Reaction to my diagnosis. Everyone is autistic!

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fleeced
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16 Sep 2014, 12:59 pm

Finally diagnosed and the few people I have told reacted by saying things like everyone is autistic / we are all on the spectrum and that they think they are autistic themselves.

Wondered how true this is?


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LokiofSassgard
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16 Sep 2014, 1:02 pm

People who say that don't understand the true nature of autism. Don't listen to what they tell you. I do agree that in some way, NTs have the same traits. However, they don't react to them the same way we do everyday. Like, you don't see an NT covering their ears or melting down because they are overloaded or stimming such as rocking or flapping their arms, right? That's because NTs have proper control over these things than what us autistics do.


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skibum
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16 Sep 2014, 1:08 pm

If everyone were Autistic, there would be no need to get diagnosed.

The Autistic brain is actually physiologically different from the neurotypical brain. It is an actual different brain with different neurology. We respond to things the way we do because our brains are different and the process things differently than nuerotypical brains. If everyone processed things the same way, there would be no Autism diagnosis at all. And like Loki said, anyone who would say such a thing has no idea of what it is like to process things in an Autistic way. If they did the world would be very different. People who say that to me make me want to slap them.

Here is a good analogy. Have you ever had a light sniffle that was just a bit annoying but other than that it did not bother you at all? Maybe you just had to wipe your nose every now and then but that was it? Then have you had an all out flu where you can't even move or get out of bed where every single movement is agony and you have a fever and chills and you are sneezing an coughing and your ribs and abdomen are sore from all the coughing and you can't eat because you get nauseous and lights and sounds bother you and you can't go to work or school or do anything and you can't even think straight and all you can do is lie there and wish it was over? How would you respond if the person with the little insignificant sniffle said, "You and I have the same thing?" as he was coming back from a night out at the bar after going to work or school with no problem other than just having to carry a little tissue in his pocket? I think it would be obvious that you don't have the same thing. So NT's have the sniffles, yes that can be annoying to them at times but Autistic people have the full blown out flu which is debilitating and impairs their every day lives. Hope that analogy helps.


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Last edited by skibum on 16 Sep 2014, 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Charloz
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16 Sep 2014, 1:13 pm

I like to tell myself everybody is autistic some way or another. Nobody is 100% normal, it simply doesn't exist. We all cope in our ways and to our own abilities. And just as some things we have trouble with, an NT may find easy? Some things we find easy, an NT has issues with. Because nobody is perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and these strengths and weaknesses, tips and tops, often cross the borders of spectrum's, of norms, of standards.



kdm1984
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16 Sep 2014, 1:13 pm

Loki is correct. These people have a shallow, broad understanding of what autism is, and thus don't have the information backing with which to make a proper, more analytic conclusion. It's like when people say they are not a Myers-Briggs type, or that personality constructs don't exist, because of reasons like, "well, everybody introverts or extroverts at certain times." Yes, but that doesn't negate the scale itself - you either favor one thing or the other, more often than not.

In terms of autism, there are specific criteria established that interfere with success at work, relationships, etc. I have problems with tact, initiating conversations, reading social cues, understanding propioception, etc. to a far greater extent than non-autistics, and it's caused difficulty especially at work, to a far greater extent, than what people who don't have autism have to go through. The fact that such people might occasionally make a social gaffe is not to the same degree or scale as what constitutes autism.

Of course, you might not be able to explain this to people. Sometimes nothing you say, however carefully thought out, is enough to convince people. One person once told me I'd do well in my job if only I "thought positive thoughts more." She didn't understand my specific problems with processing information, etc., no matter how much I tried to break it down for her. Face it: we live in the one-liner Facebook society where anything and everything that can't be broken down to a Joel Osteen quote is hard for people to comprehend. :roll:



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16 Sep 2014, 1:18 pm

people who say 'everyone is autistic' in a nice manner are probably trying to make the person feel ok and not abnormal,it tends to be said to people with very mild HFA rather than those whose autism is more recogniseable to the eye-probably because they are closest to NTs themselves and the person saying 'everyone is autistic' can relate to them quite well.


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16 Sep 2014, 1:18 pm

fleeced wrote:
Finally diagnosed and the few people I have told reacted by saying things like everyone is autistic / we are all on the spectrum and that they think they are autistic themselves.

Wondered how true this is?


