Learning new things are the best part of daily life. And so many of us take the information we absorb for granted. People on the autism spectrum and autistic people in general are so much more attentive and appreciative of the simple things. When they have realizations and awakenings they take them to heart and implement them with so much more respect and ease, especially when in regards to adjusting to others.Redditor u/_uncle_phil wanted to see if the autistic people writing and reading on Reddit would be interested in sharing some of their new found wisdoms by asking.... [Serious] Autistic people of Reddit, what is a social norm that you've just recently found out about?
Look Awaythe rock wrestling GIF by WWEGiphy
I found out that holding extended eye contact is pretty much universally unappreciated. I always thought that giving full attention was respectful, but recently was told it comes off as the opposite. I've had to practice looking away at appropriate times. It's frustrating because I watch people for hyper-detailed body language, but conversations go better when I look away briefly for their comfort.
So Many ???????
For the longest time I never realized that when someone asks you a bunch of questions it's because they're trying to make conversation with you. I always just answered as briefly as possible like if it was a q&a or something. It kind of confused me that every new person I met was so interested in my life that they all wanted to know where I was from and what my favorite color of seven was. Now I realize how much of an ahole I actually came off as and why not many people wanted to talk to me.
Most recently, I realized that when I look down and hunch my shoulders inward, people think I don't want to be approached. Apparently it's not enough to have your body faced towards people, you also have to hold it a certain way or they think you don't want to talk to them.
I've had people comment on my body language, thinking I don't want to speak to them, when it's typically me just existing. If I don't want to talk someone I usually just respond with "yeah/no/haha" or something. I rarely ever use my body to express something. Nobody ever bothered explaining that to me!
Weather Chatwindy bill murray GIFGiphy
People talk about the weather a lot with strangers because everyone has it in common, and lots of people have opinions on it and from there it's easy to switch the conversation to something else so the conversation doesn't die.
"Say something. Anything"
I learned a few weeks ago that small talk and the occasional silence are okay and perfectly acceptable. Also, offering my input isn't always appropriate.
Being somewhere without someone talking unnerves me in a way that I don't know if I can ever describe. Like, we could be talking about whatever, sunshine and rainbows or whatever, and we run out of conversation, and they're totally fine with that, meanwhile, I'm about to have an anxiety attack if someone does start talking immediately. It feels like I'm about to be murdered right there and maybe worse.
It happened at a bar a few years ago where everyone had just stopped talking and I was freaking out.
I think the best example is from SpongeBob where he goes to Sandy's house and he starts thinking to himself "I don't need it" over and over again. Just change "I don't need it" to something like "Say something. Anything" and that kinda how I feel. Also, change the person I'm talking with from someone trustworthy and good to a poor Christian Grey and that's how I feel when no one is talking.
How to Talk
Both my parents have disabilities, while I don't.
My childhood and adolescence was weird as I had to unlearn a bunch of behaviors that were "normal" in my family, but which most people don't do.
Nobody in my family hugs, they prefer isolation and go without talking to one another for days, when they do talk it's a lot of "talking at", rather than "talking with".
We rarely left the house, we NEVER had people over.
High school was great for me because suddenly I found out I didn't have to feel lonely and bored all the time: I could have conversations and color and excitement and even just being out and about was so great.
Participating in conversations when introduced to new people. I don't really meet tons of new people, but sometimes a friend of mine will bring me to a place full of some friends I don't know. I was always just trying to be polite and not intrude. also drive-throughs. obviously I knew about them, but God do I hate them.
Until this year i couldn't even speak in a drive-thru. i found its something to do with being unable to see the person I'm talking to, which is probably why i cant call and order food or call a place to verify hours/inventory. good to know others struggle with this, and again used a persona to deal with the uncertainties of meeting new people.
I only learned how to respond to "how are you" when I was 21, and I still feel stressed by it every time to this day.
No so much newly discovered, but as someone who just started a professional "big kid" job, passive aggressiveness and me being expected to do more then asked of me drives me nuts. If I screwed up just tell me I screwed up and I won't do it again. That's how I learn and grow. But subtly hinting at me about something is going to go right over my head. Or instead of coming to me directly about a problem gossiping about me to your co workers. :/ that one sucks.
