“What do you wish everyone else knew about autism?” 5 Answers from People with Autism
Posted on May 17, 2019 by Ann
Sometimes, we wish we know what our children are thinking or what they wish we knew about autism.
Reddit user spiderbabyinapram posed the question “What do you wish everyone else knew about autism?” and here are the top replies:
1. I don’t know the rules.
commiecomrade explained it beautifully:
Ever hear of the game called Mao?
It’s very similar to Uno, but it has rules you can’t know about. The only rule that you can explain to others is this one. Every time you break a rule you get another card. It’s up to you to figure out the rules, by trial and error again and again. Plus, each person introducing their group to Mao may have their own version of the rules, as everything is made up by the one who knows how to play the game.
That was the entirety of my childhood. Everyone had advanced knowledge of a strict set of rules that they were able to follow at all times. They had different sets of rules that they could follow, tailor-made to the relationships between their teachers, parents, friends, strangers, and so on. No one told me any rules. Through trial and error, I had to learn them as if they should have been on flashcards, and be aware of them at all times, because if I screw up, someone gets angry. By now I’ve been able to keep a good grasp of the rules to appear normal but sometimes I still feel inhuman. I allow some of my weird immaturity out to a select few who understand.
2. I know what I am like when I talk to other people.
I know how I act sometimes, I know how I talk always in that same monotone voice, I know in a conversation I seem to talk more at you that with you. I don’t know any other way though. Talking to other people with the same condition is hard for me because I see the same mistakes I make everyday in the person I’m talking to. I’m trying to improve but it’s a slow process. Weirdly friends have remarked that when I’ve been drinking I enter a state where I don’t act drunk but rather act like a normal person.
Edit: A few people have asked if I recognise these things about myself why don’t I change them. I have been trying my entire life but some things are easier than others. Maintaining eye contact for one whilst incredibly uncomfortable for me is merely a case of looking someone in the eye I got that one solved years ago. Knowing how to make conversation or adding tone into my voice though are 2 very organic things that don’t have set rules making them very hard to emulate.
3. I need a break sometimes.
When we’re hanging out and you notice that I’ve become a little bit withdrawn, be it taking a quick smoke break or just scrolling through my phone, I’m not mad nor are you annoying me. After so much stimulation, my mind literally needs a “rest” period that allows me to mentally cool down and take a quick breather.
I don’t know why this is, it isn’t something I like nor is it something I consciously do, it just happens and when it does, asking me if I’m mad or whats my problem is only going to frustrate me because you’re just adding on to the stimulation.
4. I sweat the small stuff.
That sensory processing disorder isn’t funny. That if you rub that beer coozie on my arm, I’ll keep thinking of it and feeling distraught for at least a couple hours.
5. Just tell me.
If you’re upset with me don’t be subtle. Don’t drop hints. I will not read between the lines. Don’t be vague. Don’t lie.
I won’t get it. If you say everything is fine, I’ll take you at your word. Just TELL ME if you want me to do or not do something.
If I’m acting weird, just say something. I’m not trying to be weird, I literally don’t know the proper rules for that situation.
We are people.
bluecheesebitches summed everything up:
I think the most important thing is that we are people. People who are autistic but also a lot more. There are as many autistic types as there are autistic people. None of us would be [who we are] without the autism tho. And although we get the struggles, obviously, it can be very hurtful to do autism research into eradicating autism instead of helping us. As if we are bad for existing. My greatest hope is then that more research will be focused on how to live with autism instead of how to live without.
Note: We gathered these responses from reddit.com. It is likely that those who answered this question are probably those who are higher functioning on the spectrum.