What do these people think its a cool club you can just join? lol...no everyone is not autistic most people are actually neurotypical, in order to be on the autism spectrum you have to fit the diagnostic criteria and have significant impairments in functioning. So yeah I think those people need to take a step back look at themselves as individuals instead of trying to include themselves in your diagnoses and trying to say everyones on the autism spectrum.


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16 Sep 2014, 1:22 pm

Charloz, I really loathe having to say this and I have never said it on this forum before and I apologize for feeling this way, but your comments are starting to piss me off. I know you mean well. I really believe that. Honestly I do and I want to give you all the benefit of the doubt. But from reading your comments I really think you need to become more educated on Autism/Asperger's and really understand how people are affected. I just don't think you realize the impact of the how hurtful your comments are and they are based on ignorance. You say you want to help people understand Autism and you are concerned about its rep. I think you should focus on how people are affected by it and how they are very impaired by it. Anyone who thinks everyone has a little bit of Autism has no idea what Autism is. You need to learn. It would do you good. If you want to help Autistic people and the rep of Autism do it from a platform of truth not from these ignorant, hurtful, insensitive statements which only prove that you have no understanding.

I am thinking that all of your interest in helping the rep of Autism is purely based on your insecurities because you are embarrassed to be seen as anything less that what society considers "normal." Rather than trying to fix us, I suggest you work on getting more self esteem and feeling more secure about who you are.


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Last edited by skibum on 16 Sep 2014, 1:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

qFox
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16 Sep 2014, 1:22 pm

Most people do not understand the severity of autism, some even think it's just being shy. That is understandable because most people do not bother to get to know someone with autism, so all they see is the outside picture and that is usually someone just being shy or panicky with the occasional odd quirks ( of course there are more severe cases where it's more visible but they are not the norm ).

This is almost always the case in the general public: people make assumptions and prejudice about different people and different cultures that are foreign to them. The painful thing is that you almost never get the chance to show your real self because people only see you as autistic and do not want to bother with you. If people were a little more open they would see behind even the most shy human is a unique and interesting person that can flourish if nurtured, but will wither if left alone into social isolation.

The biggest difference between autism and general anxiety is that the brain of someone with autism is actually physically different, processing visual and auditory signals differently than a normal brain. This has much bigger implications than just the social aspect which is in almost all cases severely impaired. Anxiety is something you can fully overcome while a structural difference in the brain is something that is impossible to overcome, you can only adapt and learn to live better with it.

This reminds me of a lot of people complaining when they have a bad day saying they are depressed, they have no idea what a real depression is so they simply relate it back to their own experience and make assumptions from there. This happens a lot simply out of ignorance.



Last edited by qFox on 16 Sep 2014, 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

fleeced
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16 Sep 2014, 1:25 pm

I do feel like slapping them. I was searching for 30 years for an answer before finally being diagnosed.


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16 Sep 2014, 1:29 pm

Buy a red car and, suddenly, all the cars on the road are red, too. Normalcy bias is amazing sometimes. But, this was also bound to happen given the definitions of the autism spectrum and a bit of imagination.


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16 Sep 2014, 1:30 pm

KingdomOfRats wrote:
people who say 'everyone is autistic' in a nice manner are probably trying to make the person feel ok and not abnormal,it tends to be said to people with very mild HFA rather than those whose autism is more recogniseable to the eye-probably because they are closest to NTs themselves and the person saying 'everyone is autistic' can relate to them quite well.
That may be true and yes, the intent might be one of trying to be compassionate and I commend that. The problem is that when you are high functioning and someone says that to you, it makes it much harder for you and it has the opposite effect that the person wants it to have because it completely minimizes, trivializes, and invalidates your issues and how you suffer from them. And if you are very high functioning and people say that then no one tends to believe you when you are really suffering. And since high functioning people tend to have such a problem with that to begin with it only makes it worse.

The second problem which comes from that is that if everyone has a bit of Autism, the High functioning truly Autistic/Aspergian person is then expected to be able to recover as well and as quickly as an NT or to be able to overcome an issue just like any NT might be able to. Then if we can't do it we get put down because of that. Then we feel like our issues have added another layer that we can't overcome. At least I feel that way, I can only speak for myself in that regard.


