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Looking for consensus or dissent here: I think that autism does not make a person introverted by nature, just by default.

Let me explain: before exhibiting AS traits, I was "normal" child, talking and socializing until my second birthday. After that I became "shy" and "withdrawn," but never lost the desire to be with people and enjoy human company. My oddness proved a turnoff to the "normal" world so I withdrew into a shell, until I got sick and tired of it and reached out again- not caring much when I got rejected, being too old and stubborn to give a crap anymore. According to some, I stopped being a puppy and became a *****.

My husband likes to claim that I distanced his friends since I married him; I think that the few friends he had left after his divorce were friendly because there was something in it for them, and stopped shut him out because deep down they're assholes. Or because he was no longer single and the life of the party. But I digress.

There seems to be a myth among neurotypicals that people on the spectrum are introverted, but my theory is that this is only a reaction to rejection. Has anyone else given this much thought?
My 6.5 y/o son has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (no language delay or cognitive deficits) and he is *extremely* outgoing. The "active-but-odd" description fits him very well. He'll talk to anybody without of moments thought if there is something that strikes his interest. On the other hand, if he's not interested in what someone else is saying he'll often just walk away or interrupt them in mid-sentence with a monologue on a topic that is of intense personal interest to him. In public places he loves to act silly, dancing, making faces, making up and singing silly songs, etc. He thinks its hilarious, and it can be to a point; but he often doesn't know when to stop (or has a hard time mustering the self-control to stop.) He seems to enjoy performing in front of people.

I think you're right that many NTs believe that people on the spectrum are introverted. I think I used to believe that before my son disabused me of that mistaken notion.
He thinks its hilarious, and it can be to a point; but he often doesn't know when to stop (or has a hard time mustering the self-control to stop.) He seems to enjoy performing in front of people.[/QUOTE]

It's this whole messy social cues thing. A pain in the rear. Now that there is a name for what's "wrong" with me, it's easy to spot people on the spectrum- people you'd never expect. Like a child who loves the limelight or a very social friend who has some well-hidden issues. My view of autism used to come from a movie we watched in school, but now I'm starting to think people on the spectrum are pretty common. It's a relief in a way.
It's true that social rejection can cause anyone to become less social even though they're not actual introverts. Some autistic traits can also lead autistic people to avoid social contact, such as sensitivities to stimuli or feelings of confusion when interacting with neurotypicals. It would be hard to tell how much of an autistic person's introversion comes from nature or from nurture because of that.
For me, I've always been social, wanted friends or been happy to spend time with friends and can have fun, share sense of humor, etc with people and can be really social. I always assumed that would mean I couldn't be on the spectrum but I've met or heard of quite a few people like me. Where I do struggle socially though is that I've always struggled to really connect or keep friends, esp during childhood. I was always weird and quiet and very socially awkward, even though I couldn't understand why or what it was about me that other kids didn't like or made fun of. I also, to a more minor degree, struggle with subtle body language, or social ques. Sometimes I say things or do things that make no sense to others, or at inappropriate times, and am slow to process certain social stuff. It's hard to explain. When I think back to childhood, it's hard to remember but I do remember wanting friends and wanting to be social but always struggling unless it was in specific situations with other kids/people I knew well. I was pretty withdrawn though, retreating into my 'other world' in my head. As I've grown into an adult, three things have made my social life much easier to cope with. 1. I have a better understanding and appreciation for myself and my differences now, and therefore better self esteem. I've also been able to meet others and become part of circles that share my same intense interests. 2. Growing up, I definitely learned and adapted a lot of social skills but even to this day, most of it is a mask. 3. Adults, at least in my experience and the circles I am involved in, are much more accepting of differences and it's been way easier for me to pass as normal and well adjusted as an adult haha.
I used to be extroverted and attention-seeking (i.e. a brat) as a kid and then I became very shy because it started to bother me that I was not treated very well or liked by others.
As a small child and an introvert, I was perfectly happy being by myself for hours on end, or in the company of other kids. It didn't seem to matter as I recall. However it wasn't until those other kids began to treat me badly that my life changed, around the age of ten.

It's still weird to think I went through most of my life merely assuming I'm just an introvert...without any considerations of neurodiversity.

Small wonder I stumbled onto my own autism more or less by accident. o_O
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I have been looking for this person on the spectrum! I'm slowly trying to combine autism and the personality types.
This is me. I used to *think* I was introverted because I didn't have friends. In adulthood, I realized how much of a people person I am. I don't like to be alone unless I absolutely need it. I prefer small rather than large groups, and familiar people though. If I am in a large group of strangers the anxiety gets the best of me. To be honest, I despise being alone for long periods of time. I want someone to hang out with on a regular basis, which also creates problems with being annoying or grating to NTs.

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