Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wanting to be accepted as I am



I have often said I want to be accepted for who I am. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that goal. At some level, I am sure every human shares it. But what does it mean, for people on the spectrum in real life?

Does that statement mean society should accept bizarre or obnoxious behavior in the name of “acceptance?” I say no. It does not matter if you are autistic, nypical, tall or short, or black or white. If you act obnoxious you will be perceived as obnoxious, and society will reject you. If you act really obnoxious you will lose your job and your friends, fail at school, and you might be arrested.

In fact, you may not even get to first base. Obnoxious behavior will prevent making friends or getting a job in the first place. Bad behavior is a fundamental barrier to almost any success in society. It is very hard to achieve anything significant as a total loner, and that’s what you will be if you can’t get along.

Every society sets standards of behavior by “majority vote.” If you act outside those norms, you are going to have a problem. That’s not my opinion; it’s an observed reality.

So how do you reconcile that fact with the desire to be accepted as you are? You adjust your behavior to act in ways that will not result in your exclusion from whatever you want to do.

For most of us on the spectrum, they call that learning social skills. Yesterday someone wrote in to my blog with this comment:

I can't get along with "Aspies" because they refuse to take personal responsibility for themselves and get help. They like to complain about how "society" doesn't accept them and expects "society" to accept their disruptive behavior rather than seeking help from qualified professionals and taking responsibility for their behavior. ND only helps "Aspies" revel in their diagnosis since it is only a "difference" that needs no "cure." And yet they can never figure out why they can't hold down a job...it must be because of society, not because of their refusal to get help for their medical disorder.

I can’t speak for others with Asperger’s, but I do not think the above comment applies to people with attitudes like mine. However, I must admit that I’ve met a fair number of people who do feel they have the right to act any way they think, and the burden is on the wider world to accommodate them.

I’m afraid many of those folks are headed for disaster.

I’ve even seen it start in elementary school, where I have witnessed atrocious behavior only to have a teacher dismiss it with, “Just ignore him. He has autism!”

WRONG!

If we can’t teach kids to behave, they will grow up to a lifetime of rejection, ostracism, and even jail.

That is the fundamental problem with Asperger’s. We look normal. We sound normal. There is no visible component to our disability. Therefore, when we say or do something bizarre, we are guaranteed a bad reception.

A guy in a wheelchair cries out for consideration by his appearance. You can excuse his cranky behavior because he has an obvious disability. Even a guy who stutters and says weird stuff as a result of Tourette’s is more obviously disabled than most of us. We don’t look or sound disabled at all. Therefore society will not excuse our bad behavior.

And going on the attack about the situation won’t help. When we lash out in anger we are assured a poor reception as people close ranks to defend themselves against us. The old adage that you catch more flies with honey than with a hammer is certainly true in my experience.

I’ve written on this before, and there have been times that I’ve made fun of my own rude behavior. For those who challenged me, I’d like to make clear that it’s all a matter of perspective. Sure, I am rude at times. I can’t help it. I can be inconsiderate, too. But those times are overshadowed by the times I am polite and considerate, and that’s what allows me to succeed. Most of the time, I conform to enough social norms to get by.

It can be hard and it can be frustrating, but I do it.

At no time have I ever advocated being rude and obnoxious and expecting the wider world to accept it. That is not what I mean by tolerance. I know the burden is on me to act acceptable, and I do my best to do it.

In fact, that is not even an autism issue. It's a human issue. Everyone has to conform to society's norms, autism or no. It's just that people on the spectrum may be oblivious to their mistakes and they may therefore have a much harder time meeting behavioral expectations.

What do you think of that attitude? Agree? Disagree?

49 comments:

Jen said...

As the mom of a son who is on the more severe end of the spectrum...I completely agree. He often engages in behavior that is obnoxious. I try to separate that from behavior that he can't control, and treat it as I would when *any* of my kids behaves like a brat -- with extreme prejudice, lol. I will no more tolerate deliberate obnoxious behavior and rudeness from him than anyone else would, and I cringe when anyone makes excuses for that sort of behavior. He's autistic, but he can learn to behave with courtesy. It's just harder for him, and requires more patience, and will take longer, but it can't be done.

The fact that it's hard to do doesn't make it impossible, and as you pointed out, it's an important thing to learn for future success.

Excellent post. :)

Jen said...

Er, that is, "it CAN be done", not "can't". Oy. *facepalm*

RtPt said...

