The month of April is best known for the explosion of Easter Bunnies, obscene amounts of chocolate as gifts for children and a magnificent feast to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. To many people April is Easter, They plan, they organise, many months in advance sometimes, Children have the time of their lives, gorging on chocolate, receiving gifts from extended family members, but to me, April is Autism Awareness month.
So to celebrate this, I am going to dedicate my blog for a whole month to families who wish to share their Autism Journey with you. Some of these people have autism themselves, some are autistic parents to autistic children. We have teachers with autistic students and even Bloggers who want share their journey with me, which I am very grateful for.
And we are odd?
One of the very reasons that both my daughter and I got diagnosed later than we probably should have done is because, well, to us, the things that make us ‘different’ to society, are our ‘normal’.
Since we have both been diagnosed I have been baffled by the things that are considered social communication or social interaction ‘issues’.
* Being too honest.
Hang on! What happened to ‘honesty is the best policy’?! Also why do non-autistic people ask an autistic person for their opinion and then get upset when we give it? It isn’t easy to understand when that rule applies and when it doesn’t, and shouldn’t it really apply all the time considering that we are told from a young age that lying is bad?
* Talking and taking things literally
In an already confusing world, why would people say things that have multiple meanings? Unless you want people to misunderstand but then what is the point in intentionally causing miscommunication… ?!?
* Difficulties with small talk
This is one that I try to explain to non autistic people about breaking down what they do and showing them how strange it is to do small talk the way they do:
A: How are you?
B: Fine, you?
Actually ‘A’ would be baffled if ‘B’ had of told the truth, they may not be fine, but it is a conditioned response. ‘B’ asks in return out of ‘courtesy’ hoping that ‘A’ says ‘fine’ because that is how it is done.
A: Fine thanks, wow it is raining outside, did you get here ok?
B: yeah the rain is bad, I got here ok, you?
‘A’ knows full well ‘B’ saw the rain as they came to the same place, and obviously got there ok, because they are there and they are ok!
But apparently autistic people not understanding the point of this interaction is odd! I mean, do non-autistic people even understand the point in this?
* Eye contact (lack of)
Why is it not considered more odd to stare at other people’s eyes? If people said what they mean then people wouldn’t have to try and convey meaning by expression!
* Not liking physical contact
Well, I don’t go into the shop and hug and kiss the cashier because we have had enforced social interaction, why do family insist that it is essential that we hug on seeing and leaving eachother? Sometimes that can just be more enforced social interaction, I never asked to be one of 5 kids!!! (haha)
There are tons more and if you are not autistic, next time you witness social interaction and communication, see if you can break it down and see if you can see it from an autistic person’s point of view- you may just find it a little entertaining!
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