Before I knew I was autistic, I wondered what autism felt like. When I started to suspect I was on the spectrum, I looked for YouTube videos to compare notes. This is one of the first ones I watched:
That’s not what it’s like for everyone to go to a restaurant with a big group?!
Those videos just sounded normal to me…oh.
The experience is different if I’m hiking somewhere. If I were living as a hunter-gatherer, all the little rustlings and animal calls would mean a lot more to me, and I’d have an elaborate 3D picture of everything around me.
It was harder to find something resembling my visual experience. These two come closest:
Mostly some brightness. There’s a sense of my attention being captured by all kinds of irrelevant details, which they simulate with choppy editing between close-ups.
The practical aspects and how it interacts with some of the other symptoms (problems shifting focus, routines, etc.)