The effort can be made on both sides the equation as it comes to school, family and friends. Having understanding does not necessarily let a child (or adult) act out inappropriately, it means understand where it is coming from. It is important for kids to learn those social skills early even if they do not feel sincere acting them out. It will help them later in life.

To socialize with people that do not understand me (which is most people, I don't walk around with "I'm an Aspie" sign on), I have to act out a social skill I have learned. It feels awkward every time, it is never natural, and it exhausts me after a short time. But as the post correctly pointed out, it is part of the human experience. Dealing with some society/cultural norms which many Aspies find absurd and uncomfortable does not have to dominate a person's life. A few hours a week is worth it, then we can go back to our lives.

Donna said...

I agree completely. My brilliant 10 year old summed up the problem about a year ago when she asked, “If I’m so wonderful just the way I am, why do I have to go to all these therapists?” It was an excellent question. I want her to have the best life possible. I don’t want to force my own expectations on her, but at the same time, everyone has to learn things they don’t feel like learning and everyone has to make accommodations for the needs of others when they don’t feel like it. It is a parent’s job to help their child- any child- to learn and grow. It is a difficult balance, even for parents of ntypical kids I imagine.

My daughter wants very much to have friends and she wants to be accepted for who she is. She is content to be a “geek” (her own self-description) and doesn’t care about being in with the “cool kids”. So I let her choose her own clothes and interests, even if she (we) gets strange looks and comments. I teach her to be proud of the unusual person she is. But I also get her social skills counseling to help her learn how to have 2-way conversations and how to resolve conflicts without having a tantrum.

I don’t let her get away with rudeness. We sent a book for kids about Aspergers to her school and they read it aloud to the class. Shortly afterwards, I witnessed my daughter treating another student in a manner that the school doesn’t normally tolerate and that we don’t tolerate at home or church. When I scolded her she said, “I always talk to my classmates that way. They don’t mind, they are used to it.” I spoke to the teacher and the teacher explained that the teachers and students are much more accommodating of my daughter now that they understand Aspergers. I asked the teacher to please stop letting her get away with such behavior. It won’t be tolerated when she is a teenager or adult and I don’t think we are doing her any favors by allowing it now.

When I read that some parents wouldn’t want their child “cured”, I can’t really agree. Of course I would miss my daughter’s obsessions with praying mantises and Star Wars and her adorably articulate and verbose descriptions of whatever she is thinking. But I would give anything for her to be able to function well in the world without so much effort on her part.

Melanie said...

Agree! Wholeheartedly! I have a 7-year old son who was diagnosed with Aspergers in Dec of last year. I kept thinking that as soon as I knew for sure whether it was autism, it would make a difference. But it hasn't at all. The reality is that he exhibits some behaviors that are simply unacceptable in society. He will either learn to behave in a more appropriate way or he won't have friends, or a job, or any number of other things that he might like to have. End of story. There's no sense in labeling him, especially for the purposes of giving him an excuse for his behavior.

You said it all much better than me--just wanted to say that I agree with you completely.

Melanie
Mom to an amazing Aspie + 2 NT boys

P.S. Loved your book, by the way. :)

E Donohue said...

I just have to say, I am fortunate to be in a school district that was open, honest and worked with the students in my son's class. Many kids thought my son was not smart, unaware, and not caring. Once the pyschiatrists, social worker, teachers, etc got in on teaching the other students about "his autism" things became much easier on a social level for my son and his peers who themselves did not understand his actions.

E Donohue said...
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dpisme said...

ihaveAspergersSyndrome, it is a state of being not a "medical disorder."i hope you sell a lot of your books to the clueless NT society

John Elder Robison said...

Dpisme, "medical disorder" was the commenter's phrase. "State of being" is a quote from my book.

dpisme said...

if "medical disorder," was the commentators phrase, then why didn"t you correct him,her or it?

DJ Kirkby said...
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DJ Kirkby said...

I am with you all the way on this one. Everyday I fight to maintain my neurotypical facade at work, not becuase I want to be mainstream but because it makes my work life a bit easier. Sometimes I struggle more than other (yesterday I shouted at my boss) but I feel that it is my responsibility to control these Aspie behaviours as much as I am able (because no one else will help me cope at work) and to try and make amends when I am aware I have 'done wrong'. Though usually I would just prefer to crawl into a fur lined rut and stay there as I get tried of the struggle on a regular basis, I am 42, when will it ever get easier?

Ray said...

