Did you consider the following as prejudice?

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Testingwaters
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15 Oct 2017, 12:13 am

People telling you 'sorry', or giving a weird look or stare at your child after you tell them that your child is autistic?



naturalplastic
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15 Oct 2017, 2:12 am

Reacting that way is inappropriate. Saying that your child is autistic is not like saying that your child just died. So they shouldn't react as if it were the same thing.

That much yes. Don't know if its prejudice. But its an ignorant response from folks who don't know any better.



ASDMommyASDKid
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15 Oct 2017, 6:52 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Reacting that way is inappropriate. Saying that your child is autistic is not like saying that your child just died. So they shouldn't react as if it were the same thing.

That much yes. Don't know if its prejudice. But its an ignorant response from folks who don't know any better.


^^^ This

Most NTs are not familiar with the neurodiversity movement and if you divulge neurotype they really do not what to say or do. It is similar to all the stupid things people will say to you when someone dies like, "He is in a better place" or "It is God's will" or whatever dumb things some people say b/c they don't know what else to say.

Not that autism is like dying -- just that people assume it is a bad thing and don't know what to say. Only in a way it is harder for them to figure out what to say re: autism b/c NTs are actually likely to have less experience with dealing with autism than death.

One of the many reasons we do not divulge status to randos.



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16 Oct 2017, 5:35 pm

The problem is, while people who say that are making inaccurate assumptions, they actually mean to be kind, and to infer prejudice is asking for negativity that does not need to exist. They are responding to the image groups like Autism Speaks have painted in their efforts to get more money for ASD research and services, particularly with respect to the ones most severely affected. I think a response that recognizes the attempt at kindness and empathy, while also providing a little education on how broad the spectrum is, is more appropriate. Its hard to say the perfect thing in the moment, but I've tended to react with comments along the line of "oh, no you don't have to be. He's great, he's not that negatively affected, and while it does involve a lot of extra work for me, don't all families have their challenges? He truly is an amazing kid."


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shortfatbalduglyman
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16 Oct 2017, 6:40 pm

The "sorry" could be just expressing :D condolences. Sympathy.

Sometimes, someone says "sorry" upon learning that someone else has a disease. The apologizer did not (necessarily) cause the disease

"Sorry" is just a convention. I think


The weird look could be natural, subconscious, involuntary. The weird look could indicate prejudice. But :idea: anything :roll: could indicate prejudice.....

Anyways, some people are more expressive facially. Some people have less control over their facial expressions than other people.

Personally I have little control.....

Precious lil "people" tend to have the nerve to tell me that"you didn't seem to care". Or. That I was "stoic"......

Some people are very good at disguising their emotions.....

Those :oops: precious lil "people" can be very manipulative and dangerous to be around :evil:

Especially if they can easily fake emotions.....

So.... This is just me. But I would be much more paranoid about those precious lil "people"


:skull:



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24 Oct 2017, 4:23 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Reacting that way is inappropriate. Saying that your child is autistic is not like saying that your child just died. So they shouldn't react as if it were the same thing.

That much yes. Don't know if its prejudice. But its an ignorant response from folks who don't know any better.


Ditto. Why say anything to them? Just walk away when they come sniffing around. People will go and look up things on the Internet and then cop an attitude with you and your child as if they got it all figured out. My son is now in college and doing really well. The people in the neighborhood still refer to him as "that retarded boy". I Tell them he's in college and this is what I get...snorty laughs...comments like "Yeah...I'd like to believe that." They whisper to each other that I'm in denial and that I lie about him. They know NOTHING about him other than that he rode a van but had not ridden that van for the last 7 years - it doesn't make a bit of difference. It is prejudice in its most basic definition. Even the parents in special ed were no picnic either. In there, they just acted weird in reference to who was "more" autistic. The special ed class was better off when parents stayed the hell out and its the same for general ed too - parents ruin everything.



Last edited by RightGalaxy on 24 Oct 2017, 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ASS-P
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24 Oct 2017, 4:31 pm

...Pride :? ?


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24 Oct 2017, 8:50 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
The problem is, while people who say that are making inaccurate assumptions, they actually mean to be kind, and to infer prejudice is asking for negativity that does not need to exist. They are responding to the image groups like Autism Speaks have painted in their efforts to get more money for ASD research and services, particularly with respect to the ones most severely affected. I think a response that recognizes the attempt at kindness and empathy, while also providing a little education on how broad the spectrum is, is more appropriate. Its hard to say the perfect thing in the moment, but I've tended to react with comments along the line of "oh, no you don't have to be. He's great, he's not that negatively affected, and while it does involve a lot of extra work for me, don't all families have their challenges? He truly is an amazing kid."


This.

It makes me very sad that the (allegedly) socially sensitive consider it an appropriate thing to say. I guess it's on us to change the narrative. Amazing things happen.

