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Standing up for what I need...or what I want?


Most likely a real person
on Sunday, I’m going to take four hour bus ride to Jasper, then ski my little heart out. skiing, as you can guess is not the problem, The problem might be being packed like sardines into a bus for four hours, until I rip my hair out or get to the hill, hopefully the latter.

sitting beside someone is not something that I like and for four hours long merits enough concern to make me feel i might freak out internally. yes, I’m not going to cause commotion. yes, I’m going to keep control of myself but at the same time this is a situation that I do not want to happen.

I was thinking arriving early and then talking to the people in charge. letting them know my situation. I am not sure though if using my autism for excuse for an extra seat. is it something that I need or something that I want? if it is something that I need, then yes, I am OK with saying I need this. at the same time on my overextending and using my autism as an excuse to get what I think i need, but really only want?

this opens up a conversation.

how much can we ask of others just because of being autistic?

do we ask to little?

do we asked to much?

are we in the right when we ask for things or are they in the right when they refuse us?

we are all just people, just because we were born different, we deserve more than others?

A sick man may want to be left alone to not get others sick but me, am I sick enough to say that if I am not alone then I’m going to suffer enough to ask someone else for favours?

how much can we ask for?


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Your question is so big that I can only give you a tiny, possibly nonsensical 2-part answer:

It depends.

I value "equitable" over "equal"......equitable treatment can be fair, just, and sensible in situations where equal treatment would be none of those things.


I saw a family at disneyland make a similar request for their autistic child and I believe they were accommodated (they did not have to line up). Maybe call the busline ahead of time to see if they anticipate any extra seats and than ask if you can be accommodated.
I think we should speak up and ask for whatever makes us comfortable, we are our only advocate after all and the only one who knows our own needs.


Overly complicated potato
V.I.P Member
I don’t like sitting next to a stranger on the bus, but I don’t need to sit by myself. So I don’t ask for accommodations.


Grown sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
I think that in this case it would be a reasonable request if the bus has some empty seats, but if it is full, it would be unfair because it might mean that another person doesn't get a seat - unless you pay for the extra seat.

I have this situation myself when I travel - I prefer not to be seated next to someone. I am allocated a seat, but if I see that there are unoccupied seats further back, I move further back.


"all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien
V.I.P Member
Sadly this is when I use my meds and headphones... Calm, cool, and collected at least on the outside and at least to get me through what I would see as a living hell on earth...

Planes are the same for me but no one is going to stop and let me off without a straight jacket involved, so I KNOW I cant freak out...

Things like this it seems EVERYTHING ramps up and the distortions get worse and everything gets louder, smellier, and blurrier... The meds just shut it down a lot for a short time, but they seem to make me a bit of a sleepy zombie and I hate that in most cases...

I dislike my meds deeply BUT this is where and when I use them, otherwise they stay in the bottle.

Horrible truth... Denver airport 2 years ago. I fell asleep right by the boarding desk... No one ever woke me up... I woke up 4 hours later and now the sign says Boston when it said San Diego when I sat down... that turned into a total mess and 2 rented cars and I wrecked one of them (totaled) a brand new Chevrolet Impala (not my fault thank goodness)... Not a good trip, but I lived through it.

So I have a great sense of HONOR for what your doing... Go for what you need, but retain your dignity... : )


I only have one
V.I.P Member
You know in some states where they have 2 people only lanes..
People were using blow up dolls instead of really car-sharing.

It may work on the bus....


"all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien
V.I.P Member
You know in some states where they have 2 people only lanes..
People were using blow up dolls instead of really car-sharing.

It may work on the bus....

I would like to witness the reaction of people as someone buckles in their sexy plastic girl friend...
My guess is people would leave you alone and give you all the space you need! And take lots of pictures when you aren't looking.


Well-Known Member
Sounds like it is a real issue for you, I can't see it being an issue. Places tend to make special accomdations for those with disabilities.


The Happy Dog
V.I.P Member
This is why I like you, Voltaic; you ask some really big questions that need to be asked.

It's so tough to actually get accommodations with autism because the line between "need" and "want" is so blurry. I believe you when you say you could hold it together if you had to sit by someone, but it's far less than ideal and would cause you stress that you don't deserve to have to deal with.

It's the same problem with how autism falls somewhere in between being a visible stigma and an invisible stigma. As I look around my small community, I see that every single building is wheelchair-accessible. In the next town over, there's this complicated system of audio cues that make the public sidewalks more friendly for blind pedestrians. Thing is, I have never, not once in my entire time living in this town or visiting the other one, seen a person in a wheelchair or a blind pedestrian. And yet, thousands of dollars go into making these concrete (sometimes literally) accommodations without a second thought, for the benefit of a teeny, tiny fraction of the population.

Yet, I feel the struggle you're going through, trying to get something as simple as an accommodation to sit alone. It costs nobody anything (depending on if the bus is filled to capacity and they'd lose revenue for the one seat), and is at best a mild inconvenience for those involved. You're even willing to do your 50% by showing up early to arrange this, instead of just showing up at the last minute and making demands.

But on that note, I bet that if you approach this right you can get your way on this. Understand that the biggest problem is that nobody understands autism; the average NT can't grasp exactly how distressing it would be to have to sit next to someone on a bus for 4 hours.

Your best bet would be to do as you say with showing up early and asking for accommodation, but just remember to ask for accommodation, don't demand a thing. Maybe even insert phrases like "there's no law that says you have to, but it would help me a ton and I'd really appreciate it if this could be arranged." One day maybe, we'll be able to show up somewhere and start making demands, but we're not there yet.

I'll even give you my best negotiation technique. I call this type of maneuver "spiking the volleyball", for reasons I'm about to make apparent: if you use the phrase "look, meet me half way here and [insert request]" you'll get what you want 95% of the time. I say 95% because I'm sure it can fail, but it never has for me. The only caveat for using this maneuver properly is that it can't be used early-game in negotiations, and if you use it too late (after they've already made up their mind) it'll fail. You have to wear them down a bit, then by offering this phrase you're offering them a way for the conversation to be over; hence the "spike". As for how to wear them down, maybe just be long-winded about why this is such a big deal and how it affects you. People will listen empathetically, but it won't stop them from getting worn down. Exploit that to tire out your opponent and set them up for the "spike".

That got a bit technical, but if you just ask politely, they'll see a minor inconvenience and say "no". If you demand satisfaction, they'll sit you next to the loudest, smelliest person on that bus just to show you who's in charge. But with a bit of finesse, you can get the accommodations that you should be able to simply request formally. Why does everything have to be so difficult with autism?

Mr Allen

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Being on public transport doesn't bother me, if it did I'd never go anywhere because it's highly unlikely I'll ever drive :(

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