I agree with DJ Kirby - some days, it gets so exhausting, both mentally and physically. But we do it if want to pass as "normal". Sometimes, the benefits are apparent while at other times, I wonder if it's worth it at all. Then there are the times when it all feels like an intricate dance, and I'm a step out of synch with everyone else around me.

Nix said...

As the Mum of two teenage Aspies I can totally agree with what you say. I have strived to teach my sons that society expects certain levels of behaviour and I am glad that they are able to live up to society's expectations when out in public. When they are at home, I try my best not to put the pressure of expectation on them. They have to be able to be themselves at some stage and home is the best place for that.

I have always told my sons that their Aspergers gives an explanation for why they do things but it is never to be used as an excuse for being plain downright rude!

LizzieK8 said...

What a bunch of BS. I just unsubscribed. I hope your readership disappears because we don't need that kind of negative propaganda. I'm so disappointed in you.

LJ said...

My son has autism- and is now 5. I have always been hard on him and treated him just like I would have otherwise in being consistent with rules and encouraging him to behave and experiencing natural concequences- even time outs. The world is not going to carry him when he grows up- time to get used to it now.

John Elder Robison said...

Lizzie, what exactly is wrong with the idea that we have to fit in with society?

What do you believe is BS about this post?

Amanda said...

Well, for me, acceptance of my girls means cutting them a little slack. Letting them get it wrong. You don't have to be on the spectrum to make mistakes in social situations, but like Jen said, autism does not at any level excuse them for being brats. Yes they can get it wrong but they can also learn from their mistakes.

For me, autism as a label just gives you a heads up to expect a little more than face value. I'm going to get my girls t-shits with "I know I'm fab there's no need to stare" on them. Visual clues are good.

Maleficent said...

John, as always a very thought-provoking post. I struggled for a long time to tell people that I had Asperger's. Mainly because I thought they would assume that I was using it as an excuse for bad behaviour. I just blurted it out one day and my worklife immediately changed for the better. Instead of "God, she's kind of a bitch sometimes" it became, "God, she does so well!" It turns out everyone KNEW I was different, they just didn't know why or how and it has helped them (and me) to deal with it in a pretty open way. I work in an industry full of really intelligent people who are used to eccentric behaviour so they're pretty accepting.

While I don't expect special treatment, I DO ask for and expect reasonable accommodation much like you would expect for a blind or deaf person. This is an analogy I've often used to help people understand what it's like. I'm socially blind, just let me know somebody moved the chair in front of the door, because the last time I "mapped" the room it was beside the desk, that sort of thing.

GodsCherokeePrincess said...

this is so educational and true, thanks for sharteing.

Samwick said...
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Paulene Angela said...

Label or no label I believe part of my role as a parent is to help guide my son thorough these very complicated rules of society. We are learning together. There is no magic, just buckets of patience on both sides.

I think if we can meet the rest of society half way, we are doing a great job. Everything is possible.

John Elder Robison said...

Samwick, I have won you over, to the extent that you continue to participate in the discussion.

I think hard about all your points, and you certainly influence my thinking, as do many others who write in. Even if I am annoyed at your tone at times I recognize value in the ideas.

Samwick said...
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Laura said...

My 17 year old son was recently diagnosed with Asperger's. These are conversations I am just starting to get into. I am still trying to sort out which of his behaviors should be accepted and which he needs to work on to be more acceptable for general society. In a previous comment by Maleficent, the subject about whether to tell people was touched on. My son would like to get a job and I am not sure what advice to give him. I know he will be misinterpreted if he does not. Any thoughts? Your book was one of the first that I read and really appreciate the insight you give.

Michelle O'Neil said...

When my daughter does something or says something offensive it is always from a lack of awareness, never from a place of deliberately trying to be rude. She is the sweetest person in the world. I do feel it is my responsibility to point out to her how her actions might come across, not in a judgemental way, but she deserves to be informed. It will only help her survive.

She'll scream at one of us and we say, "When you screamed at me just now, it really hurt my feelings. It isn't okay. Can you do it over and express yourself in a more polite way?"

And she does. No one tries harder than her.

The tricky thing is, with Asperger's is it isn't the same two days in a row. If she's used up all her reserves for the day, there are sometimes she just can't do/be what she was capable of the day before.

So no, you can't just be all "you're so perfect the world has to change for you" because it won't. You also can't dig your heels in and think you're going to train a kid with Asperger's like a dog, because sometimes they simply aren't capable, and if you insist you will shoot yourself in the foot. If you squelch a behavior without examining what purpose it is serving the child, it's going to have it's way out in another form, perhaps a more destructive one later down the road.