Not too much hope on that, though.


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24 Oct 2017, 8:53 pm

Yes, it's prejudicial behavior, consistent with the overall othering toward of AS people, children and adults, designated and denigrated as "them not us". It doesn't need to be a consciously intended behaviour, nor intended with conscious malice. The mindset itself is prejudicial, patronising, and assumes the child is in some way inferior.

Yes, it may be an NT attempt at empathy, but true empathy doesn't come laced with judgment.



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25 Oct 2017, 10:27 am

When a parent tells me their kid is on the spectrum (IRL, social situation, birthday party etc), and I don't really know the parent, this puts ME in the middle of two crap responses.

Which parent are you? The one who celebrates all things Autism OR the parent who is a member of Autism Speaks?

If I say I'm sorry, I piss off the first parent, and the second parent probably won't be offended. If I give a positive response (not the end of the world, positive warm fuzzies), parent #1 may or may not be happy, but I will get my ass handed to me by the Autism Speaks parent. That happened to me before.

So now I say "Oh". I do this for any non lethal kid diagnosis that random parent shares with one sentence and waits for me to respond. I feel like I'm getting baited into a conversation with no up side. "Oh" is about the only thing I can think of small talk wise that is sort of non descript.

Sorry gets said because conversations in America hate silence. People say sorry when it is shared that kid has ODD/ADHD/Downs Syndrome/Spina Bifida etc. because sorry is the default for less than happy/things didn't go as planned news. I didn't get accepted into Harvard. Sorry to hear that. I didn't get that big promotion. Sorry to hear that. My kid got diagnosed with ADHD and RAD. Sorry to hear that. It must have been rough.

If you only throw out, "My child has autism", and no other qualifier sentences , you will most likely get "Sorry to hear that", not because all NTs are judgey assholes, but for the moment that is social convention.

A parent who tells me, "My child is on the spectrum, and [whatever positive about Autism]", will never get a sorry from me. Just don't leave me hanging with one sentence.



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25 Oct 2017, 12:52 pm

It sounds, to me, like the "sorry" reflects ignorance. "Prejudice" sounds like a bit too strong a word.

Everyone is ignorant about something.

Nobody knows everything

There are plenty of things nobody know, yet

The "sorry" could be their lame and socially awkward attempt to express sympathy, empathy, or pity

Seriously however, (it appears to me) like the speaker has good intentions.

Maybe you should give the speaker some sort of credit for good intentions

After all - plenty of times I (and other autistics) have good intentions, and then say or do something that an NT has the nerve to label/judge as bad or wrong.....

:mrgreen:

There is no law that says that someone has to keep a straight face

During the job interview, in response to my disclosure of autism, the previous boss had the nerve to totally scrunch up her face.

She looked so disgusted, like I told her that I was raping babies :mrgreen:

But her response could have been natural, subconscious, involuntary

And her response was not illegal

And "pick your battles"

Anyways



:D


:jester:



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25 Oct 2017, 5:38 pm

What about "But he looks so normal! Are you sure he's autistic?"



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26 Oct 2017, 7:47 am

What seems prejudicial about it, I guess, is the built-in assumption that THAT'S BAD.

If one of my kids turns out to have it, I'm not going to get all upset about "I'm sorry" (at least unless it comes from their teachers, then I might lose my s**t). But I am going to respond with, "Why?? I'm not." Or I might get all into it and be like, "Why?? What are you sorry for?? Sorry she's different?? I'm not. Sorry society is going to treat her in a way that's going to make her life a lot harder than autism ever could?? I accept your apology. Try not to repeat the error."

Of course, I probably upset a lot of nice middle-aged NT's with a similar response when Grandma died. "I miss her, I don't know how I'm going to live without her, but I'm not. She was tired."


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26 Oct 2017, 1:59 pm

"sorry" might not be the most suitable response. However the intention could be good.....

At least two separate parties have told me "I'm sorry", when I told them I go a stomachache

They did not cause the stomachache.

Saying "I'm sorry" does not make the stomachache go away

Seriously sometimes I feel like almost everyone acts in a way that could win an :evil: Oscar :roll: :idea: :D award :heart: . In that they are so dramatic. Theatrical.



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28 Oct 2017, 12:14 pm

B19 wrote:
What about "But he looks so normal! Are you sure he's autistic?"


UGH! (I'm on the phone, and wish I could increase the font size and bold it)

That's so flat out ignorant.

I've gotten that exact statement about my husband. I get he's not wearing a helmet and is verbal, yeah...he's on the spectrum.

I chalk that up to clueless and crap small talk skills. My friend's son had leukemia. There was more than one idiot who told her, "At least it's not a brain tumour. There are worse childhood cancers to have."

Even if it's true about the cancer...WTF? I'd rather hear sorry to hear that.