Dealing w/ people who argue about suspected ASD

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Ceallaigh
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23 Jan 2021, 9:48 pm

Maybe this is a big reason to get a diagnosis, so you can shut arguers up. Until then, how do you handle well-meaning people who argue that you couldn't be on the spectrum without being rude? I've heard all sorts of stupid reasons as I'm sure everyone has. It makes me feel invalidated and belittled. My problem is that I can't remember the facts. I can't even remember a lot of the details about MY SHOW, like I am obsessed with it and have a list of the details that I look at, or fact-keeper friends that I ask. Because of that, I've always been treated by NTs like I'm less intelligent. Many don't men to be hurtful, they just are. :( So, does anyone have a quick, standard response they use that shuts people up without calling them out for being ignorant. I figure those who are regularly in my life will be schooled soon enough once I have (assuming I do) a diagnosis.



IsabellaLinton
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23 Jan 2021, 9:53 pm

"You're a licensed autism diagnostician? I didn't know. Where did you get your doctorate?"



NorthWind
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24 Jan 2021, 3:26 am

A diagnosis will probably help with this, but some people might still tell you that you can't possibly be autistic and that you were misdiagnosed.

Pretty much all you can do is explain to them that they're not autism experts, probably just know autism from some stereotypical depictions in movies or from a very obviously autistc person they've met if they've ever met one and that the condition is a lot more diverse than they think. Maybe explain to them that many social things that are intuitive to them take a lot more effort and conscious thinking for you (if that's true for you) or give them an example of a symptom you have that's something they won't perceive as 'normal' (although this can be tricky as a tiny bit of pretty much anything can be 'normal' and you'd need to convey the unusual extent). If you figure out one good example you can use beforehand you might not have the problem of needing to remember the whole diagnostic criteria in the moment.



kitesandtrainsandcats
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24 Jan 2021, 3:43 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
"You're a licensed autism diagnostician? I didn't know. Where did you get your doctorate?"

That inspires an idea on your theme;
"You're a licensed autism diagnostician? I didn't know. Cool! What insurances do you take? I can be at your office next Wednesday afternoon!"
:D


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AndiBern
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24 Jan 2021, 4:36 am

Ceallaigh wrote:
Maybe this is a big reason to get a diagnosis, so you can shut arguers up. Until then, how do you handle well-meaning people who argue that you couldn't be on the spectrum without being rude? I've heard all sorts of stupid reasons as I'm sure everyone has. It makes me feel invalidated and belittled. My problem is that I can't remember the facts. I can't even remember a lot of the details about MY SHOW, like I am obsessed with it and have a list of the details that I look at, or fact-keeper friends that I ask. Because of that, I've always been treated by NTs like I'm less intelligent. Many don't men to be hurtful, they just are. :( So, does anyone have a quick, standard response they use that shuts people up without calling them out for being ignorant. I figure those who are regularly in my life will be schooled soon enough once I have (assuming I do) a diagnosis.


I was diagnosed in June 2020 and have been pretty open about it since. Before and after the diagnosis I was given plenty of answers that I did not appreciate. One NT told me that I could not be on the spectrum because I can go to bars and loud places without getting an instant meltdown. Others had trouble believing it because they had never seen me breaking off eye-contact (They were right. But it took me years of practice to avoid that). I suggest that you tell NTs that we are all individuals and that Autism is also a matter of degree. Everyone reacts differently.



diagnosedafter50
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24 Jan 2021, 7:34 am

Ceallaigh wrote:
Maybe this is a big reason to get a diagnosis, so you can shut arguers up. Until then, how do you handle well-meaning people who argue that you couldn't be on the spectrum without being rude? I've heard all sorts of stupid reasons as I'm sure everyone has. It makes me feel invalidated and belittled. My problem is that I can't remember the facts. I can't even remember a lot of the details about MY SHOW, like I am obsessed with it and have a list of the details that I look at, or fact-keeper friends that I ask. Because of that, I've always been treated by NTs like I'm less intelligent. Many don't men to be hurtful, they just are. :( So, does anyone have a quick, standard response they use that shuts people up without calling them out for being ignorant. I figure those who are regularly in my life will be schooled soon enough once I have (assuming I do) a diagnosis.

