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to be really sick of ASD being trotted out as an excuse?

(141 Posts)
faithinthesound Mon 15-May-17 20:14:57

This is not a TAAT. It's a thread about something I've seen in MANY threads. It seems like in every single thread about someone behaving badly, before too long there is at least someone who comes along all "well, maybe they have ASD".

1. ASD is NOT an excuse for bad behavior. In my experience (and I am on the spectrum myself, so I do have grounds to make this observation) most people with ASD try HARDER to fit in with social conventions, because we are painfully aware of our shortcomings. We don't always succeed, but in my experience it's pretty rare to find a blithely rude person with ASD.

2. Given my status as a person who is actually diagnosed as being on the spectrum, by a team of medical professionals (as opposed to a group of armchair psychiatrists), it is actually incredibly offensive to have this facet of my identity trotted out every time someone wants/needs to explain away bad behavior.

People with ASD are not always rude.
Rude people are not always on the spectrum. Sometimes, they are just rude, self centered, selfish, careless, don't-give-a-tossish, etc.

I have been told to "calm down" when pointing this out before. I would like to reiterate that I am completely calm, for all I am offended and annoyed with this trend. Having said that, I'm fairly certain that if I WERE angry, it would be totally justified.

Trifleorbust Mon 15-May-17 20:25:46

It's obviously not as clear-cut as "ASD excuses rudeness", but equally, some forms or manifestations of ASD DO excuse or mitigate what those without that specific condition perceive to be rudeness. It is difficult (though not always impossible) to be the judge of that.

JuicyStrawberry Mon 15-May-17 20:26:07

My 4 year old has ASD. He gets easily frustrated and shouts/hits out (never at school though. Just with us in public or at home). To outsiders this is him displaying bad behaviour.. Actually it's just a "symptom" of his ASD. That is a fact, not an excuse. confused.

goodnessidontknow Mon 15-May-17 20:27:07

YANBU. I think it's a case of a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing. Too many people throw terms like ASD around as an explanation for someone who doesn't fit their idea of "normal" without having any idea of what it is really all about. Many conditions have been turned into buzz word terms which undermine the reality for those who are genuinely affected.

Crowdblundering Mon 15-May-17 20:27:59

My 15 yr old has (what was) Aspergers.

He has never been given any slack by me to get away with bad behaviour - he has the same rules as the others.

He is now 15. He's a delight grin

Futurama Mon 15-May-17 20:28:24

OP has ASD and therefore is the spokesperson of everyone with ASD. smile

JuicyStrawberry Mon 15-May-17 20:29:01

I agree though. Some people are just rude and self centred. It doesn't always mean they have ASD.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 15-May-17 20:31:49

juicy I don't think OP is having a go at anyone who has ASD or their parents. To me it read like she's sick of anyone saying "person X did Y thing" and posters jumping in saying "oh they probably have ASD" when the person saying it has never met person X and has no way of diagnosing them except what was posted by one other person about a specific thing.

faithinthesound Mon 15-May-17 20:32:20

Don't get me wrong - sometimes it IS ASD, but you know your child. I'm talking about the people who read a thread on the internet, and, never having met the person being discussed, decide that it's ASD. There's a world of difference between "I'm sorry my child did that, he has ASD" and "oh, this person I've never met did something rude? Must have ASD". It's the latter that offends me.

TheRealPooTroll Mon 15-May-17 20:32:23

Sometimes people with asd can come across as rude without realising though. My ds certainly could when he was younger just by stating facts that people didn't necessarily want to hear.
People who do that MAY do it because they have asd or they may just be being rude on purpose. I see no harm with people considering both as possibilities.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 15-May-17 20:33:11

Yanbu op. I hear you.

faithinthesound Mon 15-May-17 20:33:14

Cross posted with harderandharder2breathe. Thank you, that was exactly my point, and I'm very sorry if it read otherwise.

