Handbook for autistic-autistic social interactions

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justanotherpersonsomewhere23124
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01 Feb 2024, 1:04 pm

Hey guys.
Did see that there was a rulebook on here autism-non autism social interactions, and thought it would be a good idea to have another on here that was for autstic-autistic social interactions, as autistic people may have different social expectations amongst themselves compared to non autistic people.
Please share any ideas for autistic to autistic rules that you have noticed.
This could also be a good reference for non autistics to learn how to engage with autistics!



Suicidal_Vampire
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01 Feb 2024, 1:23 pm

Oh, great idea! (most of my friends are other NDs)
1. Ask for permission for any physical contact.

I find that some autistic people can have no boundaries and others hate being touched, and it's always a good idea to ask before you touch someone anyway.



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02 Feb 2024, 4:40 pm

I think that would be a very good idea. I know that I could use a guidebook like that.


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bee33
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03 Feb 2024, 9:54 am

Don't make me guess what you are thinking or feeling. I really don't know, I can't tell. Just say what you want from me, even if it's hurtful.

This applies more to NTs but I think anyone, NT or ND, might try to be polite, or just not realize that the other person has some other perspective, sometimes rigid, and is not a mind reader, especially if they are ASD.



justanotherpersonsomewhere23124
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04 Feb 2024, 9:34 pm

Could a moderator sticky this as well?



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05 Feb 2024, 1:40 pm

Agree this should be stickied.

I have noticed this to be a problem for some time. I have tried looking into it before but did not find any literature on it. All I could find is how an autistic person is supposed to communicate with a neurotypical person. I have also looked for information about how an autistic person is supposed to communicate with an ADHD or socially anxious person and I have not found that.

I suspect that an autistic person would be likely to judge another autistic person based on their own experiences and feelings, and not validate or understand the other person if they do not match up.

I think autistic people are more likely to have a false positive conclusion that another person is autistic, based on their mannerisms or communication style. There is existing literature that shows that autistic people are more likely to make errors in communication where they think the other person is being more negative than they were intending.

You might want to make something like this like a flowchart.



valen
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05 Feb 2024, 9:48 pm

I think it's true that the likeliest misunderstandings come from assuming similarity and having trouble coming up with alternate options.

Related to that specifically, there are some checks I usually run in all social interactions that help some in general, but do seem to have less downsides and be more effective when talking to other autistic people.
(Although, I haven’t had the chance to test it much here, so my sample size is relatively small.)

Maybe it could work for others?


If a person's motivations seem unreasonable, and you are starting to feel incensed or judging:

  • • Consider whether it's possible there is some information you are missing that would make it make sense.
    • ◦ If it's possible there could be, you don't have to figure it out on your own: you can ask. This gives you more information, and you can always clear up what it is you believe they are wrong about once you are sure you understand the details.
  • • Consider whether the words you are each using could be interpreted with different definitions.
    • ◦ Many words have a range of meanings in-context, and these can also be altered by different experiences, cultures, and even online subcultures.
    • ◦ A phrase that sets off warnings for you might be intended to convey something much more innocuous, and the person would be able to rephrase if asked.
    • ◦ Similarly, you might say something that has a specific implication for someone else, and not realize why they are reacting so strongly.
    • ◦ Social and language barriers can result in someone learning a known phrase without learning the baggage attached to it.
  • • Review what was actually said. Are there parts that don't make sense with your theory? These are good points to look for alternate motivations based on.
  • • If you are having trouble doing these: it might help to take a break, or to mention this difficulty. If people understand you are in a bad mood, they will likely understand better if you end up jumping to a conclusion.



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05 Feb 2024, 10:16 pm

I 'm happy to see more ND people are out and about doing what they need or want. It wasn't as common when I was growing up.
I recently saw someone who seemed to me to be on the spectrum and was having some communicatoin/miscommunication issues in a fast food restaurant. I was next in line and he had a special request. The first staff person was sort of trying to sidestep the issue. The second staff person realized what the sitatution was and intervened, he showed the first staff person a better way to handle the situation in a very calm and accepting way. I wondered for a moment if I should aid in some way but sometimes its best to let things work out if its possible. To be patient and not make the person having a problem feel as if its a big deal.
So , I would say be patient with other ND people. Give them space to be themselves.



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06 Feb 2024, 12:08 pm

We're not going to magically understand each other just because we're autistic.

If an autistic person has AAC (alternate forms of communication aside from voice), be patient and don't make them feel left out.


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valen
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07 Feb 2024, 5:34 pm

Actually, on the same or flipside of what I was talking about before- I have something more specific to add.

I thought it might be good to mention explicitly, even if I don't know how common it is in a place where almost everyone will be familiar with breakdowns: a way I have misunderstood others in the past was that I saw emotional outbursts primarily as a personal failing, to take responsibility for.


For example: I had a friend who was casting a stage show. Many people applied, and she gave everyone who did a part- except for two people, who she announced as stagehands. The only two that were undeniably, noticeably autistic. Only one of them had marked that they were interested in being a stagehand. He was happy.

The other... she started to cry. She was extremely upset about it, probably feeling pretty betrayed- and you could tell from her voice.
My now-partner interjected on her behalf, angry for her.

I didn't. I only knew it was considered an inappropriate response to make such a scene; I was distracted by that rather than the original offense, and thought both people must be in the wrong. I didn't grasp the actual dynamics of the problem until it was explained to me afterward.

(Well, I couldn't tell they were autistic >_> ...the discrimination was lost on me.)


It might sound crazy to have not understood that someone crying is not the main problem here!

However, it more frequently applies to when someone seems to be inappropriately calm and clinical, or unusually angry or frustrated, as well. I've known a lot of people who under stress come off that last way in particular, who are at great risk of isolation over it and often are driven out of communities that could have been friendly to them otherwise.

I think especially for autistic people, we are more likely to respond to something that bothers us in a way that ends up being considered inappropriate or outsized. It's a clear function of being both more deeply affected by many stressors, and less able to instinctively choose a normal-seeming response all of the time anyway. Frustration with having been unable to communicate it in the past often makes it much worse.

If you were raised to intentionally avoid a certain reaction, you might not recognize what it looks like when another person does it based on a genuine need- not because they are so different from you, but just from having a slightly different background.



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08 Feb 2024, 1:31 pm

I got my diagnosis shortly before the Pandemic so I've not had much chance to try Autistic-Autistic socializing. My suspicion, however, is that there might not have to be continuous interpersonal interaction for it to be enjoyable.

The following actually looks like a good play date to me!

Image

Also perhaps being in the same audience at a show, or assisting on the same task.


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