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10 Responses

  1. Betty says:

    Thank you for this article!

  2. Dave says:

    Very cool to see this laid out. If one is empathetic intuitively reading reactions can allow for immediate adjustment, but most people do not walk that path. Teaching allows for learning – if there is some desire to learn.

  3. Jeremy says:

    I would generally agree with most of this.

    But, I do think that the appropriate response varies depending on person and the degree to which they are affected The last two (#9, #10) in particular seem especially sensitive in that respect. While it can be detrimental to some, especially if taken to an extreme, it’s crucially important to develop, if possible, at least an intellectual understanding in those areas. Being left to your own devices and blissful ignorance won’t end well.

    If a family member of friend who is neuro-typical says it’s fun to do X or that they enjoy Y and suggests you try it, they probably aren’t messing with you even if you really don’t find X/Y fun/enjoyable. They’re just trying to share something that is fun or enjoyable to them, and possibly many others, with you. If they don’t seem to understand, then you’re probably an anomalous data point in their experience of humans as a whole. It’s understandable to be really pissed if they keep pushing, even after having it explained, though.

    With regard to the latter, I think that some degree of masking is necessary. It may well be draining and feel fake, but it’s essential to understand what kind of response the average person is expecting and how the way you behave will be perceived. And it’s critical to be prepared to project that outward at least some of the time if you can manage it. Expecting the world which is mostly one way to adapt itself to you is just setting yourself up for disappointment whereas learning to communicate that you really do care is important even if you save it for the people that matter most to you.

  4. A great article! Very informative. I concurred with you on all the points as I have learnt them from my daughter and her schoolmates who are ND

  5. Jada says:

    Are you happy being racist? (“some Patel hotel owner”)

    • jaimeaheidel says:

      Thank you for pointing out that the last individual’s comment on this post contained a racial slur against Indian people. I’d never heard the word before and didn’t know its meaning when I approved his comment. I appreciate you taking the time to bring this to my attention. His comment has since been erased.

  6. Leanne Strong says:

    11. Telling on us. Well, ok, this one really isn’t very “nice.” Now, I can understand telling on someone for behavior that is unsafe, or could potentially land someone in serious trouble, but REALLY??!! Do you guys REALLY need to rat us out for doing things as minor as taking too long at the drinking fountain, or saying something that could be offensive?! WHY can’t neurotypicals apply the same criteria for ratting us out as they do for ratting a neurotypical person?! Now, I understand that the people who do this to us might think they are being helpful, but I know that I personally would find it more helpful if people would just come to me first, take me aside, and tell me CALMLY that what I have done has upset them or others.

    • clara says:

      They avoid having to have difficult conversations at all costs. They rat us out because they are cowards and conflict avoidant and they don’t want to be told to their face that perhaps their ‘insight’ is in fact just plain judgemental and rude or none of their business. I had a situation recently where I was publicly mocked for my mannerisms because apparently I had failed to take numerous hints that were contained in posts I simply did not read because they weren’t relevant to my interests. Neurotypicals think this is appropriate social behaviour when a person is in their midst who is not constantly monitoring the social milieu the way they do.

  7. A Sun says:

    This was an excellent article, thank you so much! It clarified some things for me and assured me in others that I have managed to avoid some pitfalls in my parenting (my child was undiagnosed as a kid, it was only in late teens). I do feel terrible that lot of things I just accepted ’that’s the way they are, we are all a bit weird in our own ways’ and didn’t pursue diagnose earlier, it would most likely been helpful for them to have the diagnosis earlier (accepting was good tho! And I am very weird too.) But we are all now learning more about autism and how to enjoy and cope with life.

    I especially liked the bit about gifts and trying to share fun experiences, that is something to work on for me – because I DO want to give gifts and share fun exeriences, I just need to find the right ways. Like, find something that is fun experience for them and see if I enjoy it instead of other way around.

    Thank you again and also thanks for the book recs, I will be checking those out too.

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