You can't argue with ignorance.
I have an ex Facebook so-called friend with a non verbal autistic son who was comforting me about my depression and then publicly on a public board berating me for getting help with groceries and prscriptions as I am housebound, and accusing me of lying about my autism.
I ended up telling her that as I had 5 times told her about my diagnosis we were going round in circles.
I think this person has a deeper personality disorder.



autisticelders
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24 Jan 2021, 4:15 pm

I try to use such incidents as teaching moments, if the person seems to be saying that from ignorance. Some people will tell you "you are not autistic" to "console" you, or to comfort you, because they are not really understanding the usefulness of diagnosis, and not understanding the true nature of autism. It is not what they are 'thinking' it is. Other times I just ignore it. Most people seem to say that deny possible autism to try to assure others that they are "not like that". Ignorance, social stigma, etc can be helped through enlightenment. I tend to get into fewer random conversations where "my autism" is discussed because I do not bring it up as a topic for discussion among strangers in most circumstances. On the other hand, if I overhear random comments in public and I know the statement is wrong or biased, etc, I will speak out and correct or try to inform the one who spoke that way. Sometimes its not worth the effort. Choose your battles. Some folks you might just as well save your energy on.



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24 Jan 2021, 8:55 pm

diagnosedafter50 wrote:
Ceallaigh wrote:
Maybe this is a big reason to get a diagnosis, so you can shut arguers up. Until then, how do you handle well-meaning people who argue that you couldn't be on the spectrum without being rude? I've heard all sorts of stupid reasons as I'm sure everyone has. It makes me feel invalidated and belittled. My problem is that I can't remember the facts. I can't even remember a lot of the details about MY SHOW, like I am obsessed with it and have a list of the details that I look at, or fact-keeper friends that I ask. Because of that, I've always been treated by NTs like I'm less intelligent. Many don't men to be hurtful, they just are. :( So, does anyone have a quick, standard response they use that shuts people up without calling them out for being ignorant. I figure those who are regularly in my life will be schooled soon enough once I have (assuming I do) a diagnosis.

You can't argue with ignorance.
I have an ex Facebook so-called friend with a non verbal autistic son who was comforting me about my depression and then publicly on a public board berating me for getting help with groceries and prscriptions as I am housebound, and accusing me of lying about my autism.
I ended up telling her that as I had 5 times told her about my diagnosis we were going round in circles.
I think this person has a deeper personality disorder.



I don't understand how anyone can think one is lying about being autistic when they have written about their issues, their childhood. I mean what do they think those issues are? Do they think they are faking it or making it all up or what?


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24 Jan 2021, 9:10 pm

The vast majority of people who have strong opinions that I didn't have ASD, were people who really didn't have a clue as to what they are talking about.

I also have met a number of General Practitioner Medical Doctors that also do not have a clue as to what Asperger Syndrome is. Some, because they have one patient with ASD may also tell people they are well experienced at treating people with ASD.

This does not mean that they have specialist qualifications in this area, or that they have treated their patient with good knowledge of the subject. It usually simply means they have a one patient with ASD who they most likely are mistreating due to their lack of understanding on the subject.

What makes matters worse is that some of the UK organisations for General Practitioners, such as the Royal General Practitioners Association, actually do a short online course for GP's who want to get a paper certificate that gives the impression that they have a clue about the condition.

I actually took this course myself, and qualified in flying colours (although i had to pretend to be a GP in order to do so).
The course was to say the least, extremely flimsy and wouldn't give anyone any more than an extremely basic knowledge of the subject.

Nonetheless, to answer your question.

