The following part in the series is not intended as an accusatory statement towards anyone who might be reading this. This covers a lot of ground that you may have witnessed, or even done yourself. Don’t take it personally.
So… your Aspie is upset and you don’t know why.
There is a good chance that someone said something that your Aspie felt was completely out of line or offensive… And while it is easy to do something that an Aspie finds offensive, there are some things that Neurotypicals will say or do that are… Well… just not right.
Some of these, I will try to explain WHY these things are offensive… Some, I will just let you try to suss it out on your own. Most of them, I will simply outline what we are not saying… What is going on in our head and not being spat at the offending NT.
1) You’re just using Asperger’s/autistism as an excuse to be rude.
Why is this rude? Well… Think about it. Your Aspie has just been accused of being a liar, for one. Aspergians tend towards truth… to the cost of harmony and even friendship. So, the concept that we would lie about something that causes us such distress is so foreign that many Aspies will rebel at the thought, to the point of ACTUALLY being rude intentionally.
|I couldn’t find a pic for rude…
So, here’s breasts.
2) I saw of The Big Bang Theory/Rain man/Sherlock/Bones/this episode of House/Adam/ Parenthood… So I know ALL about autism!
Right. We live it and even WE don’t know all about it. Even the experts on Autism don’t know all about it. Nerotypicals often assume that they have expertise beyond their knowledge and then will immediately tell us how to deal with our own lives.
3) Wait, are you ACTUALLY Autistic, or do you just have Asperger’s?
I don’t need to tell you why this is offensive… If you cannot see why, you should probably read a different blog – you won’t deal well here.
4) Have you tried Swimming with Dolphins/riding horses/meds/hugs/special diets/chelation/not being autistic?
Have you tried any of those things? Have you tried the as seen on TV diets or magnets? No? Why not?
5) Is your parent/guardian/care taker here?
I am an adult. As they say in Louisiana, “I am a grown ass man.” I do have people that help me a great deal… but those people are not me… Just because I exist on the Autistic Spectrum does not mean that I need a babysitter.
6) You seem so… Normal!
I am normal, just not typical.
7) What do you mean you don’t want a hug?
What do you mean, “What do you mean you don’t want a hug?” I mean that I don’t like being touched by people that I don’t know and you are wanting me to engage in a relatively intimate act with someone that I don’t know. Piss off.
8) Quiet hands!
Don’t tell me what to do… I stim, not because I want to, but because I have NO OTHER CHOICE… SO… quiet lips!
9) But you have a job/go to school/have a social life… with people!
Yes… because we are primates… Primates are social creatures. How dare you imply that we are not fit for public consumption.
10) You don’t mean “Autistic.” You mean “has autism.”
Yes. I do mean Autistic. YOU exist outside the spectrum. We exist within it. How DARE YOU tell me what label I apply to myself?
11) Labels go on soup cans. Not people.
You know what labels are? They are words… symbols that allow us to communicate effectively. Without labels, we cannot describe our world. Wind, water, coffee, pizza, dogs, cats… These are labels. Learn to live with it.
12) I don’t think you have autism. You’re so social/smart/pretty/nice/… You have feelings/I mean, I like you!
No offense intended, but are you a psychiatric professional? No? Then, may I ask why you feel comfortable diagnosing, or in this case, offering a contrary diagnosis? Seriously? No… If you tell me that YOU don’t think that I have a condition that I struggle with every day, I would really like to see your credentials and if you ARE qualified – please offer an alternative diagnosis… Even if you are, I would like to ask – why do you think that you can make a call like that in moments when diagnosis of any psychiatric condition takes days or months of experience with the patient?
13) The cause of autism is geeks marrying geeks/flouride in the water/vaccines/too much TV/inflammation/stress/the internet/x-rays/yeast/vaccines/mercury!
I promise you that we are far more up to date on this issue than the average person. They don’t know what causes it. Period. You telling us what caused out condition is a bit like me coming into your office and telling you how to do your job.
14) You’re autistic? But I like you/there’s nothing wrong with you/I never would have guessed/give me a hug. It’s going to be okay/I’m so sorry/that is so sad.
Yes. No. I don’t want a hug. I know it will be okay. Piss off.
15) You must be very high functioning.
That is nice of you to say. I am sorry that you are such a mental deficient that you cannot understand that this is insulting and calls attention to our condition, and is NOT a compliment… Hey, moron, your buss is leaving.
16) Why are you doing that? Stop it! People can see you!
Why are you assaulting me with your words? Why are you constantly talking loudly and so fast when I am OBVIOUSLY suffering from anxiety and sensory issues in public. Thank you so very much for calling attention to something that is already embarrassing.
17) Autistic people are so spiritual/refreshing/honest/real/close to god/authentic/nasty.
No. We are not. We are people. We are no more or less of these things than any NT is. Making a blanket statement that elevates or insults us as a whole is just degrading… More so to you than to us… but still.
18) I read Temple Grandin’s book!
Good for you. You do realize that there are many Aspies and Autistic Spectrum individuals that have accomplished as much, if nor more than Grandin, right?
19) So, what’s it like being retarded?
I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me?
20) I like Autistic people almost as much as I like real people.
(This one happened to me personally)… Real people? You mean, as opposed to the mask wearing, constantly telling little social lies, giving lip service to ideals they don’t actually stick to Neurotypical people? Those are the real people you are talking about? I prefer the “fake” autistics, thank you.
21) ***dumping toothpicks on the floor*** Count these!
First, what say you count the number of kicks to the groin I am going to serve up.
22) Just get over it.
How about you come over the fence… try seeing it from our standpoint… you blast us with noise, assault us with color and light… and we’re supposed to get over what would amount to psychological torture of wartime prisoners? How about you get over yourself?
23) Aren’t we all just a little autistic?
No. We aren’t. Because if EVERYONE was a little autistic, we’d be switching places… if EVERYONE was autistic, then autistic would be the mean, the standard or the normal… making us the Neurotypicals… and what is now considered normal would have the problem…
Now, what I have listed here are extreme examples… but there are little things that are said every day of my life that are part of the Neurotypical social regime that are offensive. We understand that you jockey for social standing constantly and have a need to slash and cut, and most of that doesn’t even phase you… But, honestly, we aren’t part of your social hierarchy. These words that are used in every day life can be anxiety inducing, stressful, hurtful and downright devastating to your Aspie…
Now, if you’ve been good to your Aspie and not been guilty of these things, congratulations. If you have witnessed someone else doing it to your Aspie and you didn’t step in, you may find that the trust you worked so hard to earn from your Aspie may be damaged.
You may not know how these words hurt him… but he can’t see how you didn’t see it.
So, to ensure your Aspie’s happiness and comfort, step in and help ameliorate any issues like this. You will be pleased by the results. And rest assured, your Aspie will come to your rescue when he perceives any injustice.
Images in this issue SHAMELESSLY stolen from the following sources: