Is it possible for autistic and non-autistic people to understand one another? — Scope | Disability forum

Is it possible for autistic and non-autistic people to understand one another?

bert1fegg
bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener
edited September 2017 in Autism and neurodiversity
I'm an autistic adult and am interested in talking with other disabled people about their experiences of discrimination and exclusion. I'm not sure if it is actually possible for autistic and non-autistic people to understand one another and to be inclusive of one another in each one's environments and systems. I'm wondering if inclusion is a useful goal for autistic people, or whether we just need to set up parrallel communities and systems that work for us, instead of trying to get everyone else to include us. 
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Comments

  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,154 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @bert1fegg

    Welcome to our website & online community.

    I do hope that we can help you with this????

    I have attached some I below which I hope is useful to you?????

    https://www.scope.org.uk/support/families/diagnosis/autism
  • bert1fegg
    bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thank you steve51. I'm not really in need of basic information about autism. Thanks for linking to the page, though. The Scope page on autism contains unfortunate misinformation. I'll let Scope know about this.
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello bert and welcome

    For my part I hope for an all inclusive society which promotes understanding of people whoever or what ever they maybe.

    I try to see people !
    and animals !
    and plants !
    as individuals.In fact all living things as interesting. I want them all in my world. Each is different in their own way and that is what makes life.

    I know this is idealistic but I live in hope

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,154 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2017
    Hi @bert1fegg

    Can you please let me know about the wrong information.

    I can then take it up with Scope.



     
  • bert1fegg
    bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    steve51 said:
    Hi @bert1fegg

    I'm very very sorry about the info.

    Can you please let me know about the wrong information.

    I can then take it up with Scope.



     
    Don't worry, Steve. There is a lot of not-quite-right info out there about autism, usually because it isn't written by autistic people. I'm sure Scope was just following suit. I'll explain the most problematic bits when I get a mo later on. 
  • bert1fegg
    bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hello bert and welcome

    For my part I hope for an all inclusive society which promotes understanding of people whoever or what ever they maybe.

    I try to see people !
    and animals !
    and plants !
    as individuals.In fact all living things as interesting. I want them all in my world. Each is different in their own way and that is what makes life.

    I know this is idealistic but I live in hope

    CR
    Seeing people is a great aspiration indeed. If you manage to see people then you are doing very well. I'll offer an example or two to illustrate the problem I am getting at. I have to go to work in a mo so I'll write it later.


  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks I will look forward to reading and hopefully understanding a little more

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,682 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @bert1fegg welcome to the community - do you want to let me know about any information you believe is incorrect and we can look into it? You can email on [email protected]
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    I agree (in general, not the stuff written on here) about the poor information about Autism.

    As for the original question - from experience, it's possible. But it takes a lot of understanding from both parties, which some people really aren't willing to do.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    Would love to know (because I've never heard this one) where Scope got it from that many with Autism are colourblind? Yes, I have both; but we know that my issues with colour vision are to do with an unrelated condition.

    Also, something that always bugs me - the article only talks about children. It affects adults too!
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • bert1fegg
    bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener

    Regarding the autism information, I suggest Scope contacts an autistic DPO like Autscape or ARGH or Autistic UK. These are all run by and for autistic people. I would avoid getting material from non-autistic run sources, although some are not too bad.

    For what it's worth, here are my views based on my own personal and professional experience and conversations with other autistic adults.

    Communication (both listening and expressing themselves)

    I don't know how many times non-autistic people fail to answer the exact question an autistic person has asked them. I find autistic people far easier to communicate with. Autistic people (including so-called 'low functioning', non-verbal ones) listen to what you actually say, not what they think you mean. Communication problems are always diagnosed by non-autistic people, and they never blame themselves, because they're not disabled, right?!&

    Understanding their emotions and even the most basic emotions of others. Being unable to empathise with another person, either in real life or in a story

    This is the old theory of mind stuff again. I nave not met a single autistic person, including children, who is not clearly able to see things from others points of view. Difficulty transitioning from one point of view to another might be an issue, but that's nothing to do with a lack of empathy. Also autistic people don't readily understand the non-autistic perspective, so that might come across as insensitivity. But in my experience non-autistic people are far worse at understanding the autistic perspective.

    Making eye contact

    Why is this a difficulty or a problem? And who is it a difficulty or problem for? Eye contact is quite unnecessary for effective communication.

    Responding to praise

    Don't understand this one.

    Literality of speech (not understanding idioms or expressions)

    This is over-egged. The problem here is not so much with idioms or expressions (which can be learned), as generally assuming that people mean what they actually say.

    Taking turns

    Not sure about this one. Autistic people do take turns in conversations. We get completely lost when people talk over each other.

