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To think autistic people don’t understand the impact they have on people

(353 Posts)
SpectrumBlues Thu 04-Apr-19 20:53:33

Is a pretty appalling statement to make?

(On the guest blog thread about the under-diagnosis of autism in women and girls)

As an autistic person, I find it hurtful and also deeply unfair. But am I completely naive - are we really just viewed as horrible sub-humans? Should I give up trying to argue that we are just people who process the world differently? Is the fact that I have had to suffer a whole load of bullying and pain by NT people because I’m different irrelevant?

I know this is a huge indulgent pity party but I just don’t get why hurtful comments are continually made about autistic people in this website and it is accepted.

I’ll now await deletion.

Kaddm Thu 04-Apr-19 20:56:55

There are bullies in the world.
People with autism are an easy target for them.
That’s it.

Ragnarthe Thu 04-Apr-19 20:57:13

Can you link to the article?

JamPasty Thu 04-Apr-19 20:57:23

That's bonkers! Unless the impact they mean is that autistic people highlight and answer the need our society has for people who think and act outside of the box and make the place that bit more interesting!

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Thu 04-Apr-19 20:57:49

Can we have it in context ? One line out of an article, isn't really giving context - can we have a link?

To think autistic people don’t understand the impact they have on people I would alter that statement to To think some (autistic) people don’t understand the impact they have on others people

DailyMailSucksWails Thu 04-Apr-19 20:57:53

I need a link to see the remark in context.
I know it's somewhere on MN but I've worked 10 hrs, ran 40 minutes, cycled 2 hours today. Too knackered to know where to look.

snowdrop6 Thu 04-Apr-19 20:58:14

It's gone ,I just went to read it

Macaroni46 Thu 04-Apr-19 20:58:19

This is a very difficult one to answer. I can only give my personal experience. My dad has Aspergers and whilst I know he never means to hurt me there have been times when he's said things that have hurt me deeply, because he tells it how he thinks with no filter. Likewise his lack of affection or warmth and sometimes inappropriate behaviours in social settings.
However, I realise this is one individual case and all the above may have nothing to do with aspergers at all.
But do I think badly of autistic people? No, not at all. As you say, you frame the world differently. There's room for us all.

Friedspamfritters Thu 04-Apr-19 20:58:46

It's a ridiculously stupid and mean spirited thing to say. Such a general statement it's clearly rubbish. Lots of people don't know the effect they have on other people and autistic people are a huge and varied group.

PookieDo Thu 04-Apr-19 21:00:10

I never assume anyone knows the impact they have on other people. I have met plenty of very irritating mean or annoying people who do not have autism and either choose to be that way or are unaware they are selfish. I would assume someone making a statement like that lacks self awareness indeed wink

PlasticPatty Thu 04-Apr-19 21:01:19

I haven't read the article yet. I'm waiting to gather my autistic resources and have strength to do it. I tried to watch a YouTube video about women with autism (termed 'HFA./no -longer-Asperger's) and was at meltdown point within two minutes of the psychologist starting her spiel.
MN is full of people who don't know shit about autism. Also, as each autistic has their own form of autism and expression of the same, it probably is difficult for others to 'get it right' with us. But - people could be nice, kind etc and that would help.

DIZZYTIGGER87 Thu 04-Apr-19 21:01:46

I've not read the full guest post, I got distracted and not gone back yet, bit that is an appalling statement and YANBU.

My first experience of someone with Autism properly came at university, and I really thought this guy hated me...every point I made in a seminar he seemed to take issue with, but as I got to know him, and learnt more about his particular form, we actually became good friends.

I think the issue is a lack of understanding on both sides, and it's easy to sideline people with Asperger's or autism as being difficult and not making efforts when really people who don't have it are just as bad.

aprilanne Thu 04-Apr-19 21:02:29

My son has made an impact on our lives he is brutally honest can't lie .so yes sometimes he comes across as rude if your bum is big in that dress it's big .but he is out working contributing to society .My son is a wonderful young man who I am very proud off .and I am sorry about the bullying unfortunately you will always get bullies in life just rise above it

SpectrumBlues Thu 04-Apr-19 21:04:03

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/guest_posts/3549294-Guest-Post-Why-have-we-overlooked-autism-in-women-and-girls

Monstermissy36 Thu 04-Apr-19 21:04:38

My ds is autistic and brutally honest/literal that can be hurtful at times which he struggles to understand... do you mean I'm this way??

