Basically *everyone* has different levels in which they experience sensory information. Within the autism diagnosis, it isnt always that you're more sensitive, sometimes you have lower input then average (ie. someone with lower sensitivity to touch might accidentally hurt someone because they're unable to gauge how hard they are hugging), but either way, its a level of sensory that affects your experiences to a degree that it needs to be diagnosed, as opposed to the normal varying levels that everyone experiences any way.
If you're highly sensitive, there are normally physical things happening too which make some input harder to take in. A good example is that most people cringe when they hear the sharp noise of finer nails on a chalk board, but for a highly sensitive person there will be sounds that others can handle easily that give them that same effect.
Sooo motor skills varies from major to fine, it includes both! For me it effects both, I do have a kinda awkward posture irl but I'm not sure why exactly I'm like that beyond I know its atypical 'motor skills' and other people find it noticable. The thing that affects me more in day to day life is fine motor skills, like I take ages to tie shoe laces lol And I'm very clumsy/have poor balance, spill/drop stuff all the time, bump into things all the time XD The bigger issues with poor motor skills is being slow at things when people expect you to be quick, it just takes me longer to get a simple task done because I cant quite figure out right away where my hands need to be in order to do something (I suppose 'spacial awareness' comes into this too, another thing which is measured when diagnosing autism). And on top of this, I dont seem to learn after doing a thing once, I always make the same physical mistakes or it takes longer to learn. I never thought about expressions being linked to motor skills, but maybe you're right! I don't always make expressions, but this is more to do with 'filtering' to me- if I'm having to concentrate on a whole bunch of stuff at once, its hard to then do the added thing of making an expression on top of that. I am expressive naturally I think, but not expressive when I'm in situations where I have to concentrate on doing more then one thing at a time.
Perception was actually referring to 'filter', like how much detail you are perceiving from the outside world and taking in, how able you are to ignore detail and therefore concentrate better. But I've realized just now I should've used the actual word 'filter', it wouldve made way more sense haha XD I see filtering as separate to sensory, although they are normally both talked about in the same context. This is because your capabilities to filter information affect alot more then sensory input. Filtering affects language, motor skills (as explained above), and executive functioning. It is more to do with taking in and sifting through information of all kinds rather then just sensory information. As an example, I find it hard to respond sometimes in conversations or arguments, not because I have a problem with language, but because I need a little more time then a NT person to take in all the information being said to me and respond accordingly, I *think* this is why I talk slowly/slurred too but I'm not sure. Its also the reason why autistic people tend to ramble, just not all that good at sifting all the info down into the necessary parts in a short amount of time haha. Experts havent really studied it much so I can only say this as being my personal opinion (sooo it might not be accurate) but I think the typical autistic trait of no eye contact is also down to this. Personally, I dont like making eye contact because I find it hard to concentrate on what someone is saying if I have to look up at all the information they're giving me visually, looking at something still on the floor makes it easier to concentrate. This seems to be down to my inability to filter everything coming in, so take in less of one thing so I can concentrate on the other, I can only guess that's what that is though.
The other reason I separate them is that the ability to filter seems to change a lot depending on how much energy you have. All the other issues seem to lessen or worsen depending on this I find. Sensory is less or more overwhelming depending on how tired I am definitely. Meltdowns/anxiety attacks only happen with me when I'm tired and cant take everything in all at once any more, but it means they happen for random situations. I think thats the same with everyone I know who has anxiety, so that's probably a good frame of reference for understanding meltdowns!
Executive functioning is basically organisational skills, such as short term memory, prioritizing tasks, improvising etc. From a personal pov, I'm pretty damn scatterbrained. Just the same as anyone whose been given loads of stuff to do all at once and they cant keep up with it all, thats what low executive functioning is, its just that you 'cant keep up' more often because your brain in general has 'more stuff to do' (again due to filtering!).
One more thing to note about ALL these aspects, is that they all kinda link together, and when you break down these different parts of a brain, you can see how outward traits commonly seen in autism are after effects of these aspects, and why outward traits vary so much from person to person. Stimming is just the 'grounding yourself' thing you mentioned, using a strong sensory input as something to concentrate on so you can relax or ignore all the other things happening around you. Routine is often important to us because familiarity is so comforting when you're being constantly overwhelmed with so much different things around you. Special interests are the same thing, its just something to keep your mind busy from stressing out about all the stuff! XD Lol maybe a good visual for someone with autism is just like a person walking along trying to go about normal life while theres loads of stuff flying at them from all directions that they cant stop!
Anyway, I think thats everything, I hope that was helpful!!
Heres a link to a random comic page btw, although I'm sure you'll know whats right for you to do naoru.deviantart.com/art/Headc… I write archie no different then anyone else (his ocd being separate to autism), and characters in the comic react to him the same as anyone else, but there is a visual difference in his body language to others (not much eye contact, head to one side etc. etc.)
Yeah, I dont think I see that many explanations out side of medical essays that really describe 'the spectrum' very well XD Like people would have to delve very deep into research, which is crazy cos most people dont have the free time to do that haha
Yeah, I guess most people who are a minority feel the same! It helps to create inclusion instead of separation, and normalizes ideas so that no one feels like 'outsiders' any more, so its nice that you want to do similar things with all kinds of characters in your comic ^^
I don't mind at all, fire away! (although forgive me if I take a little while to reply, probably not too long I promise! XD)
haha this is weird, I drew the comic linked to, and I was gonna say I agree with Rasaxe about my thoughts on the whole thing! XD To add to what they said, imo I think it's nice to have a character who is canon autistic because I often wish I saw more stories with characters I could relate to, but I prefer when a character is just who they are first and foremost, and their autistic traits arent portrayed as a problem or something hindering them, just part of who they are, good and bad :3
I guess like, I want more characters to relate to because its just fun to have characters to relate to and makes you feel more confident in yourself (just the same as with any other kind of minority right?), but I dont want to see just 'THE autistic character', more like 'the character who also happens to be autistic'. But yeah I guess that's just the same as with anyone really ^^ In this situation, if you've already made a character and have just considered that they may be autistic, then thats already happening the way I'd like to see it done in a way, because you made the character first and foremost Then all you have to do is some research to see if it fits or not :3 Talking from a personal pov of how I've tackled this situation, a character of mine in a comic I draw is autistic and more like myself, but I haven't said anywhere in the comic that he has autism, he just does and sometimes I talk about in comments etc. But he's just the same as any of the other characters really, his bad traits and good traits are shown in equal measure to everyone elses, its just that some of those traits happen to spring from being autistic whilst my other characters bad/good traits spring from being neuro typical haha XD
Wow, what a cool job to get, even if you're just doing the digging it must still be pretty interesting to be apart of a dig I hope you enjoy it and dont get too stressed/put pressure on yourself to do everything at once