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StarTrekker
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29 Oct 2013, 4:09 am

I was watching this darkly amusing youtube video about the stupid stuff people say to autistics, and I thought I'd see if we could come up with any others:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fTBM_3sdwE

Just this afternoon when I was bordering on meltdown from sensory overload, my teacher said to me as she watched me shake and stim, "I felt so bad for you, all that noise drives me crazy too."

My sister's favourite line is, "Get over it, the noise/smell/clothing isn't so bad."

My mom has said on several occasions, "Just go and talk to people, socialising is easy."

What about you all? Tell me some of the stupid stuff people have said to you.


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LabPet
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29 Oct 2013, 4:55 am

Humans can be viciously cruel. And I do mean evil.

I've experienced this (direct quote):

"Do you want to live in the autistic world, or the 'real world'?" She called me a freak. I was told to not enter places as I've "scary" to others. And oh so much more. Incidentally, this woman is a counsellor (no, not kidding). I believe she may be dangerous.

A public health nurse told me Aspies are (quote) "no good" and actually had the audacity to forbid me to write to/with other Aspies (via the Wrong Planet). She told me she "felt sorry" for my father because he must have been sad to have me. :cry: Really? My father was a kind and good man - if he were alive this nurse would be sacked asap. She also spoke to me in 'baby talk', that is, pronouncing words as if to a baby. And oh so much more.

This woman's friend told me 'get out of my rut' (really?) and that I needed a life coach. Cannot tell her how hard she can *shove it*


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doofy
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29 Oct 2013, 6:36 am

I wrote quite a long list in another recent thread which I can't find.

StarTrekker wrote:
Just this afternoon when I was bordering on meltdown from sensory overload, my teacher said to me as she watched me shake and stim, "I felt so bad for you, all that noise drives me crazy too."

I really hate this one - I get it a lot, am trying to be patient with my counsellor while I train her out of it. It's invalidating. The implication is always that I am an attention seeking drama queen.

And my mum is always telling me to socialise - she's like a stuck record with her insistence that I go to the library to meet people. A library? Give me strengf...



BuyerBeware
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29 Oct 2013, 8:02 am

I'm about to be evil.

I'm pretty sure "It drive me crazy too" is an NT attempt to express empathy. The problem is that there's an implied statement: "It drives me crazy, and I know it bothers you even more, and you have more trouble dealing with it. It must be Hell for you." They do not understand that we don't hear the implied statement.

I'd like to explain to your respective mothers that socializing is easy FOR THEM, infinitely more difficult FOR US. BUT. The resident high-functioning b-rhymes-with-witch has to come down on their side. The only way to learn to socialize it to do it. Abort, retry, fail. Wash, rinse, repeat. "It's easy" is meant to be encouraging, based on the assumption that you do have some instinct or some cognitive processing skill (assuming you're toward the Aspie end) that will kick in eventually if only it is engaged. The irritating fact is that, actually, you DO-- it's just that blithe NTs do not appreciate how painfully difficult it is to get it moving. Too bad it ends up making us feel even worse about not being good at this "easy" thing.

I've run into the "just no good," "can't learn it," "can't do it and shouldn't try" thing too. Depressingly, I've run into it almost entirely from medical and mental health professionals-- people with just enough knowledge to be dangerous. Sometimes I wonder if they're Aspies too, and just don't know it, and therefore cannot compensate for the tendency to remember bits and pieces very well, completely forget everything else, apply what is remembered very literally, and be so rigid about what they think they know that they cannot see the person in front of them.

One of my two pet peeves is, "You could do better. You just don't care enough to." There is a grain of truth in it-- I CAN do better. I can, in fact, do so well that I appear 100% normal at a casual glance. I can hide it from well-trained professionals who know what they're looking for. My ABA-graduate best is VERY good, and beaten in DEEP. But I DON'T care enough to do it, because it has an extremely heavy price tag. The price for "looking perfectly NT" is that it takes all my focus. I cannot think about what is being said, I won't remember much of it, and I cannot analyze information, make any real contribution, or actually participate in the discussion. Literally everything I have goes to posture, body language, eye contact, facial expression, and choosing the most polite, normal, politically correct response when asked a direct question. When I do that, I am, in effect, a pretty little doll... and what I get for it, at the end of the day, is complete and total exhaustion. No energy left for anything else, no ability to think about anything-- in essence, in exchange for "looking perfectly NT," I actually lose functioning. I am an extremely high-functioning autistic if I can BE AN AUTISTIC. If I have to be a neurotypical, I'm not going to function well in every other area of my life. I don't think ANYBODY cares enough about ANYTHING to live that way from day to day.

