Bryan Dijkhuizen

One Thing People Keep Getting Wrong About Autistic People

The problem is much bigger.

This belief comes from the old idea that autistic people have trouble communicating and behaving in a way that’s expected of society.

Society is programmed in a way that all people in it are expected that they can behave in the same way. That’s weird for a world where everybody tells you to “be yourself”.

Because that’s not possible if you don’t let us.

I remember an episode of Louis Theroux where he visits some autistic people. In that episode, there are a lot of “stereotype-confirming” people who in fact aren’t capable of living alone or being independent.

That’s the picture that people have of autistic people. Here’s why that’s not always true.

The Spectrum is Very Broad

Autism is a spectrum, a very broad one and therefore you can’t generalize all autistic people.

I can be a very social person if I’m around the right people. That’s a crucial parameter in my social life. It’s like radar, if my radar detects something off, I block you from my heart and there’s no way to get in.

Some people just give off the wrong vibes.

Another thing that really doesn’t help is constantly mentioning autism. Phrases like “I couldn’t tell you were autistic”, or “Isn’t everybody a little autistic” are just killing.

Everybody’s different but autistic are literally differently wired.

Just Treat Us Normally

You could try to just treat an autistic person like you treat every other person but when they’re not into any social things, accept and respect that.

It costs a lot of energy to charge for a social situation like having a coffee, dinner, or any other event.

Obviously, this is difficult.

Autism, as we know it in 2023, is still quite unknown and new to the public. Only people that really dove into it know the ins and outs of the Autism Spectrum.

You could recognize us by these characteristics:

  • Often the “quiet kid”
  • We’re quite specific in our interests
  • Difficulty making friends

I always was exactly that.

It wasn’t easy growing up but I eventually managed to fight through and find people that truly accept me.

If there were issues in my childhood, teachers and coaches often tried to gather the whole class and they wanted to “talk about it”. Try talking about the autistic kid to 11/12-year-olds in a Dutch provincial town.

That’s definitely a bad idea.

I See Changes Coming

Luckily I see a change in the world.

More and more people are accepting other-wired brains. Especially in online communities you feel accepted.

In the real world, there’s still some work needed to make autistic people feel just as much worth as neurotypical people.

The world is just made for neurotypical people.

And we can’t expect the world to radically change just for us. We need to find a middle ground to make things better for everyone.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the belief that autistic people are not capable of doing certain social things is not true.

Autism is a spectrum and individuals on the spectrum can vary greatly in their abilities and behaviors.

Society often has a stereotype of what it means to be autistic, but this is not always accurate.

It is important to treat autistic individuals like any other person, but also to accept and respect their unique differences.

Additionally, it is important for society to recognize the challenges that autistic individuals face in navigating a world that is often not designed for them and work towards creating a more inclusive and accepting environment for all.

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