Sharing : Rethinking Autism: From Social Awkwardness to Social Creativity

Instead of viewing people with ASD as “socially awkward” individuals who need to be “fixed,” we should instead conceptualize them as socially creative. They may not do things the “right” way, but they do them their way.

Read the rest of this great article here


2 thoughts on “Sharing : Rethinking Autism: From Social Awkwardness to Social Creativity

  1. From the linked article: For instance, a child may be taught that when a person says, “Hi, how are you?” you respond with, “Fine, thank you. And yourself?”

    In one of the communications courses I took at university, the professor asked us if an exchange like the one quoted above is communication. With one exception (me), the entire class said Yes. I’m the one who gave the correct answer, the one the professor didn’t actually want any of us to give because he wanted to “surprise” us with the concept that it ISN’T communication; it’s a rote call-and-answer that doesn’t actually share anything between the participants.

    Of course, back in the early 1990s, no one (not even me) knew that I have autism, so there was no reason for that professor to dismiss my comments out of hand.

    The standard “Fine, thanks, and you?” response makes sense, I suppose, when a stranger asks, “How are you?” but it doesn’t make sense when someone you know fairly well says it. I cannot understand (because there’s something terribly wrong with my brain?) why it’s completely unacceptable in “normal” society to respond to an acquaintance’s “How are you?” with a smile and, “Trying not to melt in this heat, y’know?” To me, an answer that’s real (rather than a rote response) but not too personal feels like a way of acknowledging the other person AS a person without oversharing or getting into an actual conversation that neither person wants.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. VisualVox

      I think of that rote response as being another form of information — a “read” of the frame of mind of the other, based on tone of voice and prosody. I think a lot of people use that to gauge whether or not the other person is in a bad mood, represents a threat, is friendly, etc. So, it does serve some purpose. I find that when I respond “I’m great, thanks!” in an ultra-chipper voice, people respond better — and I’m not obligated to interact with them further, which is really what I’m hoping for.


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