10 Truths About Adult Autistics
An adult Autistic's reality
Hi, my name is Alyce and I am a 38 year old adult autistic, who is here to dispel and contradict 10 myths about adult autistics
1. We lack empathy. WRONG! If anything, we actually have TOO MUCH empathy. According to a Huffington Post article, 'We May Have Been Wrong About Autism And Empathy", Dr, Paul Wang, who is senior vice president of medical research for research/advocacy organization Autism Speaks says, "Nothing can be further from the truth" and goes on to state that when faced with a moral dilemma, Autistics show a similar reaction to Allistic peers, and according to Dr. Indrajeet Patil, a social neuroscience researcher at The International School for International Studies In Trieste, Italy and a co-author of the study above, Autistics studied possessed healthy controls relating to dealing with such a situation, and in many cases, were more averse to harming another human being, even if it meant they would not "get ahead".
17 Autistic adults and 17 Allistic adults were chosen for said study, and while the Autistic adults were distressed at the prospect of killing one to save many, the Allistic adutls were less likely to have such a reaction, The stereotype of the "unfeeling Autistic" comes from a condition called alexithtmia, which affects 50% of the Autistic population and 10% of the Allistic population and is caused by differences in emotion processing and results in an inability to understand the emotions of oneself and others. And while Autistics do have a reduced "theory of mind", which allows us to perceive what others feel and think, we are no more likely to lack concern for others in a "bad" or "undesirable" situation.
2. We are incapable of loving another human being and/or showing interest in their hobbies/passions.. Not true. Just ask my best friend and my nieces/nephew/mom/dad/sister. I am the first one who remembers that my 9 year old niece "Katie" 's favorite Monster High character is "Frankie Stein" and goes out of her way on holidays to find a "Frankie" for her if I can on gift-giving occasions. I am the first to go up into the bedroom to watch "Frozen", "Monster High", "Winx Club" or another random "girly" cartoon if that is what will make my nieces happy..and I am sure I will be doing the same when my now 2 year old nephew "Billy" when he is old enough to have interests of his own. As for my best friend "Cheri", I have developed new interests, thanks to her. Did anyone say "Empire?" "Cookie? "Lucious"? Yes, please!
3. We are all asexual/aronantic. No more than Allistics. My friends "Marie" and "Sharron" are both aromantic/asexual...and guess who's not Autistic? On the other hand, Yours Truly dates, is sexually active, has boyfriends and IS a diagnosed Autistic. Don't assume.
4. We are all vulnerable/easily lead/prone to victimization, etc. Like any group of human beings, we are all different and some of us ARE those descriptions. But then again, some of us are not. Just try to victimize or scam me..I might be kind NOT stupid enough to believe you the first time...but you WON'T get me again.
5. I am a perpetual child. We ALL grow and progress. Even Autistics grow and progress. I know...GASP! HORROR! SHOCK! Maybe not in the same way as Allistics...but we DO NOT stay children forever...despite what Autism Speaks and its ilk may say.
6, We are all ruled by routine. Much like anyone else, we are all different and some of us find constant routine boring and routine...like I do. I love trying new things, new food and new friends. Adventure is a good friend to me and you only live once.
7. Autistics cannot lie, I can be the queen of "Blarney" if it behooves me or spares the feelings of a beloved family member/friend. "No Uncle Pete, I REALLY did like that spaghetti you brought to brunch this morning"....
8. We are humorless robots, People tell me I'm a riot all the time. Maybe if I'm not laughing, YOU'RE not that funny.
9. I don't know when you're messing with me. I am not completely clueless but you act like I am. That's your problem NOT mine.
10. We outgrow being Autistic. No, we merely grow up and learn to cope with life just like any other adult.