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“What is it like to have autism?” “What do you wish people knew about life on the autism spectrum?” “What misconceptions do people have about the disorder?” These are valid questions often asked by neurotypical (NT) individuals, friends, and even family members. But the very nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – being a spectrum – means that the disorder manifests differently for each person, so individuals will have different answers to those questions.
On top of that, many people with autism when asked a similar question respond by simply stating the obvious: Who they are as a person is all they know, so by what comparison can they explain or answer? For that matter, how would a person not on the spectrum describe what it is like to be neurotypical?
However, we found on Reddit many individuals with ASD who shared their experiences, thoughts, and clarifications to misconceptions about autism. Here are some of those answers, in their own words, to the question “What do you wish people knew about autism?”
9. “AUTISM MANIFESTS DIFFERENTLY IN DIFFERENT PEOPLE”
“What would help me the most is if people could understand that I really am trying hard to understand other people. Something that hurts me might not hurt you, and what is interesting and fun to me might be completely boring to you. I sometimes accidentally offend others or take forever to understand a joke. It doesn’t mean I am weak, cold hearted, stupid, or not trying hard enough. Im a little different but its not a big deal, just have some patience.” – Reddit user aspcaweb
8. “I’M ALMOST AFRAID TO TELL PEOPLE I’M AUTISTIC”
“I really wish more people would understand this. I’m almost afraid to tell people I’m autistic because almost every time I have so far, that start treating me “special”. I’m not five years old…. Just because I have trouble explaining what’s on my mind and can’t always communicate with you doesn’t mean I don’t care about you/understand you. Not everyone with ASD is the same and many of us are extremely intelligent without the means to express ourselves.” – Reddit user Loveless1997
7. “THIS IS ALL PART OF WHO I AM”
“I wish people would understand that this is who I am. I make funny noises when I’m happy. I need to be shown how to do something a few times to get it right on my own. I can’t block out noises around me, because most of them are at the same volume for me. I have to wear a silicone chewing device, because it’s that or grinding my teeth from stress. I don’t like being touched. I have issues with volume control. I can’t eat some food because the texture is sensory hell. This is all part of who I am. I’m autistic. Always have been and will be. I’m living in a world that wasn’t made with people like me in mind. Have some patience, this is hard for me, too.” – Reddit user evilblackbunny
6. “AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL THAT I NEVER GOT…”
“Having autism, especially in a social context, feels rather like being an alien. Most humans seem to be born with an instruction manual that I never got. Anger looks like this, happiness looks like that. Talking to yourself is totally normal, but doing so out loud is definitely not. That kind of thing. Now, over the course of my life, I’ve been able to learn these different cues, but it’s never going to be fully instinctual.” – Reddit user omegasavant
5. USE DIRECT LANGUAGE, NOT HINTS OR SLANG
“I need you to be VERY clear in your directions of what you need me to to.” – Reddit user foreverflightless
4. “CONVERSATION FOR MANY AUTISTIC PEOPLE IS LIKE A GAME OF BATTLESHIP”
“Importance of thoughtful feedback and the benefit of the doubt. I honestly think the whole world would benefit from giving and receiving more and better feedback, but it’s crucial for autistic people. Conversation for many autistic people is like a game of Battleship; we often don’t know whether what we said was a “hit” or not unless the other person tells us and is both honest and patient about explaining exactly why what we said was hurtful. I flat out gave up talking to people for a year in high school because I was so tired of unintentionally offending people.” – Reddit user Ariar
3. “SHAMING/JUDGING THE PARENTS ONLY MAKES A BAD SITUATION WORSE”
“Parent of an autistic child here – When an autistic person melts down in public, shaming/judging the parents only makes a bad situation worse. The kid can’t help it. They’re not throwing a tantrum because they’re a brat, they’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t help what they’re doing. If you can’t spare a kind word, at least spare the parents a glare and keep your mouth shut.” – Reddit user AustinCynic
2. “WE HAVE DREAMS JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES”
“Ultimately, I just wish people could understand that we’re still human. We have dreams just like everybody else does. Sure, we don’t quite play by the same rule book. Our thoughts and feelings can take on shapes unfamiliar to the neurotypical. Sometimes, the world just gets too loud for us and we need to retreat. But if you peel back all those layers, you will find somebody that is just as human as you.” – Reddit user brick5000
1. “PEOPLE WITH AUTISM ACTUALLY HAVE A LOT TO SAY”
“I guess I wish society understood that people with autism actually have a lot to say, and we’re often just waiting to be asked to say something.” – Reddit user BrooksConrad
Via : theautismsite