Also you ask me to do a task I will do said task, I'm not psychic, I can not predict what you need before you need it unless I have been working with you for a long time.
I also don't know how to argue stand up for myself very well. Like if I'm being criticized for something that was actually not my fault I always just nod and take it bc otherwise I feel like I'm just making up excuses.
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I found out that when someone asks you to go do something with them, and you sound hesitant, that when they say "Okay fine, don't come then"... they still want you to go. I thought they changed their mind but apparently it's just something people say when they're emotional.
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Autism, along with other neurological disorders, are often characterized as something they're not. It can be hard to explain to a neurotypical person, but all it takes is a willingness to learn. Here are some of the things that people with autism wish others would understand.
u/theBrD1 asked: [Serious] Autistic people of Reddit, what do you wish more people knew about Autism?
Sometimes things just need to be explained.
Something I wish my teachers knew when I was growing up; me avoiding eye contact doesn't mean I did whatever they accused me of, nor does it mean I don't feel sorry, and it's certainly not meant to be disrespectful. It's just that I don't do well with eye contact.
Also; I know my social skills aren't the best, and I do try to work on them. But not telling me when I do something wrong and thinking the mere fact you're upset with me should lead me to realize what I did wrong and how to do it better instead of just telling me isn't f*cking helping.
Things can be overwhelming.Giphy
Just because I can act "normal" a lot of the time does not mean that my autism doesn't affect me. The majority of my time spent with others is literally an act, and it's extremely mentally exhausting and emotionally draining to the point that I have frequent meltdowns when I'm finally alone and able to be myself again. This world wasn't made for me or people like me. When I work in customer service my bosses think I'm the perfect employee. I'm genuinely nice, always doing my best, a quick worker... They don't realize I had multiple panic attacks before work and that when I get off I'm so drained I go home and cry. It's so hard to keep up the act of being a "normal" human to the point that I don't know how much longer I can do this.
I just wanna say I really did not expect this amount of replies to my comment, and reading all of them has helped me realize I'm not alone in this. I was under the impression I probably wouldn't do well anywhere, but I'm going to look into some of these other jobs that people recommend and hopefully I can get my life back.
I wish people knew that not everyone with autism 'seems autistic' but that doesn't mean they don't struggle or don't have autism. Blending in, even though it may seem beneficial, just makes it worse for me because when you don't seem like you're struggling it's harder to get help, and when you do an 'autistic thing' people might think you're a freak.
Adults have autism too. Seemingly all services for autism are for children. It's ridiculously difficult for me to get and keep a job because of it, among other things, and that fact is usually overlooked.
Every case is different, you can't just assume it's the same with every person. It feel like everyone thinks people like us are just all socially awkward, but it can be a lot more then that
For example I have quite mild Aspergers syndrome and to most people I seem like everyone else, but I've met people with more severe cases that can't even speak and need constant help. Never assume every person with autism is the same.
To not be seen as lesser.
I wish more people understood how terrified I (and possibly others) are that it will bar us from jobs, opportunities and relationships - a normal life - because other people see us as lesser, as difficult/not worth managing or as broken. I feel like things are often harder just because people view me that way; it perpetuates itself.
We don't "look autistic." And telling us that is not a compliment.
"But, you're too pretty to be autistic" Yeah mate and you're too douchey to be around me.
Showing no signs.
A lot of people with autism show no outward signs of it. One of your friends, coworkers etc. could be autistic and you'd never notice anything strange about them. Maybe they're a bit shy or awkward in certain settings (in my case group conversations), but nothing major.
For those people autism isn't necessarily a disability. As such, there would be no reason to treat them any differently than others even when you do find out they are on the spectrum. As a general rule of thumb, don't assume anything about an autistic person. Find out what they're like and respond appropriately, don't assume they have the same strengths/struggles as your autistic nephew or an autistic celebrity or whatever
Edit: I should probably clarify that I am only speaking for a specific group within the community here; people who don't want or need special treatment (be it from friends or people with authority) just because they have autism. As an autistic person, that's how I feel. But there are also a lot of people with autism who depend on special treatment and couldn't survive without it, especially people with low functioning autism. It's a very broad spectrum. I never meant to imply that autism as a whole is not a disability.
