On April 2nd this year,World Autism Awareness Day,I decided to offer a little insight to some of my Facebook friends.Their responses were actually what inspired me to start Autistic Not Weird in the first place.
I hope this helps people who are curious.
If you are one of the spectrum,may I ask how many of these apply to you? How many do not suit you at all? I”d be curious to know how much us guys truly have in common!
Edit -something I feel has to be said. Every single time this article is shared on a large Facebook page I am forced to read a blakish from people how choose to be offended by the word”mild”these days,but I am not changing it.I meant it at the time.
If you are the autism spectrum too,you get to choose whether to used the word “mild” and no body else.And you are not on the autism spectrum,please stop trying to dictate what I and can not call my self.Even though Ihave stopped using the word “mild” since writing this,it was me who got to make that decision.That,s how autism empowerment works .
Beside-in my experience, every possible term I could have used in the title would be effensive to some group of people on the internet! Feel free to choose whichever term offends you least,and keep reading.
so,here we go! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I genuinely loved writing it.
Fifty Important Facts About Having Aspergers Syndrome /”Mild” Autism:
1) The rest of you are weird. We are completely normal.
2) You definitely know a few autistic people. May you do not know it either.We are 1% of the general population ,which is higher than it sounds.
3) Autistic people are not always similar to one an other, for exactly the same reason that non-autistic people are not either.
4) 81% of us are not in full-time employment.Personally I have spend less than two years of my life being one of the 19%.
5) If you have it mildy, you are not at the awkward midpoind of being ‘normal enough’ for everyone to expect thwe same from you as every one else,but ‘autistic enough’ to not always reach those expectations.
6) The above means that a LOT of things are your Fault. They are not actually your fault, but they are definetly your Fault.
7) If you do not notice that a girl is interested in you, it’s your Fault. Not theirs for not bothering to actually tell you.
8) If some one drops an experimently subtle hind and it goes over your head, it’s your Faul. Not theirs for not bothering to actually tell you.
9) If you ask people whether they want the last potato and every one says ‘no, that’s fine’, it’s your Fault if you take it. You should have read them correctly and interpreted their ‘no’ as a ‘yes’. Because that,s what normal people do,apparently.
10) We find it difficult to read people, and that’s our Fault. Meanhile other people find us difficult to read,and that,s Our Fault too.
11) 70% of people on the autism spectrum have some thing else as well (ADHD, dylexia, dyspraxia, for example). Some special need are often a bit of a Venn diagram.
12) Some people with autism are the nicest, most kind-hearted people you’ll ever meet. Other autistic people are dicks.You know, because we’re people.
13) Telling others about your autism is difficult.Sometime because they do not know what autism is ( or have cliched ideas), sometimes because they do not know you are well so they’ll see you as a walking syndrome, and sometimes because you are just bloody nervous about talking about it.
14) The correct category for me is ‘Asperger’s syndrome’ rather than ‘mild autism’. But it’s like using the phrase ‘sosial learning disorder’ either ,because it ends with the word ‘disorder’.
15) So if you are not going to tell people about your autism, the only way not to be seen as awkward or having poor interpersonal skills is to pretend to be like every one else. And when you fail because that’s not how your brain works, it’s your Fault.
16) Hinds don’t work.just bloody tell us.(Seriously, on my first ever date the girl wanted me to pay for her lunch,so instead of just asking me honestly she hinted that she didn’t have enough money for food and for the bus.Ijust smiled and said”don’t worry, cheesy chips are only 1.75!’ she did not appreciate it,even thought it was a walid response to what she had said.)
17) If Ido things at my own place and use my own methods,I invariably succeed. If i go at the place others tell to go or use something else’s methods,I can crash and burn rather horribly. Guess whose fault it is when i do.
18) Our spoken grammar ia not always up to scratch. I slur my words, and say them in the wrong order when I’m nervous. My last job interview (at a library) failed at the very first sentence when i started with “I think i am fit for this writer because I’m an aspiring …. oh, wait, let me start again.”
19) Eye contact is overrated.people say I act unnatural when I talk to them, but to me it,s unnatural to stare right inti someone,s eyeballs just because everyone else is doing it.
20) If we are taking a long time to phrase something correctly, bloody let us finish. Something it takes us a while.
21) Some of us (myself included) have a very slight slower processing speed: it might take us an extra second to realise you’ re jocking , for example.
22) I always take an extra second or two to start talking, for the above reason.In group of four or more people I’ve been known to ‘not talking’ for a full fifteen minutes despite always being a spilt-second away from breathing into speak before someone else beats me to it. It’s like being interrupted non-stop for fifteen minutes, except people don’t kno you want to speak so you’re not allowed to be annoyed with them.
