Don't try to tell an "authentic" story. Instead, tell an "inauthentic" truth.
Critiques should not make you question the value of your work, or the value of yourself.
Let somebody else write only allistic characters. You can write a character who is probably, or maybe, on the spectrum, but this does not need a huge reveal or internal struggle—it can just be a thing you do, among other things you do, as an author.
Today is the fifth Tuesday of the month, which means that my answer to this heartfelt letter is available exclusively to my Patreon patrons.
As with writer's block, what's getting in the way of self-promotion is not practical but psychological.
In first-person POV, it's challenging to convey who's speaking without a clunky or clichéd paragraph of self-description.
It is so important to be able to play with one's creative work. And the more your livelihood or identity depends on creative production, the harder that gets.
I love the idea of a beta reader dating service! And in fact such things exist.
Adding or subtracting a character in the middle of creating a lengthy work is nearly as challenging as breaking up with a longtime life-entangled partner.
You already made your work in the best way that you know how. Now you need editorial advice. That's part of the process for any writer, and being an editor in no way exempts you from it.