SpectrumBlues Thu 04-Apr-19 21:04:56

But this will
Probably get pulled now as a TAAT which it’s not meant to be - it’s meant to be a genuine question. Why do MN tolerate statements like that?

Amoregentlemanlikemanner Thu 04-Apr-19 21:06:55

...To think autistic people don’t understand the impact they have on people..

“I never assume anyone knows the impact they have on other people...”

This

ShawshanksRedemption Thu 04-Apr-19 21:08:00

Not "horrible subhumans" at all. But I know my autistic HF DC does struggle to understand innately how some of their behaviour impacts on the family as a whole. When I explain to them, they take it on board as they just hadn't realised. It's about communication IMO.

I suspect my DH is also autistic (he has very similar traits to DC) and can find that a lot harder to deal with. There are times I feel a single parent as he doesn't get the nuances of how to deal with some things with the DC, he's very black and white with his thinking. However he has other skills I don't have (incredible focus on a job that needs to doing), so as far as I'm concerned, it's just the way things are and part of life's rich tapestry!

Amoregentlemanlikemanner Thu 04-Apr-19 21:09:36

Well this statement:
“- are we really just viewed as horrible sub-humans”
Would not be tolerated but no-one said it.

Amoregentlemanlikemanner Thu 04-Apr-19 21:10:24

OP I think you are stuck talking about a previous thread.

museumum Thu 04-Apr-19 21:11:52

Some autistic people though aren’t just people who process the world differently. Some are very disabled by the condition. Unable to communicate in any but the most basic way and unable to relate to anyone even parents who love them so much. It can be utterly heartbreaking and require lifelong care.

SpectrumBlues Thu 04-Apr-19 21:12:52

No it was just me that made the subhumans comment as that’s the way the comments make me feel, and they are not deleted.

JaceLancs Thu 04-Apr-19 21:13:58

DP is definitely on the spectrum and has no idea the impact on me or many others around him
He can’t understand why he has no friends and struggles with colleagues and employers which is why he’s frequently out of work - he is NC with his family which I also think is part of this
As he genuinely is unable to see this or get how anyone else feels - and knows he is always right - I don’t see an answer
It is why despite being D we do not live together anymore

RaffertyFair Thu 04-Apr-19 21:14:26

OP are you referring to a comment posted on the thread or a statement in the guest post?

Amoregentlemanlikemanner Thu 04-Apr-19 21:14:42

Ok, I simply don’t read them as being at all similar.
Each to their own interpretation I guess!
But I haven’t seen the thread.

SpectrumBlues Thu 04-Apr-19 21:15:53

Rafferty it was a comment - not in the original OP (who is a very distinguished professor)

I should have made that clear.

RaffertyFair Thu 04-Apr-19 21:19:08

Thanks.
I had read the guest post which I liked but wondered if I'd missed something. I havent read posts commenting.
flowers I'm sorry the comments have made you feel like that. I won't read them- my dd is autistic.

BarbarianMum Thu 04-Apr-19 21:24:30

All of the 5 autistic men/boys I know well enough to comment have difficulties seeing the world from another's perspective. In each case their disability does have a big, and sometimes negative, impact on friends and family. But thats only one part of the story, their autism also comes with good things. And, to be fair, the nt world is generally blissfully unaware of the impact it has on them and the harm they suffer as a result.

suckstobemeee Thu 04-Apr-19 21:27:32

*My dad has Aspergers and whilst I know he never means to hurt me there have been times when he's said things that have hurt me deeply, because he tells it how he thinks with no filter. Likewise his lack of affection or warmth and sometimes inappropriate behaviours in social settings.
However, I realise this is one individual case and all the above may have nothing to do with aspergers at all.*

No, my autistic father was exactly the same. I'm in counselling because of it. I'm 90% sure the issues were from his autism. My brother also has it. It is incredibly hard growing up in a family like this when you are NT.

Do I think many autistic people don't understand the impact they have? Yes I agree with that statement. It is a world away from saying you are horrible sub human beings though, not the same thing at all.

