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LokiofSassgard
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13 Nov 2014, 4:28 pm

Do you ever run into people who tell you that you don't have autism or seem autistic? I was just curious about the experiences you guys have had with this.

I run into it all of the time. People are often telling me I don't act autistic. I am actually very social, yet my social skills are awkward and odd for my age. I don't really act autistic because I'm very mild compared to most people. I once had a nurse deal with one of my massive meltdowns. She said because I'm nonverbal that I can't be that autistic. It was absolutely tramautic for me because she didn't understand my needs at all.

So, do you ever run into this problem?


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llee
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13 Nov 2014, 4:34 pm

No, but I was told I might be autistic when I'm probably not! Ha.



Callista
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13 Nov 2014, 4:36 pm

The stereotype of autism being necessarily severe and obvious is still floating around in quite a lot of places, and many people think of autism as something that must be extreme and immediately apparent to the casual observer. Most depictions of autism are also of young children with autism--the same young children that, later in life, will learn enough to become much more independent and less obviously autistic than they are at that young age.

If someone believes that autistic people can't talk, can't be intelligent, can't be talented (unless it's a savant skill), can't seem normal in a casual conversation, can't be extroverted, can't live independently, then yeah--if you have any of those traits (the majority of autistics do), they'll think you can't be that autistic.

But of course in reality, autism goes from quite mild to profound, and some autism can be nearly invisible, apparent only after a long period of interaction with the person. Even though mild autism isn't the stereotypical thing that people think of when they think autism, it's still a disability, it's still real, and by definition it involves impairment for you. It's just that people don't understand that disability in general and autism in particular can be mild or invisible.

Some people will even say, "You don't look autistic," as a compliment, because they believe that being autistic must make you very sad, and so telling you that you aren't THAT autistic must cheer you up. Most of us probably just find it irritating.


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DevilKisses
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13 Nov 2014, 4:36 pm

llee wrote:
No, but I was told I might be autistic when I'm probably not! Ha.

Me too. I was diagnosed with autism when I was a kid, but I don't think I'm really autistic.


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Callista
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13 Nov 2014, 4:39 pm

Go figure. There are people who desperately need a diagnosis, are struggling to survive, and then there are people with an autism label who don't need one and shouldn't have one. Maybe they can just arrange to swap places or something.

Not that it can't be a bit uncomfortable to be in between like that, with autistic traits but without disability. Sure, it makes you a good interpreter from one group to the other, but it can mean you don't quite fit in with either. If that's not your experience, if you actually fit in just fine, then you're lucky, but I can imagine it would be easy to feel awkward in the middle between autistic and not.


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Dillogic
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13 Nov 2014, 4:47 pm

If you run into people in the first place, and you get a conversation going and share that you have autism with said people, you:

probably don't have autism



Zajie
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13 Nov 2014, 5:29 pm

I think there were a few times when this happened to me but it rarely happens



LokiofSassgard
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13 Nov 2014, 6:19 pm

Dillogic wrote:
If you run into people in the first place, and you get a conversation going and share that you have autism with said people, you:

probably don't have autism


The one time my autism was brought up was when my mom was friends with this woman. My mom was the one that brought up me being autistic, not myself. That's when the friend said that I don't act autistic. My mom has a tendency to tell every single person I'm autistic, and then after I met them, they find it hard to believe. -_- I've tried telling her to just tell the people that need to know I have it like I don't know... I guess if something autistic-related came up for me, then yeah... by all means tell them. If it's just a friend or someone, it's not their business because they don't need to know.

I don't tell people I have autism unless of course maybe online though. I can be reserved and shy online as well as offline.


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MadHatterMatador
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13 Nov 2014, 6:41 pm

Dillogic wrote:
If you run into people in the first place, and you get a conversation going and share that you have autism with said people, you:

probably don't have autism


If you tell people you're autistic, you're not autistic?


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jenisautistic
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13 Nov 2014, 6:45 pm

my family is in denial put thats old news.


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WerewolfPoet
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13 Nov 2014, 7:28 pm

Callista wrote:
Not that it can't be a bit uncomfortable to be in between like that, with autistic traits but without disability. Sure, it makes you a good interpreter from one group to the other, but it can mean you don't quite fit in with either. If that's not your experience, if you actually fit in just fine, then you're lucky, but I can imagine it would be easy to feel awkward in the middle between autistic and not.


Image
[Replace "He" with whatever gender pronoun is appropriate.]

But, yes, I do get told that I can't be autistic because I'm too "intelligent"/friendly (I'm not exactly "outgoing", per say, but I'll carry on a conversation if someone initiate one)/not having a severe meltdown at the moment that the topic is being brought up (though, to be fair, my actually being or not being autistic has never been fully resolved in the form of an official, paperwork diagnosis, though I've been told by various professionals that I "seem to have enough symptoms to qualify as having an autistic spectrum disorder"). Regardless of where one may or may not fall on the paperwork side of things, people really need to be careful and as tactful as possible when suggesting that someone is not a label that they identify with.

[Edit: although, come to think of it, Callista is correct often enough to deserve her own Morgan Freeman meme:
Image ]


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Woodpecker
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14 Nov 2014, 12:11 am

I would like to know to know if those who question the diagnosis of others apply their distrust of a diagnosis to all conditions,

Such as heart disease, asthma, cancer and even the self DXed "common cold" ?


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Callista
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14 Nov 2014, 12:33 am

MadHatterMatador wrote:
Dillogic wrote:
If you run into people in the first place, and you get a conversation going and share that you have autism with said people, you:

probably don't have autism


If you tell people you're autistic, you're not autistic?
I think if you go up to a stranger, start talking, and share that you have autism, you probably do have autism--you're probably an autistic without social anxiety and an active-but-odd social interaction style, the kind of autistic who will talk to anyone and everyone and probably dump a half hour lecture on them if they stand still long enough. Not every autistic person has problems initiating conversations. Some have so little social inhibition that they will happily start conversations with people they are not "supposed" to start conversations with, for example with strangers in a waiting room, and share things that most people would consider personal, like an autism diagnosis.

Autistic people interact in many atypical ways. They ignore others, or seem very formal, or have one-sided conversations, or cross social boundaries, or trust total strangers, or constantly bring up their special interests. As we get older, we get better at communicating, and many of us learn the give-and-take of conversation. It's a learned skill, though, and it always takes a lot of effort. It is like saying, "You've learned to read, so you're not dyslexic," when the dyslexic person still has to work very hard to read.


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Waterfalls
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14 Nov 2014, 7:05 am

Oh. Am I not supposed to start a conversation with a stranger in a waiting room?

I did not know that.

It's a mostly rule, or is that an always rule?



Lukecash12
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14 Nov 2014, 7:19 am

Waterfalls wrote:
Oh. Am I not supposed to start a conversation with a stranger in a waiting room?

I did not know that.

It's a mostly rule, or is that an always rule?


Depending on where you live and the entirely unpredictable factor of who that person is, it can be deemed "inappropriate" or just make that person uncomfortable. In other countries like the Philippines, though, people are usually excited that you would want to talk to them and are very warm acquaintances.


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