Guest post – Had enough with the “Autistic police”

Imagine, if you will, someone who has been autistic without knowing for their whole life. Alienated. Overwhelmed. Confused. Trying, and failing, to fit in. Exhausted from trying to meet invisible and often unobtainable standards.

Then they finally discover what “autism” means via self or official diagnosis. Lightbulb moments. Gradual new understandings. A minefield of (sometimes inaccurate or misleading) information to wade through, to assimilate, to make sense of.

And with this research they find people with shared experience. Finally, people who understand! That feeling of alienation? It lessens each time a new connection is made, a new friendship is forged, a confusion is cleared up.

And then all hell breaks loose. Maybe you didn’t understand what low/high functioning meant. Maybe you used the word aspergers rather than autistic. Maybe you read a book by a neurotypical author. Perhaps you publicly suggested that your newfound social circle could have a name. Perhaps you didn’t personally research the scientific data when you repeated something you heard.

And now you are right back at school.

Somehow it’s apparently deemed acceptable for other people to ridicule you, to swear at you, to block you for using the “wrong” words. For not understanding the political implications, for being emotionally honest. This sounds familiar…

And, hold on a minute… who are these online twitter police? Other autistics! Do they not understand how much damage they do to someone with a sensitive disposition? Are they aware of the irony, when they attack in this fashion, that those of us in the actually autistic community do not hold with “theory of mind” or “lack of empathy” theories.

I’ve really had enough of this behaviour. I avoid much social interaction so as not to have to witness bullying and I certainly don’t want to have to see it in my twitter feed either. I don’t think that autistics attacking autistics is acceptable. Many of us use Twitter as an opportunity to reach out, to share, to comfort, to laugh. Let’s keep that safe.

  • flojoeasydetox

23 thoughts on “Guest post – Had enough with the “Autistic police”

  1. Pingback: About all this arguing – Under Your Radar

  2. Tim

    Hi VisualVox. Could you enlarge on what FloJo means about not holding with Theory of Mind please? Not trying to start a flame war or anything, I just like to understand different views.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. VisualVox

      I can certainly try… I believe she’s referring to the theory that autistic folks can’t understand what others are thinking or feeling, so we shouldn’t be held accountable for our mis-steps and lack of consideration of others’ feelings. It’s been my own observation that some autistic folks fall back on that theory (debunked as it has been) to excuse their lack of caring for others. I’ve met some autistic folks who happily refuse to even try to be considerate, because it “goes against their autistic nature”. That logic doesn’t hold up for me. If you know it’s an issue, then I feel it’s incumbent upon you to address it. To refuse to consider others or monitor your own behavior when you know it’s an issue, to begin with, is irresponsible, in my opinion. That’s just me. But I feel very strongly about it. Autism isn’t a “get out of jail free” pass, when you’re capable of self-awareness.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. flojoeasydetox

        Thanks for that visualvox! Yep! Also that the new autistic friends I’ve made often seem to understand where I’m at mentally and emotionally more than people who have known me for years. And we all agree that it’s more than possible that we’ll hold different views from each other.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. How can an autistic expect consideration if he/she refuses to consider others? Social clumsiness is one thing but we, like other people, can take measures to improve our abilities for the benefit of self and others. Self development can occur consciously and unconsciously through “experience”.
        Compassion for those who stumble like we have/do through such difficulties may be more productive than criticism.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. VisualVox

        I agree. Of all people, “hard-line” autistics should know what a slippery slope it is, when it comes to autistic interactions — there is just too much we do not know, and we also mis-judge constantly. So, we need to take all that into consideration — take our own selves with the proverbial grain of salt.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. amyes87

    The other Twitter Autism Police are ….. Parents of Austic kids (NOT all, of course!) I’ve seen a few of them attack Autistic adults for their views. It’s sad. Great post!

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Tim

    Thanks, I understand now. I totally agree, if someone knows right from wrong and they do something wrong anyway, citing “It’s my autism” doesn’t really seem much of an excuse. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Tim

    It’s a bit like being in a sort of family, and with two brothers and two sisters I know how easily it is for arguments to flare up in families. I don’t like it when people fight and argue. We need each other.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. This field was intentionally left blank

    Thank you for this post.

    I found myself tearing up, while smiling, and started to cry, in a positive and healing way. Because it touched me, deep inside.

    My words are failing, but with any luck, you know what I mean.

    Thank you. So much ❤️💐😊

    Liked by 4 people

  7. “Passing”strange! Are these autistic people “going native” adopting typical structures, systems, hierarchies in their attitudes and behaviours_______________________ a long way from actually being accepting and even further from celebrating ” difference”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      I’ve always loved the expression “passing strange”. Yeah, I’m not sure what the deal is… there are a lot of very black-and-white thinkers in our community, and it seems we lose sight of our limitations in key ways. That’s not much help, to be honest. But it’s all a part of who we are and how we are, so we’ve got to learn to deal with it.


      1. There is an old saying ” remember your roots” . If autistics diagnosed early in life make such judgements of newly diagnosed and possibly very late diagnosed autistics based upon their lack of familiarity with contemporary autism politics of language they miss the opportunity to educate them through acceptance and guidance.

        Why banish/block or marginalise someone who is reaching out, eager to understand more and hoping for a sense of belonging and support from the Neurodiverse community?

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Looking back on 2016 ~ My personal Asperger’s / autistic blogging journey thus far… – the silent wave

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