“It’s So Easy!” – Why These Words Hurt Autistic People

Young, white, male child sitting in front of some homework looking discouraged with text that reads, "It's so easy!" Why these words hurt autistic people.

This post is a direct follow-up to yesterday’s post about learning as trauma.

In the comments yesterday, many ND (neurodivergent) said that upon revealing their difficulties with learning, people would say, “But, it’s so easy!” and would then proceed to try to show the person the task, convinced somehow that after years of trauma and confusion, THEY would magically be the ones who could teach them.

No. Telling someone who has difficulty learning, especially someone who has TRAUMA around learning, that “It’s so easy” is not only completely invalidating their experience, it’s also re-traumatizing them by attempting to make them learn…the very thing that terrifies them in the first place!

“It’s so easy” isn’t comforting, it’s triggering and threatening.

Think of it this way, if someone had asthma and told you they couldn’t breathe, would you turn to them, take a deep breath and say, “See? I did it! It’s so easy!”

Of course not!

So, don’t do it to an ND person. You are not helping. Instead, respect what the person is telling you, and don’t try to force them into anything.

I used to become very meek when this happened, now I’ll just speak up. Case in point, a woman I did not know was talking to me at Goodwill while I was picking out a pair of jeans several months ago.

She showed me a brand she liked, but I remarked that they were too long. She said, “Just hem them!” I told her I didn’t hem, and she insisted it was “so easy” 3 or 4 times until I finally snapped and said, “It’s so easy FOR YOU!”

She left me alone after that. I don’t have any issue with telling someone firmly and directly, “No, I don’t know how to do that. No, I don’t want you to teach me. Yes, I’m perfectly fine NOT knowing how to do that.”

If some complete stranger wants to think I’m “lazy” or “stupid” or “privileged”, let them. I have other talents and better ways to spend my time and energy…like building this blog. 😁

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