Is it possible for autistic and non-autistic people to understand one another? - Page 2 — Scope | Disability forum

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

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
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  • VioletFenn
    VioletFenn Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Thanks for tagging me, @Sam_Scope

    I think @bert1fegg raises some interesting points - I've certainly never had a problem with empathising, for example, nor has my son - but I would take the Scope info list to be suggestions for possible ways that autistic people might behave or react, rather than being a proscriptive list of how we will react.

    That said, I personally do find it difficult to know when to 'take turns' in a conversation, so that bit would indeed apply to me. I agree that the 'hurting people' bit is odd tho and I think the possible explanation that  @bert1fegg suggests is a good one.

    ASD is so literally a spectrum that you could put a hundred different autistic people in a room and they might all have a different set of traits that affect them or make them act differently to others. It's very unlikely that you'd get two who 'presented' in exactly the same way.

    I do think that autistic people tend to understand each other more easily - but perhaps that's simply because we're used to accepting our own and others' differences, so nothing ever really seems unusual to us? But I would never want there to be parallel communities with NT and ND existing 'separately', because that encourages division in my view. Inclusivity all the way!

    Violet
    ASD advisor, Scope


  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,375 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @bert1fegg

    Many autistic people integrate well with mainstream society, though often viewed as a little 'odd'. So I would say inclusion is a worthwhile goal.

    '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.'

    It is an issue, especially when an idiom or expression has not been learned, and can have serious consequences. Example I was once asked by a driver to watch him as he backed into a wall. I was a little shocked when the driver did so and pushed down the said wall. Had someone been walking past at the time it could have had serious consequences. My daughter was stood in a queue with her class mates as she had been told. She could not understand why all the other children were disobeying the teacher and walking off, leaving her to stand on  her own wondering what was going on. She had not heard the teacher say to follow her and continued obeying the last instruction she was given. It took an hour before anyone realised she was missing.

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

    I started keeping my hair short when I worked in an autistism school due to a number of pupils who would suddenly grab your hair and pull it if they could. I have also been spat on, kicked, punched, scratched and had things thrown at me. Often as these were how the children reacted to adults in general. I would not presume however the motivation behind these.

    My daughter went through a patch where her female friends were getting upset with her because she had begun punching them hard in the arm. when I spoke to her about it she said it was okay because that was what the boys did to each other and believed it was what friends did. She would not listen when I tried to explain this was something boys did sometimes, but generally not girls, so got a couple of her friends to talk to her about it.

    Making eye contact.

    It is a problem because most people are able to make eye contact and failure to do so is often seen as the person being shifty or lying. Actually highlighting that people with autism may have difficulty making eye contact is one way of promoting inclusion. I know when I talk to someone who won't make eye contact it raises flags in my mind that there may be other issues. For example I would be more aware of their mood, more likely to check that I am understanding an issue correctly and to finish a conversation making sure we have interpreted what has been said in the same way.

    Not mentioned, I know one of my oddities is that I will try and figure something out and would suddenly ask a question out of the blue, expecting the other person to know what I am talking about and why I am asking the question. Often having to rephrase the question so they have the context of the question and better able to answer it.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
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  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,375 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @DannyMoore thanks for the insight.  I have to agree with @bert1fegg that I find some of the reasons given why some autistic people behave in some ways as suspect. 

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • AlexW_Scope
    AlexW_Scope Scope Posts: 216 Pioneering
    Thanks for all the thought-provoking feedback. I'm going to take this into account when we review the page. Best wishes, Alex
  • bert1fegg
    bert1fegg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thanks for all your repiies. I'll reply to everyone when I have a bit more time.

Brightness