JonestheMail Thu 04-Apr-19 21:30:13

All I can say is that it is my undoubtedly ASD adult DC who is the one who notices if I am feeling down and hugs me and who made sure he went out and got me both a card and a present for Mothers Day. He is far more aware of how he comes across to other people than my NT DC who assume the world revolves around them in my view.

You really can't, and should not, pigeonhole people.

SpectrumBlues Thu 04-Apr-19 21:34:59

@BarbarianMum

“And, to be fair, the nt world is generally blissfully unaware of the impact it has on them and the harm they suffer as a result”

Thank you for that statement.

@suckstonemeee

I’m in therapy that I’m 100% sure is because of the way NT’s have treated me. Does that mean all NT’s are bad? Of course it doesn’t.

Idontmeanto Thu 04-Apr-19 21:35:44

I think you are taking a statement intended to show empathy and support to carers/parents of people who present with some challenging autistic traits and reading it as an insult.

toffee1000 Thu 04-Apr-19 21:35:45

I’m also rather annoyed that a thread specifically about ASD in girls has been hijacked by NT women complaining about their ASD husbands. I understand they have difficulties with their relationships, I’m not in that position and have no place to comment, but they have their own thread in Relationships and this is a post specifically about ASD in girls. It’s already difficult enough to get a diagnosis for a girl. People on that thread complain enough when someone with ASD arrives.
Again, I’m not an NT woman in a hard relationship with an ASD husband. (Not an NT woman to start with). But these women are not helpful on a thread specifically about ASD in girls.

RuffleCrow Thu 04-Apr-19 21:37:39

It's true of some autistic people to some extent. Just as it's true of some neurotypicals to some extent. Can't generalise when it comes to autism.

SeasonalVag Thu 04-Apr-19 21:39:56

My autistic son is my pride and joy, and always will be. He's only just reaching the point where he's bothered about friendship. He's happy, gregarious, and full of joy. Very anxious and sensitive, but there are positives to that in a way: He is UNDENIABLY the most sensitive and empathetic one of the family and the only one who asks after mummy's dodgy back etc, and he's only FIVE.

He'll never know how much ages 3-5 killed me though, it was one long stressful nightmare and his behaviour was dreadful. He would understand now if I explained. He apologises for meltdowns and can verbalise how he feels....so it's simply not true that they're robotic humans - I always find that impression very hurtful and misleading.

I adore my son, actually I find him much easier than my "NT" child to be honest.

TheFormidableMrsC Thu 04-Apr-19 21:40:58

Admittedly I haven't read the full thread nor the guest post (I will), but I agree with the title. I am an ASD parent, had an ASD husband (now ex). No I don't think they do realise the impact they have on others, but why should they? Why would they? It's really very hard being the NT parent/wife in that situation and quite frankly, my life has quite often been shite dealing with the fallout of it all. However, there are too many joys courtesy of my gorgeous little boy for me to complain too much. In my life now, there is far more positive than negative times if I am honest and that is largely due to the departure of my ex who was an utter nightmare. I have had a lot of counselling and our son is in a support group at school. Hard going.

Chocolate35 Thu 04-Apr-19 21:42:27

Some PEOPLE don’t understand the impact they have on people. This is not specific to autism. I work with children with autism, some don’t understand, some do. Tbh I think a lot of people lack self-awareness. There is a massive lack of understanding about autism. Unfortunately that means people like you have had to suffer. It’s a slow battle but it’s one that is happening. Autism training is becoming a compulsory part of teacher training which means children will be educated too. Some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met are on the spectrum.

SpectrumBlues Thu 04-Apr-19 21:43:52

@idontmeanto

“I think you are taking a statement intended to show empathy and support to carers/parents of people who present with some challenging autistic traits and reading it as an insult”

It is an insult as it is generalising. It is an insult as it’s on a thread intending to address the problems of women and girls getting a diagnosis. It’s an insult as it ignores the suffering of the autistic partner and makes it all about the NT partner (my comments are NOT applied to parents of autistic children)

BollocksToBrexit Thu 04-Apr-19 21:43:59

I think the statement is correct, but not necessarily bad. I know I don't have a clue of the impact I have on people. My support worker tells me constantly that I'm funny and engaging and quite charismatic but I don't see it or understand it all. When I invite people over I'm constantly bewildered when they jump at it. I genuinely don't understand why people want to spend time with me.

acciocat Thu 04-Apr-19 21:47:01

I think it’s true that many people with ASD don’t realise the impact they have, but it’s also true of people without ASD (I won’t use the term NT, because it implies that everyone who hasn’t got a diagnosis lumped together as being similar, when of course they’re as varied in their outlook, behaviour and other qualifies as people with a diagnosis. I prefer to think in terms of neurodiversity.)