The other one is the empathy/compassion thing. I become very upset very quickly when someone defines "empathy," literally according to Webster's "the ability to see through someone's else's eyes," as "the ability to care for other people." NO. The ability to care for other people is COMPASSION. I have plenty of that. What I am not so good at is looking out through another person's eyes-- the best I can do is to put myself in their position, think about what I would want, and try to give it to them. That, or think about what has been satisfactory in the past with that individual, or what generally works well with others. I have learned, unfortunately, not to attempt to show compassion, because what would make me feel better isn't going to work on a highly sensitive NT. Now, for trying to avoid making a mistake, I become "uncaring, unhelpful, and aloof."

The lesson learned is that, if it's not perfect, don't bother.

There was a woman in my therapy group. I really felt for her-- she was trying to get out of an abusive marriage and had no place to go. So I said, "If you let me know, I can put you up in a hotel room until a place opens up in a women's shelter. It won't be a great hotel, and I can only get you about a week, but it's something." It was partially successful-- she did not take the offer and get out the door, but it did touch her heart and make her feel like someone cared. She felt the need to complement me on my exercise of what she perceived as "empathy."

She sez, "You must have worked really hard. I know you have Asperger's. People with Asperger's really can't care about other people. I'm a special-needs teacher, so I know what I'm talking about."

:evil: :evil: :evil: :wall: :wall: :wall: :doh: :doh: :doh:

I wish I had had the self-confidence, that day, to look at her and explain the difference between "empathy" and "compassion." I wonder how many ASD kids she's driven to become sad, broken sociopaths.


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29 Oct 2013, 8:16 am

Ack, that's awful :eew:

Avoiding those Caring Understanding Nurturing Types.....that's an acronym, you know. Seriously, dumping them IS the solution. Lab Pet, the Therapist Slayer 8)


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gretchyn
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29 Oct 2013, 8:18 am

"Autism is so over-diagnosed. You probably don't even have it." After all, you're obviously qualified to dismiss my diagnosis despite lacking any qualifications, being woefully ignorant, and having been in my presence for only about 15 minutes.



Mike1
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29 Oct 2013, 8:47 am

BuyerBeware wrote:
The other one is the empathy/compassion thing. I become very upset very quickly when someone defines "empathy," literally according to Webster's "the ability to see through someone's else's eyes," as "the ability to care for other people." NO. The ability to care for other people is COMPASSION. I have plenty of that. What I am not so good at is looking out through another person's eyes-- the best I can do is to put myself in their position, think about what I would want, and try to give it to them. That, or think about what has been satisfactory in the past with that individual, or what generally works well with others. I have learned, unfortunately, not to attempt to show compassion, because what would make me feel better isn't going to work on a highly sensitive NT. Now, for trying to avoid making a mistake, I become "uncaring, unhelpful, and aloof."

But no one can see through someone else's eyes, without using advanced surgery to attach them to their brain. Even then, they wouldn't have a very good understanding of that person's perspective on life, because they still wouldn't have their brain, their thoughts, or their feelings. It seems kind of narcissistic for someone to assume that they have a good understanding of the problems of other people. In order for someone to assume that, they'd have to be self-obsessed with their own problems to the extent that they'd be unconcerned with the fact that other people have problems different from their own. That shows a great degree of ignorance and selfishness, in my opinion.



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29 Oct 2013, 8:54 am

Mike1 wrote:
BuyerBeware wrote:
The other one is the empathy/compassion thing. I become very upset very quickly when someone defines "empathy," literally according to Webster's "the ability to see through someone's else's eyes," as "the ability to care for other people." NO. The ability to care for other people is COMPASSION. I have plenty of that. What I am not so good at is looking out through another person's eyes-- the best I can do is to put myself in their position, think about what I would want, and try to give it to them. That, or think about what has been satisfactory in the past with that individual, or what generally works well with others. I have learned, unfortunately, not to attempt to show compassion, because what would make me feel better isn't going to work on a highly sensitive NT. Now, for trying to avoid making a mistake, I become "uncaring, unhelpful, and aloof."

