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“My Reprieve from Forced Smiles and Small Talk”

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Autism spectrum, and have ADHD. I document my journey by writing about it, hoping to make a difference in even just one person’s life.

Here’s mine.Memory, age 9: I was visiting my extended family in India, as I did once every three years. I was walking around with my cousin at a party.

She told me to smile when introduced to new people. I didn’t understand WHY to do that, so I didn’t.Memory, age 20: I confided to my college bestie that I was seeing a student clinician at the university’s psychology clinic.

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