23) The ‘talking things literally’ things is real.Obviously I know it’s not really raining cats and dogs,but if you say something that’s not an idiom I’ll assume that you mean it.
24) We’re great in bed.
25) Just kidding. We have a sense of humour too,you know!
26) Yes, we can be geeks. We excel it , and enjoy every minute.
27) It’s very easy for autistic people to misread someone’s signals, sometimes resulting in hilarious conseuences.
28) Then again, it’s very ,Very easy to accidentally trespass into someone’s comfort zone.I’ve lost a number of valued friends this way,as a teenager and as an adult. It’s a problem we want to cure ourselves of, but just can’t.
29) I’m not convinced that people with autism are naturally more susceptible to anxiety issues (some are, definetly, but so are some non-autistic people). I think the demands of a weird society push anxiety onto them. I had a very happy childhood, and didn’t suffer from anxiety untill people started telling me I was socially inferior.
30) Getting two bouts of therapy was NOT my Fault.It was other people’s for making me anxious about not meeting their social expectations, and not being bothered to meet me halfway.
31) Not all of us have the memory thing,but when we have it,boy do we have it.when I was in year2(7yearold)Idecided to brainstorm all the dinosaur specis from the memory.I stopped when i reached91.(I have a bunch of other examples that will either impress you or freak you out but I’ve know autistic people-some with real lwarning difficulties-who can tell you what the day was on April 17th 1962.)
Note-since I originally wrote this I learned the trick for myself.It was a Tuesday,if anyone cares.
32) If you think I,m ignoring you in the occasional conversation,please don,t take it personally.I can only focus for lengths of time on things I find genuinely interesting.(And even now – not being rude- I may truly care about you as a person,but not always about the subject at hand.Everyone has to endure conversations they are not interested in-i’m just the guy who can’t fak rest as convincingly as everyone else. This makes me rude ,rather than people who pull it off and succesfullytrick you .)
33) It’s easy to trick us as kids as a child i had no concept of other people. Lying to me ust beause they thought it would be funny.
34)I mentioned earlier that autistic people are very doiffernt to each other.So please don’t assume after reading this that everyone that mild autistic is a geek,or a maths wizard or can play great chess.Those are my own strengths, and other has strenghths that i do not.
35)Those who are further along the spectrum than me can often act up and some can even be aggressive.This is not because they are nasty- It’s standard response when the wild makes really anxious and you have not yet developed the social skills are coping strategies to deal with it.Counting to 10 only works with those who never get so anxious that they not count to 10.
36) Asperger’s is sometimes called ‘wrong planet sandrome’ beacuase its often feels like that’s where you were born-on the wrong planet among a bunch of alliens who donot function like you do so when i say that we are normal and you guys are weird, That really as how it feels!
37) Being born on a different planet can feel pretty isolating and lonely. especially if none of aliens understand your culture, are even think it’s something to be discouraged feared or cured.
38) There is no cure, by the way.There may be treatment to help us overcomes obstacles, but there is no cure for autism for the same reason there is no cure for having a brain at all.
39) Most of us do not want a cure yeah, It’d be nice to have better social skills but we’d rather not sacrifies the greater part of who we are in order to get them.
40) forty is one of my favourite numbers its in the 1,2,4,5,8,10,20 & 40 times tables which means you can use it for a load of different useful things I think 60 and 120 are more useful though, and I have soft sport for 72 and 24 since its nearly as useful as 72 but easier to work with.
41) We work better when things are specific sounds obvious, but the less margin of error there is the easier things are to do.
42) Like everybody else,autistic people shine when given the chance to play there strengths when the world dares to meet us halfway we do brilliantly.
43) Personally I’m like a way fast car with very slow accelration i’m capable of some great things, but it often takes me a while to get there.
44) Asperger’s did not stop me from beginning a maths degree,followed by a teaching degree.
45) Asperger’s did not stop me from becoming a primary school teacher.
46) Asperger’s did not stop me from captaining my local youth group for five years and counting, and being one of be youngest captained in the country (I was 25 when i took over).
47)Hopefully one way I’ll be saying’ Asperger’s did not stop me from publishing a book’.
48) People with autism, even in the most severe cases,know how to love and be loved in return.They express it differently,but they mean it.
49) Autistic people din’t need awareness.Everyone is Britain has already heard of autism.They need acceptance now.
since I originally posted this,I’ve had a little chance of heart.A friend pointed out that that knowing of a condition’s existence and understanding what it means are two totally different kinds of awareness, and she has a good point.Raising that second kind of awareness is one of the reasons behind this blogs,and that kind of awarenes usually leads to acceptance.
50) In general,autistic people are bloody awesome.
I hope this has done a little to inform any non-autistics reading this.