Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024


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Question if I understand the consequences of my actions

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o5f
o5f Community member Posts: 4 Listener
As a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I am afraid that I could commit petty sexual crime without mens rea, because I don't understand some body languages very well, specifically body languages that are supposed to be simple to understand, and I don't understand mixed messages very well, even though it's obvious. 

I get scared that I can't agree or disagree if I am being inappropriate, even when my friends say that I am a good friend to them. 

I know that studies say that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are more likely to be victims than being perpetrators, but the problem is crime is a very broad term, and you need social skills to follow specific laws. Lacking social skills can highten the risk for petty criminal behavior, specifically related to invading boundaries.

I sometimes become violent and very stressed when I am in a completely different environment, and at the moment, I don't feel safe, but to others, I am seen as a criminal. It's embarrassing!
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Comments

  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @o5f

    Thank you for making this post and being so honest about the situation you are in at the moment.

    Can I ask, do you receive all the support you need to manage your condition? It might be worth speaking with your GP or specialist to explain how you feel, and they might be able to provide some advice or support

    NAS also have an autism helpline that you could consider getting in touch with.

    If you feel unsafe at the moment, it's especially important to seek some professional advice or speak with those close to you such as your family about how you feel. I appreciate that those conversations can be difficult, so perhaps it could help to write down how you feel as you have done here on the community. It can be hard meeting new people, especially when you have these concerns, but when entering into those interactions it could be useful to explain to the other person about your condition and how it impacts you.

     sometimes become violent and very stressed when I am in a completely different environment, and at the moment, I don't feel safe, but to others, I am seen as a criminal. It's embarrassing!

    I think it's normal for people to feel stressed or uncertain when they are in a different environment, I know that I certainly do and often it can take me a while to adjust. Of course, our conditions can worsen that feeling too but it's always important to be patient with yourself and allow yourself the time to adjust. If you find things hard, there is also no harm in taking a break and removing yourself from a situation so that you can feel more comfortable.

    Can I ask, has anything happened that has given you the impression that others see you as a criminal?
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,508 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @o5f :) Welcome to the community!

    Along with what Ross has already said, I just wanted to pick up on the following comment you made:
    I am afraid that I could commit petty sexual crime without mens rea, because I don't understand some body languages very well, specifically body languages that are supposed to be simple to understand, and I don't understand mixed messages very well, even though it's obvious. 

    Thank you for being so open and honest. I think this is something many people probably worry about, and can see how having ASD might add to those concerns. 

    When it comes to consent, being direct and clear can be really beneficial. So, if you're unsure about whether you should do something, or whether you should stop doing something, and so on, you can always ask the person. For example, you could use phrases like:

    • would you like me to touch you there? 
    • would you like me to stop doing that? 
    • how would you feel if I [insert action]?
    • are you feeling comfortable right now?
    • what would make you feel more comfortable in this situation? 
    Does that make sense? 

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • o5f
    o5f Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    I can ask for direct and clear communication, I am just afraid that if there was a situation where there are mixed messages and body languages that I don't understand, I won't know when I should stop. I don't have partner yet, I am just concerned about my social skills.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,508 Disability Gamechanger
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    That's understandable @o5f. I think if you're ever unsure if you should stop, you should just ask. Most people won't mind, and will actually be quite grateful! You can always speak to the person you're with beforehand to explain your concerns, and work out a method of communication that you're both comfortable with. If the person isn't comfortable talking about this, or doesn't respect your worries and boundaries, then it's worth considering whether they're someone you want to be intimate with. 

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • o5f
    o5f Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    edited May 2022
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    I definitely agree. Thank you! But I should stay away from people who make mixed messages, because my social skills is not that good.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,508 Disability Gamechanger
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    Yes, it can be good to be with someone who has a similar communication style to you @o5f. Some people prefer to be more direct, while others might be offended by that.

    Do you feel a little more relaxed about it now? 

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

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