Bryan Dijkhuizen

5 Things You Shouldn’t Say To Autistic People

“Aren’t we all autistic?” — Everyone

Have you ever heard somebody say that to a neurodivergent (autistic) person?

There are so many unknown things about autism and people often don’t know how to “treat” autistic people, they’re not informed about what autism actually is.

That’s fine, at first. But if you keep doing this, you’re not making any friends with autistic people.

Here are five things you shouldn’t say to autistic people.

1 — You Don’t Look Autistic

Good for you that I don’t look autistic.

What goes through somebody’s mind to say this to someone who’s autistic? I’ve heard it just a couple of times in my life but it’s just annoying.

Of course, I don’t look autistic. What do you expect?

Thanks to Louis Theroux we’ve now got the stereotype of autistic people being all aggressive and not able to act socially or stay calm when things aren’t going their way.

That’s just not how everybody is.

Autism is a spectrum with all different types of characteristics that can apply.

Not binary, it’s more like combined building blocks added to your brain.

2 — You Should Behave Normal

This is like telling a blind person to watch out (that’s the comparison that use often for explaining this).

It’s incredibly rude to say this.

First of all, what’s normal according to you? That’s subjective and you can’t define that. What’s normal for me isn’t normal for you and the other way around.

Sure, we (autistic people) aren’t behaving like the average people around us.

That’s just a fact, but is that so wrong?

The world is made for neurotypical people. There’s no natural place for autistic people.

We can’t force everybody to treat us like we want.

So the only thing that we can do is prepare ourselves for the world around us.

3 — How Long Have You Been Autistic?

For the people that still think that autism is a disease that you all of a sudden wake up with: it’s not.

I understand that it’s a complex topic but we need to share more about it to make it easier to understand, and we’re not doing that right now. We’re only sharing stupid TikTok videos on “How to recognize ‘Symptoms’ of Autism”.

That’s completely wrong.

There are no ‘symptoms’ because it’s not a disease. It’s a different type of brain. You’re differently wired and you can’t see the person separate from the autism.

It’s part of you.

You will be autistic for life and it doesn’t get better. You just get to deal with the people around you and that’s getting easier.

4 — Isn’t Everybody Autistic?

The answer is no.

Having a few quirky characteristics that look like autism doesn’t make you autistic because some TikTok girl said so.

If you want to know it, get a professional diagnosis.

Honestly, I don’t care about people saying this. Everybody can say whatever they want, and that’s fine. But you shouldn’t consider this medical or psychological advice of any kind.

Because not everybody is autistic. We wouldn’t have to call it autism if it was that common.

5 — So You Don’t Understand Emotions?

Nope. We don’t understand emotions. We’re robots that are doing tasks that we are told to execute.

Of course, we do.

We’re humans, just like you and your family. That we don’t know how to handle them or how to deal with them doesn’t mean that we don’t understand or have them.

Often I think that autistic people have more empathy than neurotypical ones.

It’s weird how other people think this.

The next time you’re going to say this to an autistic person, reconsider your choice of words.

Asking something is okay, but not in this manner.

Final Thoughts

We’re just like humans. Weird isn’t it?

No, all kidding aside, there is so much unknown about autism and how autistic people are “put together” and the only way to improve our knowledge about this is to talk and write about it.

Share the knowledge and inform those who are interested.

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