possibly actually I might for reals be autistic instead of it just being a made-up thing or fake or not-really-actually-a-possibility-just-a-lie.

  12. Congrats on your second anniversary of blogging. I think the first post of yours that I read might have been “Words.” I came back for a few reasons, first because your blog is an enjoyable; second, because I’m a PhD student myself and like to hear about other people’s research journeys and third because my research area is actually autism in adulthood and I really appreciate how you explain what it is like for you to have autism as an adult. So thanks! Also thanks for introducing me to the spoons analogy.

  13. Congratulations on your second anniversary of blogging. As someone who is not autistic, I value learning from those who are. It helps me be a better parent to my son (who is on the spectrum), and a better therapist to my clients (who are on the spectrum).

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