What You May Not Know

It may seem odd for someone with Aspergers to offer a social suggestion but it’s time.

I want to quickly touch on something big for me. I just want to reassure you that 1) I already know I am high functioning, 2) know I don’t act like the Hollywood stereotype of Autism, and 3) I know you probably mean well.

But here is the thing: Someone telling me I don’t seem like a person on the Autism Spectrum isn’t a compliment to me even if it is meant that way. To me it completely devalues all the hard work I do to internalize a lot of things that might make you think otherwise and things I have learned to handle over time.

But let’s not dwell on this. There is a simple solution to this. Instead of telling me it doesn’t seem like I have Aspergers, although those who say this usually don’t know me all that well. Instead, why not just say:

“Wow, you must work really hard then. Keep up the hard work.”

Or you could go the completely neutral route and just nod and smile- especially if you don’t know what Aspergers is (beyond the movies)

The truth is everyone on the Autism Spectrum is different. Most of us are not specialists on it. Let’s leave the diagnostics to those who are qualified to give that judgement.

This seems to be such a common problem. Does anyone else on the Spectrum have another suggestion to add?

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About Gretchen Leary

I am 30 years old, I live in the Boston area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
This entry was posted in ASD, Aspergers, Autism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to What You May Not Know

  1. usevalue says:

    Good stuff, Gretch.

  2. matthewexeter says:
  3. lostinthelabyrinthh says:

    Thank you! I agree with you on this! I feel insulted when people blurt that out. Just because I look like a human being doesn’t mean I have Aspergers. I find it hard to then try to explain myself how I have to act interested in things & pretend to be as normal as possible which then makes me sound horrible!
    It’s a tough one. Thanks for posting 🙂

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