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Tue Aug 12, 2014, 06:28 PM

 

Fourteen Things Not to Say to an Autistic Adult

http://purpleaspie.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/fourteen-things-not-to-say-to-an-autistic-adult/

Last night somebody shared an article on Facebook. The article was called “Things never to say to parents of a child with autism.” A comment on the article asked why there wasn’t one about things not to say to an autistic adult. I decided to write that article. It’s based on not only my experience, but also the experiences of my autistic friends....

1) “You don’t look autistic.”

My response to this would be something along the lines of what Gloria Steinem said when people told her she “looked good for 50.” She said, “This is what 50 looks like.” I say, “This is what autism looks like.” However, what I’d like to say is: “I don’t look autistic, and you don’t look ignorant. I guess we’re both wrong.”...

3) “Don’t call yourself autistic. You’re a person with autism. You must use person-first language.”

I call myself an autistic person. Many in the autism community prefer to use autism-first language. As Ari Ne’eman said, “When I go on a trip I don’t forget to pack my autism.” I’ve written blog posts before about why I prefer autism-first language. However, it is a personal preference. Some prefer to use person-first language, and others don’t. All of us would prefer to not be told what to call ourselves, especially by people who aren’t autistic....

8) “You must be high-functioning.”

Functioning labels are not useful. They are an artificial means of trying to classify people into rigid and discrete categories. Nobody is 100 percent “high-functioning” or 100 percent “low-functioning.” Some people can change their “functioning” levels within the space of a few hours depending on their energy levels or the environment they’re in. To paraphrase Laura Tisoncik, when you’re labelled low-functioning your abilities are ignored, and when you’re labelled high-functioning your needs are ignored. There are no specific, definable criteria for what is “high” and what is “low” functioning.


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Reply Fourteen Things Not to Say to an Autistic Adult (Original post)
KamaAina Aug 2014 OP
Manifestor_of_Light Aug 2014 #1
janlyn Oct 2014 #2
Odin2005 Nov 2014 #3

Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Aug 12, 2014, 06:47 PM

1. A friend of mine has an autistic daughter.

The daughter is mentally retarded and about 35 years old. She is mentally about five years old and loves princesses and fairies.
I value the daughter's friendship because she loves classical music as much as I do. She especially likes 20th century classical music like Stravinsky and Prokofiev and Bartok. And that means a lot to me.

I took a DVD to their house of Gustavo Dudamel conducting Mahler's First Symphony. She watched it over and over again. And yes, she is very intelligent in her ability to concentrate on classical music. She also goes to the ballet. She can instantly tell if they are performing the Tchaikovsky version or the Prokofiev version of the classic ballets. So I ask her if she enjoys her music and she says yes. I don't know many other people that groove on classical music as much as I do. It gives me a lot of joy.


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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Oct 2, 2014, 08:40 PM

2. Fantastic!

Thank you for posting! I am sharing this on facebook. I try to help educate preople about autism, and try not to be offended by such comments. Often it is simply a lack of knowledge that motivates people to make comments.
I guess I try to be an ambassador from the land of autism.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Nov 6, 2014, 03:45 AM

3. I run into #11 a lot.

Usually said by the same shitty people who think that the world is going down the tubes because beating and belting kids is illegal.

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