Sharing – Six Principles Of Autistic Interaction

Hammer driving a screw into a board
Forcing autistic folks to abide by neurotypical social rules is like hammering a screw into a board. You can do it, but it can make a mess of things.

This is a good read from http://www.jamesmw.com/sixrules.htm

ABSTRACT: Autistic individuals typically have problems interacting in normal social environments. This leads some parents and professionals to think that they are naturally antisocial. However, autistic individuals, if allowed to interact with other autistic individuals, develop complex friendships that are based on social rules that are unique to autistic relationships. These social rules are not necessarily the social rules of neurotypical individuals. In this essay, I discuss general principles that autistic individuals use when they interact with each other, and how this helps their relationships prosper.

* * * *

[Author’s note:  The following rules have been read and verified by other autistic individuals.]

There is a basis for the conclusion that autistic individuals are naturally antisocial. Most autistic children do not do well in social situations and prefer to be alone. Some consciously refuse to follow social rules for they fail to see the point of them. Other autistic individuals who do attempt to attain social acceptance may be unable to understand the rules of the majority and hence find themselves despised and rejected.

The underlying cause of autistic social problems is not that autistic people are inherently antisocial. It is that they are social in their own way. But this way is not the normal way, and thus they are perceived to be weird by many neurotypical people.

When two autistic people who are fit for each other interact, there typically are several principles they use when socializing. These may seem alien to you, but remember, many of your values are alien to us even when we learn them.

The word “fit” is key, however. Not all autistic people can find common interests or share worldviews with all other autistics. Some are incompatible. But remember, many neurotypical people have incompatibilities with other neurotypicals.

Read the full article at http://www.jamesmw.com/sixrules.htm

 

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2 thoughts on “Sharing – Six Principles Of Autistic Interaction

  1. Oooh! This is interesting. I learnt my NT social rules methodically and thoroughly and get anxious… No, scrap that, I actually get angry when other people don’t also follow these rules – particularly in group situations. Oh the bitter irony! (But seriously, if NTs don’t follow their own rules how am I supposed to join in? Improvise?!! 😉)

    But reading this I realise that the easiest interactions I have are with my husband and my best friend, both of whom I think are probably autistic, and we communicate pretty much on these same principles. Will go and ponder them again…

    It’s interesting when people say that “you should just be you.” I’ve become such a good method actor that I don’t know who I was supposed to be in my time off!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      Yeah, second that. It’s eerily easy to communicate with autistic/Aspie folks, compared to NTs. I think the whole “you should just be you” attitude is relatively recent. I was raised to adjust to “slot” easily into social situations, to be part of a larger whole. Less emphasis on being unique and individual, more on being a social team-player to help the interactions move forward.

      I have a really hard time figuring out what part is me being “me” and which is me being a team player. I’m actually most “me” when I am alone, so I guess maybe when others are around, I am technically not “me” at all.

      As long as I can get through the situations unscathed, I’m happy. And relieved.

      Like

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