Futurama Mon 15-May-17 20:33:29

Sometimes they do show signs of ASD though and it's worth pointing out.

Futurama Mon 15-May-17 20:34:03

I don't think people are diagnosing rather than saying it's a possibility.

GeillisTheWitch Mon 15-May-17 20:34:09

It's obviously not as clear-cut as "ASD excuses rudeness", but equally, some forms or manifestations of ASD DO excuse or mitigate what those without that specific condition perceive to be rudeness

I would agree with this, I used to know someone who with hindsight was very probably on the spectrum and was very blunt in his way of speaking to the point of rudeness sometimes but with no malice intended. I've learnt a lot from MN about autism, I didn't know enough about it at that time to recognise it (he also showed other signs such as stimming) but I would hopefully recognise it now and see why the behaviour was there.

Sirzy Mon 15-May-17 20:34:15

But just because you don't have problems that others do doesn't mean you can undermine the fact that some people with autism do struggle in a way which means they demonstrate behaviour that isn't "socially acceptable"

The thing is people with autism are all different so they can't all be judged on the experiences of one person.

NellieFiveBellies Mon 15-May-17 20:35:17

To me there are two issues here. The first is the ridiculous attempts to diagnose someone based on a description of them being a twat. Both of my children are autistic. I hate it when people trot out "could he be on the spectrum" as a reply to something that in no way described anything remotely like the triad of impairments. Somehow total shit has been linked to autistic and I hate it. Unless the person is demonstrating actual autistic traits then no, they are probably just a twat.

I got so fed up with that shit that I designed this.

However, the second issue - re no excuse for bad behaviour - Autism is not an excuse for bad behaviour, this is true. That is because the behaviour isn't bad. That's the truth. Behaviours that are exhibited due to the nature of the person's condition are not bad. Any more than you could say that tripping over a box is bad when a person is blind. Or not replying to you is rude when the person is deaf.
They are simply the presentation of that person's condition. Yes, they can be helped in some cases to change certain behaviours, sometimes, but there are no bad behaviours when describing behaviours that are autism. It's not a choice. It's often a stress response.

DailyMailReadersAreThick Mon 15-May-17 20:35:45

YANBU but I think people will continue to fixate on your thread title and not hear what you're actually saying, so be prepared for a lot of angst in this thread. flowers

TheRealPooTroll Mon 15-May-17 20:35:58

Sorry x-posted. Obviously people saying others must have asd are being u but in your op you talked about people saying things might be a sign of asd.

MissionItsPossible Mon 15-May-17 20:36:06

omg someone call The Mail as OP has just stumbled across the fact that some people can be rude, self centered, selfish, careless, don't-give-a-tossish, etc

JuicyStrawberry Mon 15-May-17 20:36:49

harder Oh. Sorry OP. blush
I agree it is irritating when people automatically assume the person who is being badly behaved has ASD, without knowing anything about that person. Some people are just badly behaved and that is it. No diagnoses needed.

JuicyStrawberry Mon 15-May-17 20:37:24

*diagnosis

BrieAndChilli Mon 15-May-17 20:39:08

Having ASD doesn't excuse bad behaviour but it does mean that it needs to be dealt with in a different way.
I may look like I'm letting DS1 get away with screaming and shouting at me but I know from years of experience with him that he needs to be ignored and left to completely calm down before I discuss his behaviour with him. He still gets consequences and made to apologies etc but i know that if I force the issue while he's worked out it just escalates and everyone gets worked up.

amateursleuth Mon 15-May-17 20:40:22

I get your point OP. I feel like I've read a lot of threads where someone's husband is behaving / communicating terribly and then someone pipes up with 'maybe he's autistic'. Ditto 'have you considered that he may be depressed?' We should be generous about people's conditions but we should also recognise that sometimes people are being twats.

Spikeyball Mon 15-May-17 20:41:06

Asd is the reason for a lot of my son's behaviour, some of which may be seen by others as bad behaviour or not sociably acceptable.

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