I have a family member who has ASD and the impact on their siblings was very negative - hurtful comments and behaviours. That’s just a fact.

SpectrumBlues Thu 04-Apr-19 21:48:22

But Bollocks - do you feel it is applicable to all autistic people? Because of course it’s applicable to some, but not all. It’s also applicable to some NT people, but not all of them.

Whatsername7 Thu 04-Apr-19 21:48:44

Im pretty sure that the autistic, electively mute young man who opted to do my GCSE Drama course has absolutely no idea of the impact he had on me; he made me a better teacher, and, he helped me to realise that I make a difference, even if I don't always see the difference I make. I have two brothers with Aspergers, so im no stranger to ASD. Every Neuro A-typical person is different. Some will have no idea on the impact they have on the world around them, some will be acutely (and painfully) aware. Others will fall somewhere between the two extremes. So, rather the same as NT people then! People's perceptions of ASD need to change, I've never taught two children with ASD who are the same. Sweeping generalisations are not helpful at all. YANBU

TheFormidableMrsC Thu 04-Apr-19 21:50:45

@BollocksToBrexit...I kind of get that. It's slightly different for us..my son is very social for an ASD child, unusually so, but then he does things that are so anti-social (in what he thinks is a funny way, it's not) when I've tried to embrace that I am mortified. The fact that people jump to be with you is a wonderful thing and I'd say embrace it, you don't have to understand it, as long as you enjoy it! I do get that that's an issue for you though. God it's a minefield!

BollocksToBrexit Thu 04-Apr-19 21:51:35

I don't know because I don't know all autistic people. It certainly applies to all the autistic people I know in real life, but in different ways. None of which I see as bad, just different.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 04-Apr-19 21:52:12

I think it's a crass and divisive comment designed, yet again, to "other" autistic people.

As has been said, LOTS of people don't understand the impact they have on other people, ASC or NT.

I am NT (as far as I know) but have frequently been told later that I come across far differently from how I think I portray myself. I have a strong guard up most of the time (result of childhood bullying) and the face of that guard is not the real me - apparently it's not that likeable either. Now I'm in my 50s, I know that is the case and do what I can to redress it - but it's a hard habit to break.

So YANBU - it's a bad statement and should not have been declared the way it was.

SerenaOverjoyed Thu 04-Apr-19 22:00:42

It's pretty funny in its irony. Whoever made this ridiculous statement clearly didn't understand the impact it would have on people.

stucknoue Thu 04-Apr-19 22:02:07

I think some autistic people aren't aware of the positive impact they have on people! Dd is way too modest

Nettleskeins Thu 04-Apr-19 22:02:55

I think they found that autistic girls had too much empathy not too little. They longed to fit in, and longed to do the right thing and became very anxious as a result, in some instances.

It is not selfishness exactly, and I get why the OP feels insulted. When you have autism you are working very hard to understand how the world works, and the last thing you want to be told is that you have no idea how anyone else feels.

But I don't think having autism is an excuse for being selfish or unkind or rude. It could be an explanation in the first instance and give pointers to how better order one's life (I say this an autistic person) and possibly change some of the pressure points, actively reduce stresses that might increase the likelhood of behaving "badly", refuse to let the buggers get you down..etc etc.

I don't think being autistic is an excuse for paranoia either. Not everyone is mean and unsupportive, most people tend to value their fellow human beings for the qualities they have even if theory of mind is not one of them..I feel valued by many many people. And my son does too (ASD)

staydazzling Thu 04-Apr-19 22:06:13

I can understand why hurtful, but possibly talking more about the severely autistic? my sister will be in residential care long term, and my mum in all honesty has been a prisoner to the condition for 25+ years..

