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Stereotypical autism traits being called stupid and exaggerated by people diagnosed with ASD

vergil96

Well-Known Member
I have a friend who is diagnosed with ASD who said that needing a day plan, organizing stuff in your furniture and having a favourite mug and getting mad that someone moves your stuff is for people with intellectual disability or that this is an exaggerated picture of autism. If not for his diagnosis, I would think he is just ignorant about a condition that he doesn't have, because he clearly doesn't understand where these behaviours stem from. I feel offended, I hate when someone moves my stuff, have favourite mugs, and keep my stuff in order, I thibk that's normal behaviour and it's normal to care. I function better with a routine as well, it's not about understanding, but poor interoception. And it is him who "doesn't absorb content" (I'm quoting, because I don't want to misinterpret what he said, it's not quotation marks that imply that I don't believe him or that this issue exists), not me, I'm good at learning. It makes me mad when someone makes negative overgeneralizations like that, especially implying to someone that they're stupid and their issues will be solved if they "just understand". It's rarely like that, that "understanding" fixes problems.

To sum up: I find it maddening and super frustrating that issues like that arise even inside the autistic community. Among people who should understand. I often have that impression that it's being talked about as a bad thing inside the community if someone has sterektypical traits of autism and they're not really understood by others and also preached about that you should "understand" and it will fix your problems - it just won't, it's not how it works.
 
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Rodafina

Hopefully Human
Staff member
V.I.P Member
...a friend who is diagnosed with ASD who said that needing a day plan, organizing stuff in your furniture and having a favourite mug and getting mad that someone moves your stuff is for people with intellectual disability or that this is an exaggerated picture of autism
Sounds like this person has difficulty imagining that people have experiences different than his own. Also, a comment like this could be due to low self esteem (or even self loathing) where they are essentially presenting themselves as "better than" because their experience in the world is different than others. His reasoning doesn't make sense, though and it sounds like he is disparaging people with intellectual disabilities. If that's true, my choice would be to ignore and disregard.
 

Misty Avich

I prefer not to be referred to as autistic
V.I.P Member
Everyone on the autism spectrum are different, so one autistic person's experience might be like a contrast to another autistic person's experience, making some of your differences as far apart as what it might be compared to you and an NT.

Not saying that's an excuse to be a jerk to you, as I've been bullied by other autistic people and I found it disgusting. But autistics are humans too and so judging and being jerk isn't beneath us. But I don't give NTs a pass for judging, misunderstanding and being a jerk either. I just put it all down to being a human, and that no two people are the same.
 

marc_101

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I understand your frustration. ASD is so broad. One thing to take into account is that one ASD trait is having difficulties understanding others. So your friend has problems understanding you and you're having problems understanding where his point of view is coming from. As Rodafina said, he doesn't seem to understand that his austism is different, or maybe he understands but for some defense mechanism reason he wants to compensate by attributing intellectual disability to others. If you care about this friend, maybe having an honest conversation would help.
 

Misty Avich

I prefer not to be referred to as autistic
V.I.P Member
I don't think understanding others is an autism trait, as I see a lot of understanding and empathy going on here, not just with each other but with a lot of non-autistics in our lives whom we talk about.
But some autistics might have this characteristic, just like some NTs do towards other NTs. Maybe your friend is one of those ableists who likes to criticise anyone who isn't living up to the same standards he is. Believe me, I know a few NTs who are like this.
 

marc_101

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
@Misty Avich To clarify and to not derail the conversation: I'm not referring to emotional empathy. And yes, sometimes not understanding the intentions of others is a universal trait for many reasons. :)
 

jsilver256

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I spent the weekend organizing. What I found was that I had multiple purchases of everything strewn in various places and really did need the stereotypical autistic thing of not merely organizing, but sticking everything with labels in big letters. So he may not be at the point where he realizes he needs to do that kind of thing because he's compensating in other ways.
 

vergil96

Well-Known Member
So your friend has problems understanding you and you're having problems understanding where his point of view is coming from.
Well, I don't feel like I don't understand him to an unusual degree - I try to be nice and empathetic about things I don't personally experience though. And to be respectful about them. Like I won't tell someone they're stupid or exaggerating unless the person in question begins the conflict and needs to be put in place with their unfounded know-it-all attitude. But you know, that's me. I'm an overall nice person or at least try to be and many people aren't nice and don't try to be nice.

You have a fair point though, he might just not understand that it could have been taken negatively. Although I find it hard to comprehend, but that's another topic that exactly I don't have experience with, namely social issues that part of people on the autism spectrum have, and won't assume what it is about, because I don't have a clear idea. I used to have some problems with understanding emotions, but it doesn't look like what many people I currently meet experience. It was and still sometimes is along the lines of emotional empathy rather than cognitive. But that's a whole another story. Not picking up nonverbal cues - some of them I still don't notice and I don't think I ever will. Also alexythymia. I'm also an empath (I pick up other cues that most people don't seem to notice), so it's a recipe for disaster. The things I don't notice, I know intellectualy when to expect them or I ask to make sure. A lot of things - you can make up for intellectually just through experience.