It is a tightrope we walk as parents, but having such a loving and sweet, creative and bright daughter is so worth it. I wouldn't trade her for the world (most days).

; )

Chasmatazz said...

Gotta say, I'm feeling agreement with Samwick. There are points we in the Autistic community have been hashing out for a decade or more, of which you seem to be unaware, John. Have you read any of the writings of any of the leaders in the Autistic rights movement? Your simple viewpoints are more of a trivialization than a distillation. It's disappointing that the voices being heard by mainstream society are voices like yours, rather than the aforementioned leaders.

John Elder Robison said...

Chazzmatazz, what leaders and writings are you referring to in particular?

Chasmatazz said...

Jim Sinclair, Amanda Baggs, Michelle Dawson, are three that quickly come to mind. There are many more, but my intention is not to give you a comprehensive list, but to impress upon you the fact that your ideas are lacking in foundation. Am I wrong in assuming that you have very minimal exposure to Autism politics and Disability politics? Who/what are some of your influences? Do you participate in any Autistic discussion groups?

John Elder Robison said...

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I do not think my ideas are lacking in foundation. I just don't completely agree with what's said by the individuals you cite.

I am not involved in autism politics, or indeed in any politics at all. Nor do I aspire to be.

I do not participate regularly in any online autism groups, though I do read quite a bit. I speak to many people on the spectrum in person, at schools and elsewhere. I also speak to many teachers, clinicians, and others who work with autistic people.

I volunteer to work with local people on the spectrum at all levels, from high functioning Asperger's to non verbal.

kimi said...

As the mom of two autistic children (7 and 9), and an Aspie husband, I am often the only reliable caregiver of my entire family. It can be exhausting. I personally strive to help my children's school accept them as they are, but still work with them to teach them acceptable behavior (waiting in line, not pushing, not screaming, not pulling a child off the computer because they want a turn now, etc.) and I treasure my husband's incredible intelligence and design ideas, but it's only I who can phone for pizza (because if they offer him more than two choices of "deal" he'll freeze up) and it is only I who can discuss with the school our desires for the kids (because if they digress to "How was your summer?" he might not know how to answer this without too much information: do they want to know exactly how it was? if it was hot? if we went somewhere? how it was for him working during the summer?? every question is a loaded question) and it is only I who will remember lunchtime because if he gets into a design groove, he's not going to look up, see that it's noon, and time for the kids to eat. But even with the troublesome side of things, the unique gifts of each of them can bring a lot to society in general and in our community in particular. I have always maintained that while I want my kids to be participating wholly in school, I do not want this at the expense of their particular gifts and enjoyable personalities. I think all Aspie and autistic individuals have many growth phases where one or more "undesirable" aspects are overcome, things normal out a little, and new ones will come up, to be conquered again. But we don't demand kids with Tourette's stop tic-ing, and just knock it off! And we don't demand that kids with CP or epilepsy just normal out right now, dammit. It's known and obvious there are issues. We take the good, deal with the less than sterling, straighten out the behaviour issues (like, let's not let CP kids be allowed to call people nasty names--no one else gets away with that...), and move on. As long as we move forward, we're in good shape.

Chasmatazz said...

You say you're not involved in Autism politics, but what do you think this is?

John Elder Robison said...

Chazzmatazz, your statement implies that my writing is "autism politics." I don't see it that way. This is just me, expressing my views and engaging readers. If you think that's political, then every writer who expresses opinions is a politician.

Trilogy said...

Youa asked agree or not agree

I FIRMLY AGREE WITH YOU.

Trilogy said...

Youa asked agree or not agree

I FIRMLY AGREE WITH YOU.

Chasmatazz said...

The general question of whether, and how much, society should adapt to Autistics vs. Autistics adapting to society - that's Autism politics. And it falls under the banner of Disability politics. Writing about these things doesn't make one a politician. Whether or not you agree with these definitions, this is what I was referring to when I asked what exposure you had to Autism politics and Disability politics.

The Disability community has been hashing out the issue of where do we fit in society, and society's responsibility in accommodating us for decades. It's not a simple issue, and it's certainly not as simple as you make it out to be. Hence my question.

Gavin Bollard said...

It's a fine line.

I'll agree that we have to respect the rules and social standards of our society. Society has a lot of rules that are in place for the benefit of everyone.

"Not killing people" is a great example of this.