Yabbers Thu 04-Apr-19 22:07:33

“Guest post” oh and buy this book at 29.99

Why not just label it as an advert and be honest about it.

Sorry it offended you OP. They really should proof read these “guest post” adverts.

Hadenoughofitall441 Thu 04-Apr-19 22:12:45

DS is autistic, he does have an impact on our family, what we can do and where we can go, only to a certain extent. IMO it’s no difference to other disabilities. Alcoholics and drug takers, they both impact people. I wouldn’t change him for anything. Autistic people see the things differently, but so does everyone. People say about what’s normal and what’s not but what’s normal nowadays? I love the way my son thinks and the way he sees the world. He likes to keep up with current affairs and he always has a view, usually not one you’ve heard before.
I remember one time I was complaining about the amount of grass ratio to pavement around our town and he turned around and said, well don’t you want to breathe? Because without it you wouldn’t be here.... straightforward and to the point with no sugar coating, tbh some people need to hear the truth straight out.

Yabbers Thu 04-Apr-19 22:13:18

but possibly talking more about the severely autistic
And? I mean, that’s true of any profoundly disabled person with low cognitive ability, still doesn’t make it in any way relevant. What are they supposed to do with that knowledge if they had it?

Is it better if a disabled person does understand their impact on people? Frankly, I spend a whole lot of my life ensuring DD doesn’t feel that she impacts on people any more than any other person does. Or is she supposed to feel guilty? Grateful? A burden? An inconvenience?

TheFormidableMrsC Thu 04-Apr-19 22:14:13

@BollocksToBrexit 100% agree...and where would the world be if we were all the same? A huge proportion of my fab experiences have been by virtue of my DS's autism. I am grateful.

Snog Thu 04-Apr-19 22:14:38

I'm sure that many NT people have no idea of how their behaviour negatively impacts on some individuals with ASD.

Yerroblemom1923 Thu 04-Apr-19 22:15:11

Where's the link to the thread?

llangennith Thu 04-Apr-19 22:15:47

As a stand alone sentence I'd agree. One of my grandsons (aged 14) is autistic and he has no idea how hard it is for the rest of the family. He's wrapped up in his own world oblivious to other people's feelings.

Yabbers Thu 04-Apr-19 22:17:06

@Yerroblemom1923

OP’s first update on page 1.

Bibijayne Thu 04-Apr-19 22:18:11

I'm autistic. And I have a few friends who are too. We've all tended to be the victims of bullying or sexual assault, or have been taken advantage of. Not the other way round.

NoHolidaysforyou Thu 04-Apr-19 22:31:36

My 2 and half year old son rarely babbles. He might say "ma ma ma" every other week or so. He has a twin who does have the odd word or two, but it has taken him a long time to get close to walking. I'm pretty sure we are looking at ASD for both.

And you know what? That's ok.

They are my little angels, and they have made me a better person. I already didn't care that much about other people's opinions and now they are a filter for me, they show me who is a good person nearly instantaneously and the judgemental people can take a hike. I am happy that I feel I was chosen to be their DM. They are brilliant and everyday with them is wonderful. Even the hard days. We might get up to stuff that isn't typical, but we're still a fun family and there is nothing wrong with that.

morallowground Thu 04-Apr-19 22:34:19

I think maybe some people with autism don’t understand the impact they have on people just like some people without autism don’t understand the impact they have on people.

Im also a bit confused at the irony of that statement, the person posting it clearly does not have the capacity to realise how the statement they are making will impact others also, so for that reason alone I wouldn’t waste any time worrying about what they’re saying op.

RaveOn Thu 04-Apr-19 22:38:25

I'm sure that many NT people have no idea of how their behaviour negatively impacts on some individuals with ASD

You should hear some of the things the girls at DD's secondary school say to her. They are utterly vile. DD says even the supposedly "nice" girls are routinely horrible to her.