Personally I think low functioning autism should be its own separate disorder with its own name, because it would avoid this kind of confusion, but that's a whole other discussion.
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I wish people knew how much different autism is on girls.
Researches on this topic are just beginning to be made. I'm not from the US, and in my country there isn't any research being done nor available in our language (so far I've only found resources in English), so there is A LOT of misinformation even between psychologists and other professionals.
Autistic kids grow into autistic adults. Just because we get better at not showing our autism doesn't mean we've "grown out of it", as many people think. It just means we've been forced to hide part of ourselves to fit in and oftentimes it comes at the cost of being able to fulfill all of our needs, or hell, even just being ourselves.
The Aspergian is a really great website written by aspies and other neurodivergent folk for aspies and other types of NDness. They have a lot of stuff relating to issues dealt with when you're on the spectrum as an adult in regards to symptoms, interaction, relationships, etc. And they also promote autistic artists as well. And Special Books By Special Kids is a really good channel with interviews with people of all abilities, including things like autism, ADHD, etc, as well as physical stuff too. It's a pretty great way to learn more about other people and how they want to be treated. As well as how they live their lives.
A New Jersey mom took to Facebook last week to share her heartwarming story thanking a group of teens who went out of their way to teach her autistic son how to ride a skateboard at a local park.
"You would never know by looking at him," Kristen Braconi shared on Facebook last week, but her 5-year-old Carter "has high functioning autism and ADHD."
On March 26th Braconi took her son Carter out on his birthday to ride his scooter at the skate park behind the police station in South Brunswick, NJ. when a group of locals teens showed up.
Carter was "really nervous" riding around the older kids and wanted to go home when the group went out of their way to include Carter and show him how to ride a skateboard.
"They were absolutely amazing with him and included him and were so beyond kind it brought me to tears," Braconi wrote. "One of the kids gave him a mini skateboard and taught him how to use it. I can't even begin to thank these kids for being so kind and showing him how wonderful people can be to complete strangers."
As the teens sang Happy Birthday to Carter and showed him how to ride his new board, Braconi captured video of the the heartwarming encounter which she later shared on her community's Facebook page.
Kind kids in South Brunswick www.youtube.com
In an interview with South Brunswick news outlet Patch, Braconi says Carter was so happy that days later he is still watching the video.
"They made him feel so special," said Braconi. "After they included him, his whole demeanor changed. He seems more confident now and I think more comfortable to be at the park. Hopefully he will feel like he can be more social."
Braconi and Carter eventually left the park but returned shortly with ice cream as a way of thanking the teens.
Braconi ended her post saying "Thank you to whoever these children are and thank you to their parents because you are doing a wonderful job!!!"
The post has since gone viral and users across social media were touched by the heartwarming story.
@CNN Thats just awesome... https://t.co/NZTMMbVROZ— The Crapper (@The Crapper)1554219309.0
@CNN Warms my heart.— Carolyn (@Carolyn)1554220759.0
@CNN @mtlkeith Everyone benefits from this 💙 this is where we all need to get to soon 💙— thebaffledking (@thebaffledking)1554224612.0
@CNN https://t.co/dFr7JNDDSJ— Eric L. (@Eric L.)1554272804.0
@CNN https://t.co/y1c196zjoh— Tiffany Marie (@Tiffany Marie)1554224542.0
And others joined Braconi in praising the teens for the kindness shown in going out of their way to include Carter.
@CNN https://t.co/U4WEBn61R5— Sunil Sunder Raj (@Sunil Sunder Raj)1554216807.0
@CNN Skateboarding is life!!! Great job guys!!— Bobby Holcomb (@Bobby Holcomb)1554255003.0
Now the the South Brunswick Police Department is hoping to find the group of teens in order to throw them a pizza party.