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KingdomOfRats
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16 Sep 2014, 1:46 pm

skibum wrote:
KingdomOfRats wrote:
people who say 'everyone is autistic' in a nice manner are probably trying to make the person feel ok and not abnormal,it tends to be said to people with very mild HFA rather than those whose autism is more recogniseable to the eye-probably because they are closest to NTs themselves and the person saying 'everyone is autistic' can relate to them quite well.
That may be true and yes, the intent might be one of trying to be compassionate and I commend that. The problem is that when you are high functioning and someone says that to you, it makes it much harder for you and it has the opposite effect that the person wants it to have because it completely minimizes and invalidates your issues and how you suffer from them. And if you are very high functioning and people say that then no one tends to believe you when you are really suffering. And since high functioning people tend to have such a problem with that to begin with it only makes it worse.

The second problem which comes from that is that if everyone has a bit of Autism, the High functioning truly Autistic/Aspergian person is then expected to be able to recover as well and as quickly as an NT or to be able to overcome an issue just like any NT might be able to. Then if we can't do it we get put down because of that. Then we feel like our issues have added another layer that we can't overcome. At least I feel that way, I can only speak for myself in that regard.

hi skibum,
oh definitely-denying a part of someone is dehumanizing,its taking away a part that makes them; them.
am very much against the 'everyone is autistic' BS but do try to see why people may use it in the hope of understanding and not disliking them.


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>severely autistic.
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blogging from the view of an ex institutionalised autism/ID activist now in community care.
>>>help to keep bullying off our community,report it!


calstar2
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16 Sep 2014, 1:47 pm

I would undoubtedly lose my temper if somebody said this to me and honestly just reading this has me upset a bit. Prepare to read a hard to follow post haha.

I hate when people try to normalize certain things. I've read things Temple Grandin has said about __% of ____ is likely on the spectrum using it as an example for something. I assume and hope that when things like this are said they are including people way close to the line of NT. Except, if your functioning is not impaired then I don't see why you'd feel the need to label it as autism. On the surface, to people who don't know me well, they'd probably never ever think that I have the trouble that I do with simple daily tasks like cleaning, hygiene practices, and trying to not burst into tears when it comes to sensory problems. They see somebody they can somewhat relate to and maybe a few traits that they can somewhat relate to independently, but they miss the big picture.


**EDIT Went to look for the Temple quote-

MC: What are some commonly held myths about autism?

TG: One is that all people are savants like ?Rain Man.? That maybe is only 10 percent of people with autism. That is a myth. Probably half of the people in Silicon Valley have a little bit of autism.



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16 Sep 2014, 2:04 pm

KingdomOfRats wrote:
skibum wrote:
KingdomOfRats wrote:
people who say 'everyone is autistic' in a nice manner are probably trying to make the person feel ok and not abnormal,it tends to be said to people with very mild HFA rather than those whose autism is more recogniseable to the eye-probably because they are closest to NTs themselves and the person saying 'everyone is autistic' can relate to them quite well.
That may be true and yes, the intent might be one of trying to be compassionate and I commend that. The problem is that when you are high functioning and someone says that to you, it makes it much harder for you and it has the opposite effect that the person wants it to have because it completely minimizes and invalidates your issues and how you suffer from them. And if you are very high functioning and people say that then no one tends to believe you when you are really suffering. And since high functioning people tend to have such a problem with that to begin with it only makes it worse.

The second problem which comes from that is that if everyone has a bit of Autism, the High functioning truly Autistic/Aspergian person is then expected to be able to recover as well and as quickly as an NT or to be able to overcome an issue just like any NT might be able to. Then if we can't do it we get put down because of that. Then we feel like our issues have added another layer that we can't overcome. At least I feel that way, I can only speak for myself in that regard.

hi skibum,
oh definitely-denying a part of someone is dehumanizing,its taking away a part that makes them; them.
am very much against the 'everyone is autistic' BS but do try to see why people may use it in the hope of understanding and not disliking them.
KOR, You are one of the most supportive people I know and you support everyone on the Spectrum no matter how low or high functioning they are. I knew that you did not support that Everyone is Autistic crap but I just wanted to make sure that other people did not misunderstand your post and think that somehow you might. But I know that I can always count on you for support and understanding and I hope you feel the same towards me. :)


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16 Sep 2014, 2:14 pm

When people say "everyone's a little autistic", do they actually mean that? Because if they do, that's ridiculous. And belittling. I'm not sure what I'd say if someone told me that. I know I'd get very annoyed though.