And people say SHE'S the one with no empathy hmm

kateandme Thu 04-Apr-19 22:39:40

its the same with many complex conditions and illness I think though. I think a family or someone who as lived with a mental health disorder would say the same.and I think sometimes the person suffering in most moments wont see it.ive heard many family member of eating dirsder patients or other mental illness say they don't sometimes understand the impact is has on the people that "live" it with them o have to look after them.and it can hurt those suffering.
could it be said in the same way.not to hurt?
I think also some people on the spectrum are severely effected and it can take so much impact on families and carers and they actually really don't have the knowledge of this because of their condition.
because of his lack of emotional awareness my cousin had no idea that saying the things he did could hurt so much

Dothehappydance Thu 04-Apr-19 22:56:58

My ds, sometimes, does not realise the impact his behaviour has on people and us as a family.

Obviously the statement can apply to lots of people but his black and white thinking makes it more difficult.

Dieu Thu 04-Apr-19 22:59:25

I work 1:1 with autistic children. I absolutely adore them. They are so funny, unique and special. Life would be boring if we were all the same.

LellowYedbetter Thu 04-Apr-19 23:06:53

I am on the spectrum and I don’t always consider other people. I’m often set on my own agenda and my mind doesn’t always allow me to consider others.

Perfect example the other night: DH and I were having a conversation which I was getting really into. All of a sudden the dog went mad and attacked DH (playfully but still biting and clawing and jumping all over him). DH tried in vain to get him off him and all the while I continued on with my part of the conversation. When I decided it was DHs time to speak I sat eagerly awaiting his contribution and then got annoyed and irritable when he didn’t speak. He was busy being mauled but in my head, he wasn’t continuing with the conversation which was rude of him. I realise now that I was being ridiculous but at the time, my mind was focussed on the conversation and would allow no room for deviation. I was being utterly self centred but didn’t realise it at the time.

I always make plans with people and cancel on a whim. It doesn’t occur to me that this affects the other person as my mind is focussed on my own requirements.

I’m lucky in that I can take a step back after the event and realise where I was being unreasonable (once I’ve had time to process it) but not all autistic people can.

BloodsportForAll Thu 04-Apr-19 23:08:36

Most of my friends are autistic.
Knowing them at the depth which I do, means I understand where they are coming from and will ask questions, just as they understand where I'm coming from and ask me questions too. We are always questioning so we know we aren't getting the wrong end of the stick. It's hard being on the spectrum but having friends on the spectrum helps. Even though we aren't all the same.

I've met some autistic people who haven't been very nice and have caused a lot of hurt and trauma. But to be fair, the majority of people who have caused me significant harm over the years, have not been autistic.

So whilst I understand the quote in the OP, I'm a lot more comfortable being round most autistic people because I know where I stand.

FloatingthroughSpace Thu 04-Apr-19 23:20:56

@whatsername7
Nice post, but can I ungraciously point out it is not elective mutism, it's Selective mutism. Because the mutism happens in some spaces and not others, so it is selective not pervasive. Not because there is any selection or any choice at all by the affected person as to when they are able to speak. It is an involuntary freeze response caused to the vocal chords by anxiety.

You sound like a great teacher and I am glad you were able to meet his needs - please don't think he was in any way "choosing" not to use his voice.

Fridasrage Thu 04-Apr-19 23:22:24

Just had a scout for what you mean, Is this the post you are referring to? (Taken from the comments on the guest post)

So I ask again, you are saying that there no behaviours at all that are linked to the autistic spectrum that could cause issues in relationships? Funnily enough my dad on the spectrum also finds emotional support in illness situations impossible. Practical support yes, emotional no. It is deeply offensive that you call this an abusive dynamic. My dad is not narcissistic or personality disordered, he is autistic. Like it or not, it makes him hard to live with, and no doubt even harder to be married to - much as we love him.

It is I suppose unsurprising that those on the autistic spectrum would find assessing the impact of the condition on others a difficult thing to do.

If so, i really don't think that they are implying that autistic people are all/outright harmful, or subhuman, but that the condition can make it difficult for people with autism to see where issues arise because of social differences between NTs and people with autism.

I think it might be difficult to want a loved one to be more emotionally supportive/cushion things that they say, but also I understand empathise with why you might be offended. The statement implies that the default/standard of how we should all behave is the neurotypical way, and therefore if people with autism are simply themselves it harms NTs (because they're used to NT socialisation - for example, finding blunt truths offensive).

Maybe? I'm no expert.