Unfortunately, you can't simply expect everyone to play nicely. We already have enough problems with people who ignore this rather obvious rule.

Having a rule about being nice to others unfortunately just doesn't work. Some aspies have better control over aspects of their behaviour and personality than others.

I'd seriously suggest to aspies that they try to be nice and friendly but in the end, it really comes down to the individual. Some people are more amicable than others - and it's not only aspies I'm talking about.

How you treat others will generally be a reflection on how others treat you. It's academic to wonder which comes first - each behaviour causes the other. The end result is that friendly people attract other friendly people and the opposite is true for unfriendly people.

Should NTs (and other aspies) be forgiving at all times? Should they be "nice" to someone who is not being nice to them? Well... yes... it would certainly help. It would make the world a much better place. I'd even go so far as to say that this is one of the major points of several of our religions.

It doesn't mean anything though. Human nature isn't like that. Frown at someone and they will frown back.

Jenni said...

There's just so much I can say. I feel like that a lot. That because I look normal (I look kinda weird, but I've noticed a lot of people with NF look very slightly off), I shouldn't be weird. And yet I am. I've been socially unaccepted in very situation imaginable. Ha, you'd think at my age and having a job would mean an end to this. That it'd mean friends, acceptance, liked; even though I'm so terribly bizarre. But it's quite the opposite.

I act inside norms as much as possible. Very so often I might slip, and say something mildly inappropriate (or as I call it "Honest") and it knocks me down a peg or two, but I'm learning to control it.
This post makes me a little bitter, actually. Because for me, it's true. But I can't describe why. I just know it is. I guess I'm just so deeply frustrated by the people in my life who've cast me out and pushed me out. Just because I'm not like them.
I've learned standards of social behavior, and social norms, and try to use them daily. It's funny, every polite conversation or cues that I'm listening makes me feel like I'm having a small win.

I guess the comment within your blog post makes me angry. That so many people are that ignorant about disabilities, disorders, everything. If people like that just gave us, gave me an inch, I'd give a mile.
I think an inch of understanding would go such a long way for so many people.
And I feel so unworthy to post here. I'm always so humbled by the comments. Everyone here struggles so hard for themselves, their kids, their siblings, parents, friends, and I don't deserve to be a part of your circles. Everyone here, and you included, teach me such important things about life, and I thank you all very much for that.

-Jenni

La Nuit Étoilée said...

Hi John! I'm not here to coment your post in fact.
My name is Rosalina and I'm from Brasil.
I read your book and now I'm amazed by the hope you send to the people in your book.
I really like it!
A big hug for you, to Unit Two and Cubby.
Success!
You're a winner!

mama edge said...

For months, I thought you abandoned your blog, and then suddenly my Google Reader blessed me with every post you've written since mid-May. It's like Hanukkwaanzaristmas in July!

Love your post today. Coincidentally, today's post on my blog addresses the acceptance issue, focusing on a particularly eloquent comment written by an anonymous reader of mine re one of my prior posts. I have been struggling with my older son, Rocky, lately precisely because he wants me to accept him as he is (he is proudly rude and determinedly socially isolated) and to stop trying to "fix" him. Getting him to willingly, as you say, "conform to enough social norms to get by" is probably the most difficult parenting task I've ever faced with Rocky.

Glad to know you're still out here in the blogosphere, keeping all of us thinking and learning.

andy said...

I agree with your point, and excuse my rudeness in adding that the person you quoted has a crappy attitude and personally I'd appreciate his avoiding aspies.

Also, John, use of blockquote tags or italics to denote a quote from another source and being commented upon is, in my opinion, a common text device used to delimit your voice from that of the source. There seems to have been much confusion about that in this thread.

Aspergers is a communications disorder, we would all do well to remind ourselves to put on a little effort before we malign the motives of anyone. ESPECIALLY when that person is your host, as true on your blog as in your living room.

Good work, I look forward to reading your book. The adult aspie perspective is needed by the youngsters.

LunaTec said...

I have always said manners are ridiculous. I value honesty and authenticity over conformity any day. And the masses are stupid so who cares what they think? Seriously. Since when has the majority come up with anything progressive and relevant? They're like cattle (I wish I had another word to use b/c I like cows). I've always felt shocked and hurt by the petty judgments of the majority. I give them diamonds (honesty and authenticity) and they give me rhinestones (conformity and lies) in return.