    Hurting someone, often just to get a reaction, without understanding what this feels like for the other person

    This one is bizarre and a bit offensive. No idea where this comes from. We do sometimes hurt others, but this is usually communication, an expression of extreme frustration or distress or 'get the hell away from me'. Hmm. Maybe this is to do with how we sometimes provoke reactions to find out where boundaries are. People do not reliably say where boundaries are, so they often need to be found by experiment. That could be it.


    Anyway, don't take my word for any of this! Ask a bunch of autistic people. 

  • bert1fegg
    bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    CockneyRebel

    The issue is mostly one of incompatible values. I'll give a recent example about my autistic son. His class was asked to write individual 'Thank You' letters to a visiting dance teacher who was leaving. My son did not want to write this letter because he didn't like her, didn't like the classes and wasn't grateful. From his point of view, writing such a letter would be a lie. And he has been told by his school that lying is wrong, and he finds this confusing. Of course, the school both wants to thank the teacher and teach the children to show good manners, which is why they insisted on these letters being written, because that is polite. 

    So we have an action which from the autistic perspective is wrong (i.e. because it is being disrespectful to someone by lying to them) but from the non-autistic perspective is right (i.e. because it is showing appreciation for the dance teacher giving up her time voluntarily).

    These pervasive differences of outlook and values and perceptions I think are so fundamental that realistic integration of autistic people into mainstream culture is impossible.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    bert1fegg said:
    Communication (both listening and expressing themselves) I don't know how many times non-autistic people fail to answer the exact question an autistic person has asked them. I find autistic people far easier to communicate with. Autistic people (including so-called 'low functioning', non-verbal ones) listen to what you actually say, not what they think you mean. Communication problems are always diagnosed by non-autistic people, and they never blame themselves, because they're not disabled, right?!&
    Quite. I was told it's a two way thing and what you put into the conversation is what you get out of it. So, if you're going to be vague with what you're asking me to do, I'm probably going to misunderstand what you really want.
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for the illustration. I know that is just one example but wouldn't life be easier if we all said what we thought and meant.
    I will continue to try and understand more
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • bert1fegg
    bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    The long post in which I talked about the autism information page has disappeared, although Nystagmite managed to reply to it before it went AWOL. Is this a glitch or did I say something inappropriate? I did edit it and that may have mucked something up.
  • bert1fegg
    bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    My post is back! Thank you.
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,682 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @bert1fegg Im not sure why you couldnt see your post, we didnt edit or remove anything :) 

    Glad you can see it again.  I will pass on your comments.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,682 Disability Gamechanger
    bert1fegg said:

    Regarding the autism information, I suggest Scope contacts an autistic DPO like Autscape or ARGH or Autistic UK. These are all run by and for autistic people. I would avoid getting material from non-autistic run sources, although some are not too bad.

    For what it's worth, here are my views based on my own personal and professional experience and conversations with other autistic adults.

    Communication (both listening and expressing themselves)

    I don't know how many times non-autistic people fail to answer the exact question an autistic person has asked them. I find autistic people far easier to communicate with. Autistic people (including so-called 'low functioning', non-verbal ones) listen to what you actually say, not what they think you mean. Communication problems are always diagnosed by non-autistic people, and they never blame themselves, because they're not disabled, right?!&

    Understanding their emotions and even the most basic emotions of others. Being unable to empathise with another person, either in real life or in a story

    This is the old theory of mind stuff again. I nave not met a single autistic person, including children, who is not clearly able to see things from others points of view. Difficulty transitioning from one point of view to another might be an issue, but that's nothing to do with a lack of empathy. Also autistic people don't readily understand the non-autistic perspective, so that might come across as insensitivity. But in my experience non-autistic people are far worse at understanding the autistic perspective.

    Making eye contact

    Why is this a difficulty or a problem? And who is it a difficulty or problem for? Eye contact is quite unnecessary for effective communication.

    Responding to praise

    Don't understand this one.

    Literality of speech (not understanding idioms or expressions)

    This is over-egged. The problem here is not so much with idioms or expressions (which can be learned), as generally assuming that people mean what they actually say.

    Taking turns

    Not sure about this one. Autistic people do take turns in conversations. We get completely lost when people talk over each other.

    Hurting someone, often just to get a reaction, without understanding what this feels like for the other person

    This one is bizarre and a bit offensive. No idea where this comes from. We do sometimes hurt others, but this is usually communication, an expression of extreme frustration or distress or 'get the hell away from me'. Hmm. Maybe this is to do with how we sometimes provoke reactions to find out where boundaries are. People do not reliably say where boundaries are, so they often need to be found by experiment. That could be it.


    Anyway, don't take my word for any of this! Ask a bunch of autistic people. 


    @VioletFenn what are your thoughts?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer

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