Dieu Thu 04-Apr-19 23:29:47

@LellowYedbetter

Sorry, but your dog story really did make me giggle.

Reminds me a bit of my eldest daughter, who is autistic. Her latest 'thing' is supermodels, and who can strut their stuff best on the catwalk (her idol is Naomi Campbell).
When she gets into it, an earthquake couldn't make her deviate from her supermodel monologue grin

Itwouldtakemuchmorethanthis Thu 04-Apr-19 23:33:53

I think it’s true. One of my dc is autistic and doesn’t understand the impact of his disability on the family. Why would he? I go to enormous lengths to try to hide that impact both from him, and my other children.

He isn’t subhuman and I think that’s a really twatty interpretation of the statement.

PalatineUvula Thu 04-Apr-19 23:46:01

-1 for the misleading thread title.

-1 for the thread about a deleted comment.

SkintAsASkintThing Fri 05-Apr-19 00:00:35

They don't. 🤷🤷

Both my DC have Autism. My dd in particular has had a massive impact on my mental health. As in her screaming meltdowns that could go on for hours has left me with PTSD. I physically shake at the sound of a crying child.

He's constant abuse and aggression affected everyone, even worse she had a degree of control. And could switch it all off scarily easily. Literally switching from aggressive abuser to nice smiley DD when she spotted one of her teachers in public where minutes before she'd been spitting the most awful venom at me and back again the minute her teacher had gone.

Awful, an awful thing to live with for all of us. Her included. At times she made me not want to be with and had an horrific impact on her brother. I feel like I'm constantly playing catch up trying to give him the childhood he missed out on now that dd is finally in residential care (( I finally cracked when she was 27 ))

My dd does not know or care what impact she had on all of us. And if she did she could never understand fully just how her behaviour (( sometimes through choice to get her own way as she picked up some good tactics along the way )) completely destroyed all of us and any chance of a mother / daughter relationship that isn't held slightly at arm's length.

SpectrumBlues Fri 05-Apr-19 00:01:09

It’s not about a deleted comment?

I have no idea what you mean.

SkintAsASkintThing Fri 05-Apr-19 00:02:18

17. Not 27. 🤔

She went into care aged 17. Either ways, you get idea.

PalatineUvula Fri 05-Apr-19 00:07:15

Sorry I'm confused. I thought you said your thread title was taken from a comment in the thread www.mumsnet.com/Talk/guest_posts/3549294-Guest-Post-Why-have-we-overlooked-autism-in-women-and-girls?messages=100&pg=1

There are a bunch of deleted comments there.

If it's not referring to a deleted comment I have no idea what it is referring to?

SpectrumBlues Fri 05-Apr-19 00:11:38

It’s not relating do a deleted comment (I have no idea what these comments were).

The comment to which the title related has not been deleted.

I didn’t mean my title to mislead - sorry.

Itwouldtakemuchmorethanthis Fri 05-Apr-19 00:32:03

Link to the comment or at very least quote it in full. On the face of things I can’t see what you are unhappy about?

saraclara Fri 05-Apr-19 00:42:16

I think you are taking a statement intended to show empathy and support to carers/parents of people who present with some challenging autistic traits and reading it as an insult.

This. If it had read 'some' or 'many' autistic people it would have been a lof better, but I think you've over-reacted, OP.

My life's work has been with autistic children, and my own daughter is on the spectrum. I spend a lot of time explaining to people that the autistic children who are blunt, over-honest, and generally perceived as difficult, often do not understand what effect their words or behaviour has on others. Of course not all people with ASD lack empathy or understanding of others' feelings, but many do. And those who feel hurt by things they do, need to understand that in order to demonstrate the patience that these children need.

PalatineUvula Fri 05-Apr-19 01:16:30

"The comment to which the title related has not been deleted. "

ok, could you please post the actual comment (or relevant portion of it) you are referring to?

Because I've done a search in the whole thread for ' autistic people don’t understand'

and there are 0 results.

So you seem to have paraphrased

howmanyleftfeet Fri 05-Apr-19 01:47:13

My mother has ASD as does my son. My mother and I clashed terribly when I was in my teens and early 20s and a large part of this was that I wanted an emotional connection from her that she was unable to give or recognise my need for. I genuinely thought she didn't love me and wasn't interested in me until I was about 23.