Now I'm not saying it's OK to be mean. But if you ask me a question I'm gonna give you the real answer, the honest one. And if I don't feel like wearing a rubber band around my rib cage (they call them bras) I'm not gonna. Get over it. They're called nipples, we all got 'em. Besides I'm flat-chested anyway so it's ridiculous to even think of suffering for some stupid unwritten rule that I don't value anyway.

I'm tired of being ostracized for stupid shit. I don't treat people like that. I don't think I'm mean just b/c I'm not going to spare your pride. Pride is ego BS. I don't want to cater to the ego, mine or yours. Ya know?

Why is it that my eccentricities can't be not only tolerated but celebrated? I celebrate others' unique qualities. The more I read about Asperger's the more I feel that we're being given a bad rap.

Society is sick. I mean just look at what passes for a movie nowadays. Sadistic blood and gore movies, bang bang shoot 'em up, rather blow 'em up movies, and woman as sexual object movies. (yawn) And I'm the the odd ball? To me this world is a photo negative. What's black is white and what's white is black. Or what's wrong is right and what's right is wrong. I have more ethics than anyone I know and yet no one wants to be my friend. ?? They just irritate the hell outa me anyway so... I should be happy. But then, I'm not.

I'm all alone in this world and I don't fit. Is conformity really the only way to get love here? Do we really have to sell our souls just to get a little positive attention? Guess I'll be a hermit then 'cause I love my soul and she's not for sale. :)

e said...

"I must admit that I’ve met a fair number of people who do feel they have the right to act any way they think, and the burden is on the wider world to accommodate them."

...and this is only people with Asperger's?

I don't think so. There are far too many "normal" people out there who do and say whatever they want and don't care who it annoys or hurts. Rudeness, obnoxiousness, selfishness and downright meanness are all too-common and Aspergers has nothing at all to do with it.

LunaTec said...

I agree. Also though, many people do a lot of role-playing pretending to be much kinder than they actually are. I would love to see everyone just be authentic. You can be kind and honest. You can be real and non-abusive. With me it's the unfair rejection I encounter that bewilders. I don't think I'm mean at all. And it's always when I'm reaching out with the best of intentions too. I may not follow the unwritten rules in communicating but I'm honest. Role-players seems to receive that as rude and reject me. That hurts ya know.

e said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
e said...

Luna, thanks for that. People who are not authentic make me really uneasy, especially ones who are always gushing and smiling. I mistrust those people more than someone who is grumpy (although then I worry about what I said or did......)
I don't like being around people who are not real.

LunaTec said...

Thanks e. Wouldn't it be so much easier if everyone would just stop running for office and be real? We're all so multi-faceted so what's with the paper doll cut-out hovering inches in front of them? Ya know? We all have the good, the bad and the ugly in us. Get real! is what I say. Stop confusing people with your routine. Right? Aaarrgghh! And they call ME crazy. ;)

V.R. Leavitt said...

I completely agree. It's a good lesson for all of us. I'm not on the spectrum, and I think everybody gets the urge to do things that don't fit within the "norm." Who hasn't wanted to yell at a co-worker or key a car who put a ding in yours?

I think it's a matter of weighing the 'hurt' associated with the action. My daughter is 5 and she's on the spectrum and we often have a hard time deciding what's just being rude and what is just being 5 and then what is 'spectrum' behavior. It's hard, but we've found that she's actually quite empathetic sometimes. So when she does something just plain rude, we tell her it hurts ours/her friend's feelings and she knows she shouldn't do it. She's still at the point where she does more apologizing than preventing the rude behavior, but she's starting to get it. Like Jen said, lots of patience and lots of time, but it's clicking.

Now, when she INSISTS on wearing a tiger costume to the store instead of 'normal' clothes, it's strange, but it doesn't hurt anybody so hey, we let her go for it. :-)

kiki mom said...

My son just turned 19 and he is an ASPIE. He tries do hard to be NORMAL and yet the harder he tries the more difficult it is, and yet he is so very special. With his sports knowledge, that is his excelling knowledge, he talks the talk above and beyond most to grasp, but what you hear is not just his monologues but you can snatches of knowledge that is so indepth that you want him to take it to a higher power.

Alex has begun his second year in college. He is a vocal music major and has a voice and a range that goes beyond definition.

With his gift of knowledge and his talent he still is stuck...time has no meaning and wanting to be accepted is so very important to him.

However being alone is so much easier, he doesn't have to look anyone int he eye.....I would love for him to meet you John as your story is so inspiring and Alex needs someone besides mom and dad who will believe in him.