Monthly Archives: November 2013

Born Autistic, Always Autistic, Even Prior to My Diagnosis

I would like to say something about my Autism Diagnosis and my social issues. I did not suddenly become Autistic on the day that I was diagnosed (as an adult). I have been Autistic since the day that I was born.

I was very well aware that I did not “fit in” well with most other people. I sometimes even told people that, even though I am polite and know to say “please” and “thank you,” my social skills are “poor.” I knew that I didn’t understand the social rules, no matter how much that I tried, and I admitted to having “bad social skills” to people before my diagnosis.

You know those scenes in movies and on TV where people go into a bar by themselves and go up to the bar for a drink? That was not me! I would never go into a bar unless I was with a friend or co-worker. I would never go into a place like that by myself. It just didn’t happen. It still doesn’t happen. I need to have someone that I already know to cling to, in order to function in that type of social situation.

I have always socially blundered along, accidentally offending and alienating people without any clue as to what I was doing wrong.

Now, I am disappointed to report that even though I have been diagnosed with a social disability, and I am known to be Autistic, people still don’t understand these things about me.

Even people who claim to understand Autism expect social perfection from me. Sorry, I am not wired that way and I am never going to be socially perfect. I can try really hard, but, I often blunder about making a real mess of things.

I sure wish that my loved ones and friends would understand my social skills disability and cut me some slack. It is frustrating that they seem to hold me to some impossible high standard based on an invisible social rule-book that I don’t have access to and can’t understand nor measure up to.

Unfortunately, many get offended at my every little mis-step and then they go on the attack, or withdraw without explaining it to me. It makes navigation of the social world that much harder for me because I suddenly get attacked for the delivery of my message and the actual message gets lost in the noise about how it was said instead of getting back to the core matter at hand. Sometimes they simply fail to reply and that leaves me lost and confused as to what the heck went wrong. Silence from others is so hurtful to me.

Please accept that I am well meaning and kind, but, I am socially clumsy and I am very likely to say or do things that don’t always fit the “hidden social norms.” Please accept me as an Autistic Adult and adjust your expectations accordingly. Please assume that I mean well even if I do make some mistakes. Thank you.

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Categories: Autism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

An Autistic Core Feature: Difficulty With Social Interactions.

What is a core feature of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC)? – 

Difficulty with social interactions. 

Should you be angry or rude with someone in a wheelchair because they cannot walk? NO, you should not!
Should you become angry if someone who has hearing difficulties asks you to repeat yourself? Of course not! 

Similarly, knowing that one of the main issues for many Autistic people is having impaired social skills, should you become angry and/or rude to an Autistic for an unintentional social error? I don’t think you should.

With Autism, you should take a person’s good intentions into account instead of getting all wrapped up in a poor choice of words, or an unintentional social error. I want to do the right thing, but, I don’t always know the right words to say. Please help us by being kind and understanding. Please practice acceptance and tolerance for our differences. Please work with us, instead of against us.

Perhaps the self-proclaimed “Perfect People” who nit-pick and criticize the communication style of Autistics could keep this in mind? Perhaps they could cut us some slack and look at the actual intended meaning of our communications instead of getting all wrapped up in being offended by the way we say something?

Maybe they could STOP correcting us for the way we have said something, and instead try listening to the intent of what we are saying? Would that be too much to ask? I don’t think it is.

Please listen to the intended message of our communications and don’t side-track into telling us that we are not using the right “tone.” For most of us, our natural tendency is to “tell it like it is.” We tend to be honest and blunt. We are unlikely to “sugar coat” the things that we say. Isn’t honesty always the best policy? Yes it is. So honor our honesty instead of getting offended by our blunt “tone.”

This is so basic to understanding Autism that I don’t understand why so many people don’t grasp this concept. Difficulty with social interactions is a CORE feature of Autism. Please understand this. Don’t be so easily offended by us! We try very hard. Give this some thought before correcting us on how we are saying things! Thank you!

Categories: Abuse Stories, Autism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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