LOOKING TO FIND SOME SUPERHEROES - On Tuesday some older kids turned into superheroes right behind police headquart… https://t.co/3XYfTi3veT— So Brunswick PD (@So Brunswick PD)1553775394.0
He was in the park on a scooter, some older kids showed up. The older kids went out of the way to include the 5 yea… https://t.co/k7GpQTciTr— So Brunswick PD (@So Brunswick PD)1553775395.0
These kids showed the care and compassion of Superheroes. We want to throw them a little pizza party to recognize t… https://t.co/OdxPqBlDHV— So Brunswick PD (@So Brunswick PD)1553775396.0
It just goes to show that a little kindness can go a very long way.
@SoBrunswickPD Thank you to all involved, great group of kids and cheers to all those who recognized them.— braddipadova (@braddipadova)1554132642.0
Author Shares Powerful Thread About The Importance Of 'Autism Acceptance' On World Autism Awareness Day
Marieke Nijkamp, the author of successful young adult novels like This is Where It Ends and Before I Let Go, happens to be autistic. And on World Autism Awareness Day, she had plenty to say about the importance of autism acceptance.
Nijkamp kept it very simple, compiling her thoughts in a series of "reminders" on Twitter.
"It's that time of year!" she wrote in part.
It's that time of year again! #WorldAutismAwarenessDay! *extremely sarcastic voice* yay Here are your annual reminders:— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201118.0
Reminder 1: Acceptance is more valuable than awareness.
1. We need acceptance, not awareness. We want acceptance of our voices and our stories and our lives. We deserve acceptance.— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201141.0
Reminder 2: Listen.
2. Listen to #ActuallyAutistic advocates. Boost our voices. Listen to what we have to say. Boost #ActuallyAutistic… https://t.co/DJDYSbuEwW— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201247.0
Reminder 3: Avoid Autism Speaks like the plague.
3. Don't #LightItUpBlue. Don't. Do not. LIUB is the signature campaign of Autism Speaks. The same AS that consiste… https://t.co/AkFFPttThK— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201281.0
Reminder 4: Seriously: Avoid Autism Speaks.
4. Autism Speaks doesn't speak for us. Non-autistic voices shouldn't speak over us. Listen. Listen. Listen.— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201296.0
Reminder 5: Watch the way you frame the conversation.
5. Don't speak of autism as a burden. Don't speak of autism as a tragedy. Don't speak of autism as an inspiration,… https://t.co/SQtNc2Ek29— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201338.0
Reminder 6: "Do speak of autism as simply another neurotype."
6. Do speak of autism as simply another neurotype. Another way of interacting with the world. Recognize where we ca… https://t.co/xoq1e7r8hq— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201372.0
Reminder 7: "Educate yourself."
7. Educate yourself. Ask yourself what YOU can do to make YOUR world more accessible to the neurodiverse people ar… https://t.co/0s2aCJw40D— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201423.0
Reminder 8: Pseudoscience deserves to be called out.
8. If you do wish to talk tragedies, talk about lack of access and acceptance. Talk about ableism. Talk about cure… https://t.co/iGUVB25ujm— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201717.0
Reminder 9: Oh yeah, and about vaccines...
9. VACCINES. DON'T. CAUSE. AUTISM. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS.— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201734.0
Reminder 10: Change the way you celebrate.
10. Celebrate #WorldAutismAcceptanceDay today instead. And then celebrate it tomorrow too.— Marieke Nijkamp (@Marieke Nijkamp)1554201823.0
Nijkamp knows what she's talking about––and her thread was a hit.
