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Featured Anyone else anxious around more severe Autistics/Aspies?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Frostee, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    This evening I was on the bus back to University from Town. We pulled up to a busier bus stop, the main one if you like.

    A guy who was moderately Autistic with maybe another disability scattered in there, got on and sat in front of me..

    He dropped his wallet.. I piped up and said 'that's your wallet, you dropped it', he looked at me with a deer in head lights look and didn't say anything.. someone else then got the same treatment a minute or so later. (For a while I did wonder if he stole the wallet)

    So, we proceed on down the road. He then starts singing and opening and slamming the window. Everyone was staring at us and I was quite concerned that he was going to draw attention to me, so I moved down the bus.

    He then, started shouting and jumping on his seat. I got up and moved downstairs, to which he shouted 'i'm going to ring the police on you mate'.. everyone upstairs and downstairs stared at me!

    Trivial I know, but it's not a great experience to go through when you are a timid, reserved person.

    I also noticed earlier, a guy who was more on the Asperger's end of the spectrum but more moderate than me. He was a bus enthusiast and kept running up and down the bus taking pictures. Near the end of the journey he was flapping his hands like crazy. Felt a bit awkward, I could see people looking at him wondering why he was behaving that way.. so again sort of embarrassing because he was standing near me.

    I know it is what it is, and I should be more empathetic. But during these situations, as a reserved person who does not want to draw attention to myself I am anxious and would be wary that these people would start making a scene around me.

    As far as I am concerned these people may as well have a separate disability.
     
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  2. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I work with children with similar behavior! I would be happy to see them and say hi! :D

    Sorry if that's not helpful, and you're looking more for agreement! :eek:
     
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  3. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Things like that make me nervous, too.

    As far as a separate disability - I do feel like the Aspergers type is qualitatively different than the more severe types, though some of the same things can be seen in either.
     
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  4. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Not really. I'm aware of other cases of Autism in my area and I see these people, mainly I'm thankful that my autism, while a challenge, is still pretty mild.
     
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  5. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    A little but those who're more on the severe end of the Spectrum are no different from people with severe Downs Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy imo; they just need extra assistance from a helper.
     
  6. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In the first story, why were people staring at you? That would have really bothered me and your entire story would have made me uncomfortable.
    Did remind me of something though. I also avoid with all desperation being noticed or drawing attention to myself. I was at the mall with my mom and my toddler son and she bought him one of those popcorn push rollers that he was delighted with and pushed it the rest of the time in the mall - pop pop pop pop pop . Talk about people looking. lol
     
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  7. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    Oh just because he shouted 'i'm going to the call the Police on you mate'.
     
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  8. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    so he shouted that to you?
     
  9. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    He did yes. Bit odd
     
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  10. rollerskate

    rollerskate Sora De Lumina V.I.P Member

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    I actually cannot say that I have this problem... but I got introduced to autism through my own child. Now, with that... I definitely had plenty of times I wanted to just melt away and disappear... up until I changed my expectations, and started really evaluating what is "okay" and what is "not okay," not by social norms, but by realistic standards. He wants to wear his shirt inside out and backwards with no socks and make weird animal noises all day, jumping up and down like a monkey? That's okay. People staring at him and advising I pop him for misbehaving, suggesting I'm a horrible parent for not punishing him - well, that is not okay. In this scenario, he isn't the problem. THEY are. And he is a child; they are adults that should know better!

    I have found since that I can use my au senses to better understand what is going on with others, and assist them whenever/where ever I'm able. It's actually much easier to understand nonverbal au than people make it out to be. Just pay attention to their behaviours... they may not speak, but they certainly show through their eyes, facial expressions, body movements. I don't understand why NTs DON'T pay more attention to this, personally. But it does explain why they pay so little attention when it comes to my own body language, and say things like, "you don't LOOK like you're in pain" when I'm almost literally curled into a ball from it, and fighting to remain communicative.

    The best thing about nonverbal au, for me, is the lack of pressure to talk. You can just look and appreciate things together. I often will offer them the fidget spinner I keep in my purse, and they'll spin it, and we'll watch it twirl together. And it's so nice to know, without words, that they're seeing it the same way I'm seeing it. Feeling the same sensations, etc.

    You're not bad for feeling this way. But it is definitely a missed opportunity when you don't try to interact or help them. For BOTH of you. They're missing the chance to interact with someone that has a better shot than most at understanding them with minimal effort on their parts. And you're missing the chance to interact with someone you also don't have to try that hard with, that doesn't expect any social norms from you and can see you for who you really are... allowing you to just BE YOU for a little while.

    And yes, they know you when you see them, the same as you know them. I don't know how we do it, but we somehow recognize each other. No introductions are necessary.

    It's okay if you are uncomfortable and don't want to engage them. I encourage you to at least give it a shot, one day, though. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much you both understand about the other.
     
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  11. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I get anxious around unpredictable people, whether ND or NT.
     
