Dealing w/ people who argue about suspected ASD

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Ceallaigh
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10 May 2021, 5:48 pm

There are so many good responses! You've all given me a lot to think about. I guess one of my biggest reasons for wanting a diagnosis (second to proving to myself that I'm not crazy) is to show my daughter and a few other family members that THIS is why I (*insert any one of my autistic traits*). My daughter especially is mad at me, I think because of my lack of ... expression and communication. I just don't explain things much, or "look" happy to see the grandkids. She has taken to the family that "adopted" my son-in-law as his parents are toxic. They are very NT and "don't just tolerate kids, they celebrate them." -my daughter's words. It breaks my heart because I adore my grandkids! They're hilarious and adorable even when they're annoying their mother. She's very much an avoider, and doesn't want to talk about it. I don't want her to feel bad for being so hurtfully presumptive about me. I just want her to stop being so hurtful and stop avoiding me. :( :cry: For the random, ignorant people... yeah, I don't really care what they think.

Thanks everyone for your input. It really helps a lot!



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10 May 2021, 7:31 pm

Between suspecting AS and getting diagnosed, I didn't talk about it except to people I knew would be open-minded. Even after diagnosis I did much the same. If I'd mentioned the diagnosis and anybody had argued in a closed-minded way, I'd have probably reminded them that they weren't qualified to do that. I had little choice but to tell my employer so that he'd get some adjustments made, but apart from that I've not seen any great need to discuss it with people who aren't going to listen. If I have a problem interacting with people, I'm unlikely to try to fix it by bringing my disability into it as such, unless I'm expecting them to be sympathetic (which generally I'm not). It was about 50 years before I even suspected I might have ASD, so I was already in the habit of coping with people without any knowledge of the condition, so usually I just carry on doing whatever I would have done before. So if they say "please come to my big noisy party" then I'll either say "sorry I'm doing x on that night" or if I'm feeling more confident I might say "unfortunately I don't like / don't cope well with with big noisy parties, but let me know if you're having anything smaller any time." Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and I can't be all things to all people. They might not believe my diagnosis but they're more likely to believe my traits, and with those I can supply anecdotes of how things have gone wrong when I've tried to do something that my traits get in the way of. That's easier than trying to defend to skeptics the validity of the concept of ASD and of the correctness of applying that diagnosis to me. And I'd rather be alone a lot than to have to spend much time with people who would be so skeptical of what I might say about myself.



Quinntilda
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11 May 2021, 7:16 pm

The reason I gave up on doing this. People think if you cant see the disability or there is significant proof it doesnt exist.
Its got to the point for methat its almost a game of how I am going to fake on that person.



JAA
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20 May 2021, 5:24 pm

I’ve been diagnosed & I’m at a point right now where I’ll respond to questions with “Google it.”. I don’t owe anyone an explanation regarding my Autism, and it’s not my job to teach them about it. Plus it aggravates me which is not good for me in social settings. It’s very frustrating. If you can, try to remember that it’s your choice whether to respond to those who question or challenge you.



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20 May 2021, 7:02 pm

Ceallaigh wrote:
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 think most important is to recognize that they are the ignorant ones, and that you don't owe them any response if you don't want to give it. Personally, I range in my responses to this kind of thing from skeptical eyebrow raise to just saying "well, that is a pretty ill-informed statement."

The whole notion that the abled should be the arbiters of what constitutes a disability is the problem.


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CurrentCottage
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21 May 2021, 7:47 am

I wish I had never told anyone that I had been diagnosed with ASD ....I'm 52yrs and I've only had my initial early years forms, pre assessment talk with the doctor but she has told me I am definitely autistic. I have told family ...my close family were the ones who realised I have autism almost before I did although I had been looking into it as my Son was diagnosed at Uni. I've told three friends. One was "no...you cant be ...that means I must be too as we're so similar". which is an ok response, I can deal with that, she doesn't know that I'm putting on a front when I am with her. But the other two both independently said "you cant me - people who are autistic are supposed to be intelligent or very creative and you are neither" :roll: Then I met one of those friends yesterday and she said "I just cant believe you can be autistic, I used to be a nanny to a child who was autistic and he couldn't make eye contact and you do" So, I try to explain again that autistic people are individuals and females are better at masking etc etc and then said "see, I don't like eye contact either, but I'm forcing myself to look at you" ...whereupon I get a "thank you very much" back in a sarcastic tone because she took offence. And none of them realise that I struggle with them, that I struggle with friends in general, that I would rather just be home with my dog and cats, my books, my garden - that friendships are such a minefield and too much for me most of the time!

