A really good way to keep up with autistic businesses is to check the #ShopAutistic hashtag on Facebook or Twitter. Or you can let International Badass Activists do that for you and check out their #ShopAutistic directory.
Parenting Autistic Children With Love And Acceptance does a year Holiday Gift Guide during the winter holidays with links to actually autistic creators. Their 2017 Guide has page after page of links autistic creators and business owners.
Stimtastic is probably the first example that comes to many people’s minds when the phrase “Autistic-owned business” is mentioned. And rightfully so — their range of stim / fidget / focus items is absolutely amazing. If you stim by squishing, squeezing, spinning, twirling, kneading, smelling, sticking, chewing, weighing, rubbing, feeling, zipping, making noise or being silent, there’s bound to be at least one stim toy at this website to meet your needs. Prices range from cheap to a bit less cheap, depending on the item.
I’m also a really big fan of Autonomous Press, an autistic and neurodivergent-run publishing company. I have their book Typed Words, Loud Voices , an anthology of essays and writings about non-spoken communication, and absolutely love it. They also run Neuroqueer Books, which discuss queer-neurodivergent intersectionality or other neurodivergent intersectionalities.
If you’re a neurodivergent writer looking to get published, they have a call for submissions for their upcoming anthology Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime.
“As people, we’re drawn to both telling stories and listening to the stories of others. Navigating life can be joyous, frustrating, frightening, sorrowful, and complex. Among all these realities we usually find one truth that always remains: the unknown. And what do we do when confronted with the unknown? We might fear it, try to avoid it entirely, or charge towards it with aplomb or gusto.
Speculative fiction has long dealt with themes surrounding the unknown. Sci-fi and fantasy themes have allowed their creators to conceptualize how space and time can exist, merge, warp, or even disappear in strange and terrifying ways. How in the hell do you map a black hole? Can you really kill your own grandfather? And what happens if your past self travels forward and meets the present iteration of you? What do past, present, and future even mean?
Those are just a few thoughts, but we’re basically looking for work that examines and explores two fundamental ideas: time and space. Moreover, we want work that engages with themes of neurodivergence, queerness, and/or the intersections of neurodivergence and queerness. These might include, but are not limited to, themes such as:
*Travel through time and space via technological methods (vortex manipulators, star ships, big blue boxes, etc.)
*Involuntary acts of time travel through PTSD-related mental/emotional trauma
*Deliberately journeying/revisiting through memories in one’s own timeline
*“Slipping” through time and/or space via astral projection, quantum jumping, or other non-tech means (such as in Octavia Butler’s Kindred)
*Outcomes and consequences of changing past events
*Meeting one’s past/future selves”
The deadline for submissions is September 30th, 2018, and the pay for accepted submissions will be one cent per word.
I’ve gotten some amazing soaps and lip balm from Journey to Jacob’s Ladder, a business ran by Jacob and his mother. They also sell jewelry, tumblers/drink holders, and mouse pads, among other things.
There are plenty of autistic adults who make weighted blankets and clothing, such as Adaptive James (who also runs makes teddy bears via Teddies For T). For fidgets and weighted stuffed animals, there’s FabulousFidgets.
If t-shirts are more your style, there’s Neurodiversi-Tee (epic name pun is epic), Aspergirl Inside, Funkghost , ShaneIsADragon , Real Social Skills, and so many others that you can find by typing in “actually autistic” into the search bar of any shirt-selling press.
I, myself, tried my hand at selling t-shirts on Zazzle. That did not go well because I’m not great at graphic design or at promoting myself. But those t-shirts exist, if you’re interested (I think my favorite is the “Hardly Functioning Autistic” shirt. If anyone wants to take that idea or the ideas on any of my other shirts and do your own thing with it, here’s your permission to do that).
I also do content-writing and proofreading on Fiverr.
Just keep your eyes and minds open: there are a lot of autistic content creators and business owners out there with amazing content and businesses. Autistic people can be so immensely successful at whatever we put our minds and hearts into, if only given the chance.