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  12. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    There's a guy in my neighbourhood who has a learning disability of some sort, I don't know if he is autistic, but he might be. He makes me feel uncomfortable because if he sees me, he comes up to me and asks me questions, or hovers round me when he sees me doing something outside, watching. He's not doing anything wrong, but I'm on the spectrum and this kind of thing makes me feel uncomfortable, so I avoid him.
     
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  13. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's a matter of severity, because I don't believe in that when it comes to autism. We're all different in how we present, rather than it being one person is objectively worse than another in every way.

    I do see what you're saying though and I totally feel for you in this situation. Especially when the guy shouted at you about calling the police and everyone staring. I would have not been able to handle that and would have had to get away from that situation as soon as possible. I once had an experience at school with a guy who was a wheelchair user and maybe had some mental health issues (paranoia, I'm not sure), and he loudly accused me of having mocked him. To this day, I don't know what I did to make him think that. I thought I had been doing good at making pleasant small talk. It was unbearable, and teachers got involved and quizzed me about what had happened and I ended up breaking down in tears.

    Usually, I get on better with ND people just because I feel less judged, but sometimes people's neurodivergence leads them to do and say things that I find very hard as someone with very fragile social skills and super high sensitivity levels. I think also I have very set ways of interacting with people, so someone who was autistic and interacted in ways I wasn't used to, I would find difficult. Although I also find that sometimes with very socially confident neurotypical people who don't follow the set rules for social interaction that exist (only) in my head.
     
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  14. Ronin82

    Ronin82 Dog Trainer Extraordinaire

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    I have problems with anyone who makes unexpected or loud noises randomly. For some reason that just sends my system into total disarray. Its a big reason why I'm not working with autistic kids, even though my degree is in that field. I can't handle the unpredictable or loud noises or physical contact. AT ALL. So I steer clear of situations where I'd have to interact, but I'm learning how to interact with folks with milder forms. Still bothers me to be around ANYONE, let alone someone unpredictably noisy.
     
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  15. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It isn't just because they may be on the spectrum (how could I know initially?)

    It would be my own current level of anxiety in certain situations having me hyper aware.

    Unexpected, fast movement or sudden loud noises can provoke an automatic reaction from me.
    Irrespective of its origin.

    That said,
    If I could make an accurate guess the person I'm observing may be stimming?
    I'd hope I might be able to empathise.
    Recognition assuaging fear?
     
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  16. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    As people who are generally socially awkward it's not unusual that we might feel uncomfortable around people acting in an unusual manner. We have difficulty with people who act "normally" as well though, don't we?

    When we feel that way though, take a moment to think how WE look to the people we regard as normal, allistic or neurotypical. Would we like to be thought of this way? Would we feel comfortable with their fear? Would we feel upset if we saw them talking about their discomfort in forums that we were members of, unbeknownst to them?

    "Mild" autism, "high functioning" , "low functioning" and "severe" autism are not diagnostic labels, despite their rampant over use. Asperger's was, but it's rightfully gone the way of the dodo in the US and will soon in the rest of the world. There is just autism. There are co-occurring conditions which can make life more difficult for some of us and there are some of us whose spikes in ability leave our social skills and self control way below the average, but they are no more or less autistic than any of us.

    It's a spectrum, not a scale. When we judge ourselves as something different to those we find a bit too out of the ordinary, consider that many people who are not autistic make little distinction between the weird people who don't talk or make eye contact and the weird people who shout at people on buses. We're all just weird to them.

    Maybe us weirdos should be setting an example to them?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  17. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    One should never be overly self-conscious when they are out and about in public. People see you, even if you are trying to be unnoticeable. Someone who is special needs can't help their behavior. That behavior unnerved you, so you were right to move. You also did the right thing by telling him about his wallet. The situation was embarrassing, but it didn't put you in any real danger. It's hard to know how to interact with someone whose behavior is erratic. Fear not. You did the right thing by helping him and you didn't engage him in nonsense conversation. You acted properly.
     
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  18. MaeveTheRaven

    MaeveTheRaven New Member

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    The only things that make me nervous when people start to talk to me or stand too close to me or touch me without my consent. I'm that kind of person who avoids eye contact and keeps a distance. I like my little bubble and definitely don't like it when people try to get inside. I'm not really angry at the person if I know they're not aware of what they're doing is not okay for me, but it still makes me nervous.

    The singing, flapping, moving around, fidgeting, making noise thing is okay for me, I do that too. I know some people find it uncomfortable (mostly because it's against social norms, I usually don't do it lound enough to be disturbing), but sometimes I just need to. If the noise bothers me, I just cover my ears and curl up and shut everybody else out, which, thinking of it, might also look weird on the outside, but hey, it keeps the noise out.
     
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  19. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Maybe try to think more in terms of gratitude! :)
     
  20. WildCat

    WildCat and his scatterbrain V.I.P Member

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    People purposely looking to start trouble more than anything are what get me wound up. In your case (or two), I seriously doubt either are that sort, and you answered your own question with "I should be more empathetic".

    If not empathetic, then maybe plan ahead next time if it's really making you that anxious.
     
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