SOCIAL MEDIA

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Things not to say to an autistic person.

Hey readers,

As a person with autism, it can be frustrating at times talking to people about my condition as they have these preconceived ideas about what it must be like for me. Here is a list of things that I think don't need to be said to an autistic person like myself.



1.  You don't look autistic?


I got a feeling that a lot of autistic people have had this said to them. It is so frustrating because assume autistic people either sit and rock in a corner somewhere or are Rain Man, which I am neither extreme. Autism is a spectrum condition and it affects people differently and at different times. Not to mention that autism is constantly fluctuates depending on the circumstances and mindset of the person with autism.

2. Rain Man.


Like I said above some people assume you are Rain Man or you can excel in maths or computer studies. Yet again this is not me, I am not really good at either and enjoy fashion, ummm what about then.

3. Girls.


The amount of people who think autism affects only males is shocking. Ok, the thing is with the whole diagnosis is it is a bit outdated let's be honest. 

When we look at the criteria it is hard to see the complexities as its focus on certain characteristics and autism does not always correspond in that way. Because girls get diagnosed a lot later than the male counterparts they have to survive and that is where masking comes in, hence why they say girls are better at it, but that is one of the reasons why. 

Masking is basically mimicking the behaviour that the individual has observed someone do. The downside to this coping mechanism is that it is restrictive behaviour. The autistic person is not able to adjust if something changes because again you haven't learnt that pattern. The changes are you don't know what you are doing just basically blagging in order to try to fit in. I know because I still do it now and fail often.

4. Adults and autism.


A classic assumption is that children, once they reach adulthood magically, do not have autism anymore. People believe that the condition just vanishes overnight and the person when they reach adulthood can somehow function normally. 

However, I can assure you that this is not the case as autism still affects me and many more autistic adults. Autism is a condition that you have for the rest of your life, though you can create coping mechanisms to help manage living in a neurotypical world. 

I think this assumption is down to the fact sadly that there is little information or research was done on adulthood, yet but I feel optimistic that in the future there is more awareness about autistic adults.

5. Empathy.


People assume that a person with autism is cold and has no empathy. Yes, we do struggle with emotions and putting emotions in the wrong context etc. However, there have been times when I have been too empathetic with someone and literally felt their pain go through my body.

6. You can't have relationships. 


Yes, relationships of any variety are hard but I am married still going strong and raising two boys. It can be done with a lot of patience and understanding, it does not come easy and definitely not a smooth ride but if you work at it then it can be obtainable. 

Cheers for reading X

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