Perhaps you could ask them what qualifications they have in the area, as from your research,
you have found that ASD is an extremely complex neurological developmental disorder that takes an experienced
clinical psychologist who specialises in the specific area of Autism Spectrum Disorder to evaluate and diagnose a person with ASD.

That is the exact truth.



Ceallaigh
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29 Jan 2021, 11:56 pm

autisticelders wrote:
I try to use such incidents as teaching moments, if the person seems to be saying that from ignorance. Some people will tell you "you are not autistic" to "console" you, or to comfort you, because they are not really understanding the usefulness of diagnosis, and not understanding the true nature of autism. It is not what they are 'thinking' it is. Other times I just ignore it. Most people seem to say that deny possible autism to try to assure others that they are "not like that". Ignorance, social stigma, etc can be helped through enlightenment. I tend to get into fewer random conversations where "my autism" is discussed because I do not bring it up as a topic for discussion among strangers in most circumstances. On the other hand, if I overhear random comments in public and I know the statement is wrong or biased, etc, I will speak out and correct or try to inform the one who spoke that way. Sometimes its not worth the effort. Choose your battles. Some folks you might just as well save your energy on.


Very good point! I was in an online class that was on FB and I posted a question in the group about a question that I didn't understand what they were asking for. I had no idea how to answer the question. I mentioned that I believe that I'm on the spectrum as a sort of explanation as to why I was having a hard time with the question. I really thought that would help them re-phrase the question for me so I could understand. I had a couple of people respond scolding me, trying to console me. I just firmly responded with a statement about my conclusion didn't come easily and that I have many reasons for believing myself to be autistic. After I said that, the responses were much more positive even though they didn't really help. One lady finally private messaged me to talk about it and explain it, that helped.



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30 Jan 2021, 12:52 am

You: Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Other: Introvert.

You: How do you know?

Other: Because...

You: And the same is true for why I call myself autistic: I learnt about it and evaluated myself.



OkaySometimes
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31 Jan 2021, 7:40 am

You know, sometimes the best course of action is not education or arguing or showing a diagnosis letter. Sometimes the best response, especially in the case of people who are not really in your life, is just "Oh, you may be right. I'll have to look into that." or "Hmm, I hadn't thought about that in that way." and break off the conversation.
No matter what you say or do, if they think they know better than you, they likely always will think that. So... Leave ignorance to itself. Much easier, hurts less.



MalloryFluff
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31 Jan 2021, 1:13 pm

I've suspected I've been on the spectrum since High School, whenever I tell people their like "You don't look like you have autism." I'm now in my 20s and can't find anyone to diagnosis adults. Anyway, I usually don't say anything because I'm too introverted to do so, it's irritating there's no look to autism autism is a spectrum and we all look different I think people have this idea of what autism is based on what they've seen on T.V. especially being a woman when majority of autistic people you see in media are males may play a factor into it also.



theprisoner
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31 Jan 2021, 1:36 pm

They're giving you a compliment. Just be gracious and accept it. Maybe you need Anger management.

I would guess that If somebody argues that you can't be on the spectrum, they're expressing bafflement, because you appear normal to them, and therefore equal, and so when you claim you are mentally disabled they resent being fooled and cognitive dissonance sets in, and then denial and disbelief, and they just can't accept it, because you appear normal to them.

Don't challenge them, just move on. its not a big deal. why get so upset. is Autism such a critical part of your identity? Why the need to prove yourself, so to speak. In their eyes. Have you tried looking into Anger management , or maybe social skills lessons? That would alleviate your inter-personal problem.


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31 Jan 2021, 2:31 pm

The biggest hurdle for many is convincing oneself one is in the spectrum after a lifetime believing otherwise. This is the predicament facing lots of people dx in later life. Integrating this revelation is not easy let alone convincing others.



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31 Jan 2021, 2:37 pm

quaker wrote:
The biggest hurdle for many is convincing oneself one is in the spectrum after a lifetime believing otherwise.


I wouldn't mind having the opposite/antithesis of that problem.


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