Here is a key insight to creating realistic autistic characters: We do not do the visibly autistic things we do because of “autism,” full stop. Like non-autistic people, we are responding to our experiences of the world. Those experiences simply differ from those of non-autistic people.
Being autistic and also belonging to another minority might be one marginalization too many to sell children’s fiction informed by one’s own experience to a mainstream press, and that is a very sad thought.
As much as I crave representation in fiction, it bothers me that some people seem to see autism as a way to create conflict or add a unique viewpoint to a narrative. It is even more disturbing when so many of these portrayals are inaccurate or incomplete.