Bryan Dijkhuizen

Stop Forcing Neurodivergent People Into Social Standards

For as long as I can remember I have been autistic. I have always had trouble communicating and responding in social situations.

I just can’t do it.

There’s nothing wrong with that by the way, no matter what people try to tell you is the right thing to do, just be yourself. You don’t have to be exuberant if you don’t feel comfortable with that, I don’t do that either.

We must stop forcing introverted people and neurodivergent people to act “normal”.

We Don’t Grow Out Of This “Phase”

When I was younger I still believed that it was just a phase in my life — that introvert, that insecure, and that scared feeling to talk to people.

I thought that for a long time. Until a few years ago actually.

But after I delved a little more into being autistic and introverted, I found out that it’s something other than a disorder you can get rid of.

It is something that is intertwined with your personality. Your brain is wired differently and nothing or no one is going to be able to change that if you even want to.

So contrary to what some people think, this is not a phase that you grow out of.

You’re just put together differently.

Please, Parents, Stop Mourning About Your Autistic Children

Recently, I found out that there is a group of people who “mourn” for their autistic children.

I was shocked.

Isn’t grieving a very exaggerated term for being diagnosed with autism? It is also enormously hurtful, for in doing so you are comparing your autistic child to a dead child.

Parents whose child has actually died would do anything to see their child again and these people are supposedly “mourning” for their autistic child.

This is not how you should deal with neurodivergent children, they are not weird, they just need different and sometimes maybe a little more attention.

Try to understand them.

So there is a movement that claims they can cure autistic children. Of course, this is impossible, but stating that being autistic has to do with different wiring of the brain.

This means that being autistic is a state of being.

So when parents want to “cure” their autistic children, they are actually not satisfied with who their children are. It is not a disease.

We’re Not Bad At Communication, The Rest Of The World Is

The other day my girlfriend and I were thinking about how this world is set up. For example, there are various facilities for people with physical defects, quite rightly of course.

But what about those with mental disabilities?

There are really no “solutions” that make a difference. Safe spaces in libraries and school buildings are nicely conceived but obviously add little to practice. If there is a problem with our telephone subscription, we will have to call our provider while sweating out how to communicate the problem.

It would be so much easier, as many companies already do, to do this via a kind of live chat.

Some think introverts or autistic people are bad at communicating; this is partly true of course, but not always. Autistic people are not good at using language or interpreting facial expressions. Now what if we turn this around, we have had to adapt to the world for decades so that it understands us.

Are we then the ones with communication problems?

Wrapping It Up: We Just Want To Live Our Lives, Carelessly

To avoid misunderstanding, I am against adapting society for every small minority group that suffers from something.

But a little more understanding would be nice.

We feel like we can’t be ourselves, especially in “professional” situations where certain things are expected of us. Like certain manners, like calling or video calling each other.

This “problem” will undoubtedly remain a mystery to most of the population for years to come, and admittedly, it is a burden. Sometimes I don’t even understand it anymore.

It’s just really annoying, but it is important to help people with autism understand what they are doing wrong and what they can do to improve.

What’s your experience with introversion or neurodivergent people?

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