A brief intro and a question :)

Hi everyone, this is a bit daunting sharing myself with the wider community, but I hope I will be made welcome.

I am a (fairly) young person diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, so I'm not too badly affected compared to the low functional end of the spectrum, yet I do really struggle when it comes to lack of structure and sensory overload. 

Recently, through my education, I have had many people, whether it is said to me directly or overheard, say things about Autism that are plain cruel or wrong, so much so that I have decided to create a list of them that I eventually transform into a small awareness campaign for my school. (Seems ambitious but I'm up for it )

So what I want to know from you is: Has someone ever said something to you about Autism specifically that has upset you, and if so, would you mind sharing? It would be really useful for me.

Thank you ever so much,

Oliver Russell

Parents
  • "Everyone is a bit autistic" grates me. It downplays the condition. I've had it said to me as a way that was supposed to make me feel better!
    My biggest issue is that when I told my family, they all immediately denied it and cut me off. I now have zero contact with my parents/siblings - their choice. They always struggled with me anyway and I was isolated as a child from them. I guess this just gave them the final push to cut me off completely.

    On the bright side, my partner has gone to extreme lengths to understand me and what I go through daily - specifically with sensory issues. I don't explain them well, so she has spent hours watching videos, TED talks, etc and asking if any of those experiences relate to me - she communicates this to others for me.

    Telling people is always a 50/50 gamble. I have one friend I have known 30yrs being really supportive whereas others have just stopped talking to me.

    I've also had "you aren't autistic because you do XYZ", or "I know someone autistic and you're nothing like them"

    Some tips to help educate people:-

    "Everyone is a bit autistic" - similarly, everyone is a little bit pregnant.

    "I know someone with autism" - great! Now you know someone with autism, you know exactly one person with autism. Now go meet some more and say they are all the same!

    I don't know what to suggest for the "you're just weird" comments. I have had them all my life and it doesn't bother me. I met someone autistic at the weekend, in a pub with his dad. His dad said he was weird. His reply was "yeah I am, and I'm talking to someone else that's weird - you are drinking on your own!" Great comeback!

    BTW - some people will be offended by the "low functioning" comment. I have no idea what the PC phrase is.

    Also, rightly or wrongly, Aspergers is no longer a diagnosis. You are autistic. But you are high functioning. Which might offend some people. We can't win :D

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