~Voice in The Wind Magazine Inc.
Today I’d like to share some of my own experiences with Autism with you – all of you. Specifically, I’d like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned and hopefully help clarify some misunderstandings.
I’d like to take a deeper dive into how some with Autism perceives the actions of others. Maybe some insight will help to clarify some things and hopefully allow us to foster better relationships with those on the spectrum (if you are NT) and those off the spectrum (if you are not).
On the topic of synaesthesia I’d like to start by saying this: It causes migraines. Let me repeat that: migraines. The pain caused by migraines is crippling, even debilitating and anyone who has suffered with this kind of issue knows that pain relief is an instinct. Not to sound like a broken record about ABA, but this is why it doesn’t work. No human being on earth could ever “be sociable” or keep to social norms while suffering this way. The fact that ABA believes it’s okay to force someone to suffer that much just to get them to cooperate means that it sanctions torture, or at the very least it sanctions torture-like behaviour. It’s reprehensible. And it needs to stop.
Breach of Trust
Let’s say that someone with Autism is close to you (the NT). One day they decide to try and share something about themselves that is a little more personal. Maybe you are having a bad day. You’re stressed and don’t have any patience left. A person with Autism wouldn’t be able to read your facial expressions and body language well enough to recognize this. When they don’t get a positive or supportive response, like they were expecting, it can feel like a betrayal. That doesn’t mean that you meant to hurt. You were probably innocent. But in the eyes of the person with Autism, you might be “in the dog house”, so to speak. In other words, they might expect you to go through the process of rebuilding trust because that would be normal when both parties recognize that trust was broken. The problem here is that only one person perceives it that way – the person with Autism.
This kind of misunderstanding is the reason why almost all of us come to believe that our feelings don’t matter. From our viewpoint, our feelings were ignored – or worse yet dismissed. That hurts – deeply. So what’s the lesson here? Obviously communication was poor – but why? Because people with Autism often don’t know the terminology – like “broken trust” – to describe how they feel. Just because you have a big vocabulary, doesn’t mean you have a glossary. If it helps, try to build a glossary of social terms for that person with Autism. You might try one for medical terms too. Our knowledge of self care is often poor too. You might find the changes in them are night and day when they can accurately express what they are feeling. You might find your relationship actually gets quite a bit better too.
So how does a glossary help? Most people with Autism “miss the boat” on one side or the other. Sometimes we ramble, seemingly without any point or meaning, as we’re “hitting all around” the word that’s missing from our glossary, but never find it. Sometimes we just don’t talk at all, knowing that others don’t have the patience to figure out that missing word and will probably just “cut us off” in frustration instead. A glossary helps you be concise. That’s the goal of good communication – to put a thought into a few sentences and still say what you mean. Helping to teach a person with Autism to be concise can help them to stop and think about what word is truly the best word to use at that moment. Every little bit helps. It takes time – but it’s worth it.
Please feel free to write in with any questions you may have. I am always trying to help the Autism community, which I am a part of and any suggestions you may have or ideas of what I should write about are truly appreciated. I’ll help in any way I can. Thank you. Note: Contact information is below in the section titled “Contact Us”.
Thanks so much for reading! I appreciate it. Please like, share and subscribe to read my book. You’re the best!!!
Phone: 403-497-WIND (9463)