I wish I had never told anyone ...my close family are more than enough to deal with on the subject ! !! I love my children and husband but they always correct me for starters "you cant say that" " why would you say that" " you dont let anyone get a word in" even my son with aspergers got cross the other day as I was asking him a question about autism and I got a "I've spent three years working hard to come across as normal, I dont want to talk about it with you". I honestly think I mask at home too, as I try not to annoy, irritate, cause offence etc ..I'd never even heard of masking or stimming till I started looking into autism seriously about 6 months ago - I had no idea that what I was doing was part of my autism nor had a name ! And now I'm more self conscious than ever as I spot myself stimming and rocking, taking things literally, interrupting conversations and talking too much etc - i used to never even pick up on it, thought I was so normal and everyone else odd !


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ToughDiamond
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21 May 2021, 12:07 pm

^
If only they'd teach more science and critical thinking in schools, maybe this problem of people jumping to ridiculous conclusions wouldn't be so common. It never ceases to amaze me how often "normal" people don't appreciate the difference between knowing something and glib conjecture. "You can't have ASD because [insert irrelevent fact]."



Jon81
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22 May 2021, 2:47 pm

Unless it's a professional or a parent with children of their own on the spectrum I wouldn't even want to hear the opinion of someone else. Both our sons are die hard autistics. You need to be a complete idiot to not understand it if you spend about 5 minutes with them. A professional would see it within a minute, maybe less.

My family and just about any other person (kindergarten) didn't have A CLUE something was up. Only when the diagnosis was on paper it started to dawn on them. Still to this day they're probably expecting our two sons to start talking and turn normal, just out of the blue. I don't think they're able to comprehend these kind of issues.


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Ceallaigh
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22 May 2021, 11:01 pm

One of the first people I talked to about it was a mother (friend of mine) with an autistic son. She didn't see it (at the time I was only looking it to it for my son) and seemed offended that I even suggested it. Like I was trying to be cool or something. I was so hurt and offended that it ruined the relationship. I really haven't talked to her since. But the other night several friends were overwhelmingly not surprised about me thinking my son and I both are, so I feel a bit less crazy now.



Jon81
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23 May 2021, 2:36 pm

Ceallaigh wrote:
One of the first people I talked to about it was a mother (friend of mine) with an autistic son. She didn't see it (at the time I was only looking it to it for my son) and seemed offended that I even suggested it. Like I was trying to be cool or something. I was so hurt and offended that it ruined the relationship. I really haven't talked to her since. But the other night several friends were overwhelmingly not surprised about me thinking my son and I both are, so I feel a bit less crazy now.


As an aspie, are you not suppose to get into these kind of situations all of the time? Saying the wrong things etc...?

I think I know what happened in that situation between you and your friend. I've been on both sides of this. Having an autistic kid (not aspie) is more than a full time job. You need to be alert almost every hour of the day. Having someone with a seemingly normal kid claim to go through the same thing is a bit offending. I see the similarities with you try to explain to others about your struggles and wanting confirmation. So yes, I can definitely see how it can piss people off. She probably didn't notice the autism because she's not accustomed to that type of autism. As the spectrum is so wide we all have different ideas of what it is.

Like one mom wrote on here: "-... according to me those kids are just fine (aspie kids). If they are on the wrong planet then we are on a little moon orbiting that planet". Best post ever written on here :lol:

With that said I think you have every right to air your thoughts and struggles. It's really hard to relate to life at times. Should I be feeling sad or happy? Life could always be worse. I definitely wouldn't want my kids trapped in a wheelchair unable to do nothing but stare at a screen.


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Ceallaigh
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24 May 2021, 10:25 am

Jon81 wrote:

As an aspie, are you not suppose to get into these kind of situations all of the time? Saying the wrong things etc...?

I think I know what happened in that situation between you and your friend. I've been on both sides of this. Having an autistic kid (not aspie) is more than a full time job. You need to be alert almost every hour of the day. Having someone with a seemingly normal kid claim to go through the same thing is a bit offending. I see the similarities with you try to explain to others about your struggles and wanting confirmation. So yes, I can definitely see how it can piss people off. She probably didn't notice the autism because she's not accustomed to that type of autism. As the spectrum is so wide we all have different ideas of what it is.

Like one mom wrote on here: "-... according to me those kids are just fine (aspie kids). If they are on the wrong planet then we are on a little moon orbiting that planet". Best post ever written on here :lol:

With that said I think you have every right to air your thoughts and struggles. It's really hard to relate to life at times. Should I be feeling sad or happy? Life could always be worse. I definitely wouldn't want my kids trapped in a wheelchair unable to do nothing but stare at a screen.


Thank you for that! I'm sure you are right! I saw her yesterday and while it was very awkward for me, she seemed... the same as always.