But no one can see through someone else's eyes, without using advanced surgery to attach them to their brain. Even then, they wouldn't have a very good understanding of that person's perspective on life, because they still wouldn't have their brain, their thoughts, or their feelings. It seems kind of narcissistic for someone to assume that they have a good understanding of the problems of other people. In order for someone to assume that, they'd have to be self-obsessed with their own problems to the extent that they'd be unconcerned with the fact that other people have problems different from their own. That shows a great degree of ignorance and selfishness, in my opinion.


^ Indeed. Such self-righteousness really irks the Lab Pet. Bad.


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micfranklin
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29 Oct 2013, 9:01 am

StarTrekker wrote:
My mom has said on several occasions, "Just go and talk to people, socialising is easy."

What about you all? Tell me some of the stupid stuff people have said to you.


Simply "going to talk to people" has never been easy for me, ever. Even when I'm in a Facebook group I have trouble with that.



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29 Oct 2013, 9:13 am

Until I found a psychologist who was half-competent, both professionals and laypersons loved to parrot "Autistics/Aspergians aren't capable of holding down steady full time employment so you can't have it." Or how about my own family do this day saying "There is no way the smell of X food is that bad. Stop being anti-social and sit at the table like everyone else." or of course like the old Nike slogan "just do it!". If I knew how, I would have found a friend/job/whatever else I struggle with!



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29 Oct 2013, 9:37 am

Has anyone ever found a way to SIMPLY explain to someone "No, I really can't" when they say "Sure you can!"



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29 Oct 2013, 10:30 am

Not really, but they've found a way to say that "You're just not trying hard enough" or "that's 'cause you're a punk" or anything along those lines. The latter of which does nothing to help at all.



Codyrules37
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29 Oct 2013, 10:44 am

well your mom does have a point. socializing is easy, it's just hard to get yourself to walk up and talk to people. But once you do it, it gets easier and easier. Having Aspergers shouldn't be an excuse not to talk to people. Socializing is not that bad if you give it a chance.


The reason why socializing is difficult is because you enter a situation with a wrong mindset. You believe you're going to fail, therefore you fail. You have to have a positive mindset in life, you have to convince yourself you are capable of doing anything. Whether you believe you can or can't, you're right.



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29 Oct 2013, 10:59 am

StarTrekker wrote:
I was watching this darkly amusing youtube video about the stupid stuff people say to autistics, and I thought I'd see if we could come up with any others:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fTBM_3sdwE


I have to say I would have taken out about 10% of the comments on that youtube video. There are a few comments that don't belong, like if someone says Autistic people are down to earth and honest, that should definitely be taken as a compliment.

But I guess we can't agree 100% of the time.



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29 Oct 2013, 11:05 am

Codyrules37 wrote:
well your mom does have a point. socializing is easy, it's just hard to get yourself to walk up and talk to people. But once you do it, it gets easier and easier. Having Aspergers shouldn't be an excuse not to talk to people. Socializing is not that bad if you give it a chance.


The reason why socializing is difficult is because you enter a situation with a wrong mindset. You believe you're going to fail, therefore you fail. You have to have a positive mindset in life, you have to convince yourself you are capable of doing anything. Whether you believe you can or can't, you're right.


Codyrules37,

I only have mild Aspergers. (the word "only" is in reference to the word "mild" not the word "aspergers") But I can't count the number of times I tried socializing with the idea that it will work if I go into it with a positive mindset -- only to come out of it feeling misunderstood, ignored, exhausted, condescended to, and most often down right angry.

"Try harder next time", or "Try better next time" or "change your attitude" -- after 30 years it becomes obvious these will not help.

Just my 2 cents. If you know what works for you, then that's great too.


Edit -- I have also had positive experiences socializing, but it is usually only with certain friends and family, or with people who have very passive personalities.



Codyrules37
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29 Oct 2013, 11:09 am

you're socialising right now. with random people on the internet.


see I knew you could do it. congratz, you managed to socialise.






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