I don't think understanding others is an autism trait,
Yeah, say, someone has diabetes, and for most people it would be impossible to know what it exactly feels like. Like I said before in this post, nobody understands everybody and it's important to know it and try to be respectful and not act like a smart aleck about something that honestly - you have no clue about.

From what I've read cognitive empathy is exactly the notion that someone else is a thinking feeling creature and might think and feel things and when someone instinctively knows it and acts intuitively taking into account. It was called mentalization, I think. But again - I don't get it, I'm no expert and I don't won't to offend someone who struggles with it, so I'll leave it.
 

vergil96

Well-Known Member
Sounds like this person has difficulty imaging that people have experiences different than his own. Also, a comment like this could be due to low self esteem (or even self loathing) where they are essentially presenting themselves as "better than" because their experience in the world is different than others. His reasoning doesn't make sense, though and it sounds like he is disparaging people with intellectual disabilities. If that's true, my choice would be to ignore and disregard.
That seems correct when I think about it.
 

Misty Avich

I prefer not to be referred to as autistic
V.I.P Member
Yeah, say, someone has diabetes, and for most people it would be impossible to know what it exactly feels like. Like I said before in this post, nobody understands everybody and it's important to know it and try to be respectful and not act like a smart aleck about something that honestly - you have no clue about.

From what I've read cognitive empathy is exactly the notion that someone else is a thinking feeling creature and might think and feel things and when someone instinctively knows it and acts intuitively taking into account. It was called mentalization, I think. But again - I don't get it, I'm no expert and I don't won't to offend someone who struggles with it, so I'll leave it.
Oh yes, that's what I was saying earlier in the thread, that it's a human trait to not understand things that aren't the same as what we feel, even if it is with other autistics. Nobody understands everybody, even others from our own kind. So it's not just an autistic trait to not understand someone, but is a human trait.
 

marc_101

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Time and learning seem to be so important. Since discovering ASD in myself, I have thought about my past and things that happened to me. I was so naive. Only now, decades later, I understand, at an intellectual level, why some things happened. It seems so obvious...

To give an example of how clueless I was, I only learned at about age 29 that women get an engagement ring. I thought men used to get a ring, too. There are so many more examples...
 

kriss72

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
To give an example of how clueless I was, I only learned at about age 29 that women get an engagement ring. I thought men used to get a ring, too. There are so many more examples...
Say what? Here they are sold in pairs.... might be cultural differences thou...
 

marc_101

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Are you teasing me or being serious? Where? :)

Sorry, don't mean to derail the post... Maybe in a previous life I lived in your country?
 

kriss72

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Are you teasing me or being serious? Where? :)

Sorry, don't mean to derail the post... Maybe in a previous life I lived in your country?
I was serious, but I startet to doubt my self now, it might be optional for the man here (Denmark).. I just think I have seen many commercials for pair of rings, and how else to show to the world that the man is "reserved"??? Just checked our local Wikipedia so looks like there can be one, two or no rings involved here :)
 

marc_101

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Haha. This is too funny.

I've never felt that I belong to any human group. But in this forum, I feel that I have finally found my people :)
 

Ronald Zeeman

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V.I.P Member
Just before I retired, we store wet samples of ink bathes and paint samples in fireproof cabinets. Organized all the samples. the colours are stored on a data base on the computer I a customer calls for a particular colour or a print I could effortlessly, get the treatment system, substrate, paint ink and even a similar pattern, give a sample to evaluate. I was anal in keeping all this stuff organized even primers I sometimes wonder how this works now that I'm retired. The customer could get his sample and product way before any competitors. I even had suppliers segregated so we could instantly change suppliers, colours organized by resin systems the level of my organization was stunning to the other workers. the sales department held me in high esteem. My filing system for certifications was also unique, not numerical or alphabetical, but rather process order. made more sense to me
 
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Rodafina

Hopefully Human
Staff member
V.I.P Member
To give an example of how clueless I was, I only learned at about age 29 that women get an engagement ring. I thought men used to get a ring, too.
To be fair to your past self, it doesn't make much sense. The lady gets an engagement ring and then both people get a wedding ring, so then the lady ends up with two rings for the same finger? I've been around enough gals to understand what happens, but I've yet to figure out why.
 

marc_101

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
To be fair to your past self, it doesn't make much sense. The lady gets an engagement ring and then both people get a wedding ring, so then the lady ends up with two rings for the same finger? I've been around enough gals to understand what happens, but I've yet to figure out why.
It makes zero sense! When my former fiance (we never married) told me about it, I discussed it for about an hour and 3 days. Why? Who said that? Why don't you buy a ring for me then? Why do we have to do what everybody else's does? Why...

Let's just say that I did not buy a ring and we didn't marry.
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Never got this ring stuff just jewelry I do not wear rings worked in factory moving equipment, no interest in losing a finger.
 

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