I made this post about autistic people because in the past few years, autism has been getting promoted a lot on social media and the word neurodivergent or neurodiverse has been used a lot. Nonetheless, I notice that the autistic people I see online are DRAMATICALLY different from the ones I meet in real life in autism group support programs. For example, if you go on r/autism, wrongplanet.net, or just any autism forum or see any autism social media account, you'll notice how different they are from the ones I met in real life. There's two types of high functioning autists: Level 1 and Level 2 autism. Level 3 is just low functioning autism.

Here's a big contrast

Level 1 autists (the ones I always see on social media)

  • Often self-diagnosed, or just got diagnosed after 18
  • Typically gender fluid or non binary but if they're cisgender, they're usually a woman.
  • Masks really well, and has really good conversation skills, but might think they struggle socially because their social skills are maybe slightly worse than neurotypical people's
  • Is the only autist you'll ever see in a relationship, sexually active or having a fulfilling social life
  • doesn't even look autistic. and statistics show that autistic people disproportionately have assymetrical faces, prominent foreheads, wide set eyes, hair growing in the reverse direction, etc.
  • very left-wing
  • is potentially in a poly relationship or likes BDSM
  • usually has an LGBT-style haircut, tattoos or dresses "quirky". some even dress like an "alt girl" or goth
  • posts on r/autism or any other autism forum, and promotes autism on social media
  • uses the word neurodiverse/neurodivergent quite often
  • You can't tell they're autistic until they tell you.
  • the only autist you'll meet in everyday settings. rarely appears in autism group support programs.

Level 2 autists (the ones I meet in real life)

  • Almost always cisgender men. Rarely a woman, and almost never genderfluid
  • Has autistic facial traits like prominent forehead, wide set eyes, facial asymmetry, unkempt hair, awkward smile, etc.
  • Nasal voice in many cases, and often exaggerates how they pronounce vowels
  • Is a virgin with no dating experience. In fact, I asked these guys about their dating history and they all were 100% inexperienced with sex and dating, even at a late age. Rarely saw them have a girlfriend. I bet they hardly know any women.
  • Unusually introverted. It could be they genuinely are reclusive or they just socially withdraw because they cannot mask their autism when interacting
  • Really inept social skills, and they often can't make decent conversations even if they aren't low-functioning. In fact, they might even have no filter if they're an extravert.
  • Targeted disproportionately by cringe culture, whereas level 1 autists are popular on social media.
  • Very limited, or even non-existent, social life
  • Doesn't dress quirky but they either dress in typical clothes or just unfashionable clothes that middle school boys wear (but adult size)
  • still lives with parents well into adulthood, and hardly adjusted to social adulthood
  • you'll rarely meet them in everyday settings, but you can meet them in an autism group support program, which mostly consists of them and rarely has level 1 autists
  • you rarely see them promoting autism on social media or posting on autism forums
  • probably hasn't heard the term masking or neurodivergent before, even if they know what the idea of masking is
  • Can't mask at all. you can tell they're autistic within seconds.
  • arrested development
  • often has very nerdy, niche interests. only videogames they play are Nintendo games. never dresses goth or dresses "quirky".
  • Rarely LGBT

Clearly there's a big difference between the two. The former are mostly women and non binary people, and we only hear their voices, whereas the latter are the silent majority of autists. Their social lives are so limited, if existent, that when you hear somebody say "I know tons of autistic people who have girlfriends, good social lives and a good job", it's probably the level 1 autists. The latter are mostly cisgender men, and probably the ones that r/AutismInWomen complains about. Many level 1 autists show no empathy towards these kinds of autists (which is why r/autism gaslights you into thinking autism has nothing to do with why you lack social skills, can't make friends or are a virgin), and level 1 autists are why so many people think autism is a superpower. The only subreddit I think a level 2 autist could be on is perhaps r/ForeverAlone, r/virgin or r/FA30Plus. Level 2 autists also tend to be heavily targeted by cringe culture, and they typically the biggest outsiders in our society.