@mariekeyn Thank you for this. I want to print out this thread and hand out copies. Here in the PNW where kids are… https://t.co/P6SvbEypl0— Ashley THX-1138 (@Ashley THX-1138)1554215503.0
@mariekeyn Thank you so much for this thread--for me and my kids. Sometimes it's hard for us to articulate, but you… https://t.co/PBpSc4FvlA— K. A. Reynolds is writing fierce fantastical girls (@K. A. Reynolds is writing fierce fantastical girls)1554202916.0
@mariekeyn This thread is beautiful. It’s like you sat inside my brain this morning and then summarized it in Twitt… https://t.co/cG2gT2ds3A— Amanda Morin (@Amanda Morin)1554206584.0
@mariekeyn Thank you. As soon as I saw that hashtag I thought "oh, yay, the people who think autism is a curse hav… https://t.co/iDFpZo8hlY— (((Sarah))) (@(((Sarah))))1554232244.0
@mariekeyn Thank you so much for this thread! Everyday is a new learning experience with our son but we wouldn’t ha… https://t.co/sDaaanFBFv— Arch Heretic Subtle (@Arch Heretic Subtle)1554230037.0
@mariekeyn THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for this!! It is like your took my inner most thoughts and so eloq… https://t.co/kYtsc8t1lT— Lauren Elizabeth 🌹 (@Lauren Elizabeth 🌹)1554221936.0
@mariekeyn I am a vision and hearing impaired autisic student. I’m struggling to find my voice in the face of adver… https://t.co/m8ixcPg4XG— Taylor Fraasch (@Taylor Fraasch)1554227452.0
This is the way it should be done, folks. We're tempted to print out copies of this thread ourselves and tape them to telephone poles and other public surfaces.
Get ready, everyone. Here's the validation that you anticipated.
A study of more than 650,000 people in Denmark found no link between being vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella and developing autism. The study is the largest of its kind and discounts a tiny study "published more than 20 years ago that has since been expunged from the medical literature," according to one report.
This is a comprehensive study which shows the MMR vaccine does not cause autism. How about we make this go viral? https://t.co/tYoGKYv8mc— Sheera Frenkel (@Sheera Frenkel)1551762327.0
The results, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was conducted by researchers at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, give us insight into the scope of this study, which involved 657,461 Danish children born between 1999 and 2010. Some of the researchers involved in this study published an earlier article on this same topic in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. That study based its data from 537,303 Danish children born between 1991 and 1998.
According to Anders Hviid, one of the researchers involved in the study, conducting similar research was important because the concerns from a very vocal minority that there could be a link between vaccines and autism is as present as ever.
"The idea that vaccines cause autism is still going around. And the anti-vaxx movement, if anything, has perhaps only grown stronger over the last 15 years. The trend that we're seeing is worrying."
Hviid notes that the size of the study allowed researchers to investigate other claims that are made about MMR vaccine, such as a rather common one: That children already considered "at risk" for developing autism could develop the condition by receiving the vaccine. The same argument has also been made in cases of children who have autistic siblings.
Guess what? No connection. At all.
As Hviid and his co-authors wrote:
"We found no support for the hypothesis of increased risk for autism after MMR vaccination in … Danish children; no support for the hypothesis of MMR vaccination triggering autism in susceptible subgroups characterized by environmental and familial risk factors; and no support for a clustering of autism cases in specific time periods after MMR vaccination."
If you're wondering how such nonsense began, you have Andrew Wakefield to thank.
Wakefield is a discredited former British gastroenterologist who was the lead author of a fraudulent research paper claiming that there was a link between MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease.
In fact, this latest study found that MMR vaccine decreases the risk of autism in certain subgroups, dealing yet another blow to Wakefield's "work."
That's a relief, right? You bet.
My favorite thing about the new autism/vaccine study was that it actually found that in many subgroups vaccination… https://t.co/RIoW0mHPuw— Health Nerd (@Health Nerd)1551820511.0
🚨A massive study of 657,461 children, in which 6,517 kids were diagnosed with #autism, shows that kids who received… https://t.co/OU6oHDl2Lr— Dr. Dena Grayson (@Dr. Dena Grayson)1551794038.0
Again: MMR Vaccines Don't Cause Autism Now confirmed by biggest study of 657,461 Danish children. Remarkably, MMR v… https://t.co/5IJyDGQd4F— Bjorn Lomborg (@Bjorn Lomborg)1551777438.0
A major decade-long study has found there is no link between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and autism. Examined… https://t.co/9lOpRyVbpK— C. S. Prakash (@C. S. Prakash)1551749809.0
This news comes as reports of the consequences of anti-vaccination rhetoric continue to roll in. At this very moment, the United States is grappling with six separate measles outbreaks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that there were 206 cases reported in January and February. That amount is higher than all of the measles cases reported during 2017.
Get out there and vaccinate your kids, people! Science has spoken!