Working out she's on the spectrum has helped our relationship loads as I now understand that the way she acts towards me isn't a lack of love - not at all.

It's not ablelist or unkind to recognise that the way my mum related to me was really tough for me as young person. I had a deep need for an emotional connection with her, and for her to at least appear interested in men and the things that mattered to me - and it hurt that it wasn't there. The flip side of that was that she found me really hard to cope with too.

I hope this doesn't offend you! But this was my experience. Understanding more about neurodivergence has helped me see it wasn't personal, she doesn't choose to not be emotionally available to me, it's just the way things are.

I wish we'd both known that she was on the spectrum when I was a teen and had some insight into what that meant for our relationship as it might have made my teenage years more bearable for all concerned!

She doesn't understand the effect she's had on me, and tbh I'm not inclined to explain it as I now understand she can't change it, and I wouldn't want her to feel guilty about it.

On another tack entirely, my mum is a great role model for my son, who has ASD. She's a super-smart high achiever and has a nice life and he looks up to her (as do I!)

I certainly don't think my mum is sub human, she's my shero! I love her and think she's incredible in loads of ways.

FWIW I have ADHD and I know that impacts on my family in different ways. (I think I'm aware of how, but you'd have to ask them to be sure).

howmanyleftfeet Fri 05-Apr-19 01:48:37

Oops!

That should say. "and for her to at least appear interested in me "

I didn't have a need for my mum to have an interest in men!

ittakes2 Fri 05-Apr-19 01:59:09

My dad has asd and he does not understand the impact he has on people - but there are also lots of NT people who don’t understand the impact they have on people. You know your truth - ignore this if you don’t agree with it.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 05-Apr-19 02:23:05

OP, I do think you need to quote and link to the comment in order to get a considered response.

CharityConundrum Fri 05-Apr-19 02:46:07

Assuming the comment was written by an NT poster, it neatly demonstrates that failing to understand/foresee the impact of their words/actions is not a trait that is only found in people with ASD! I doubt any of us can truly understand how we affect others.

HoppingPavlova Fri 05-Apr-19 04:10:54

To think autistic people don’t understand the impact they have on people

I understand you seem to have some issue with another thread, haven’t read it and don’t intend to, but I would say in general that seems pretty correct.

One of my kids (now adult) is ASD and that’s 100% true. They simply don’t understand the impact they have on anyone else. It would also be true to say that most NTs also don’t understand the impact they have on people with ASD.

As a parent with experience with ASD (my child, their friends who all have ASD and many friends, acquaintances and workmates with children with ASD), I freely admit that I often have a negative impact on my child. It’s not my intention to have this impact but that’s the truth. The thing is though that I can at least see and understand that I have a negative impact at times (and often this can’t be helped and situationally I can’t change it). The same is not true in reverse.

Harleyisme Fri 05-Apr-19 06:22:57

Its swings and roundabouts in my opinion. The autism part of the sentence doesnt really stand up. Anyone can have an inpact on anyone without underatanding it in my opinion the autism part shouldn't be there.

Whatsername7 Fri 05-Apr-19 06:28:23

Floating - I meant selective. Just a typo.

SnuggyBuggy Fri 05-Apr-19 06:43:16

It's important to realize that those who live with or care for those with ASD (where necessary) aren't all perfect people and there are going to be difficulties, frustrations and misunderstandings.

ContessaIsOnADietDammit Fri 05-Apr-19 06:56:02

I don't see it the same as you op. I have a lot of autistic traits myself and have, over the course of my life, been distressed many times to discover that something I said really upset a person I was speaking to, when I didn't mean it to at all. Therefore I am in that odd paradoxical state where I try hard to get my statements before making them so as to be kind/not offend, yet still can't always spot imminent offence and so cause it anyway. It's stressful and hard work, tbh!

Someone said up thread they thought the initial statement was meant kindly, and I agree with that. I think that your distress at it is a result of feeling sad about the situation in general, which seems like a pretty logical reaction to me.

Ellenborough Fri 05-Apr-19 06:57:11

There are bullies in the world.
People with autism are an easy target for them.
That’s it.

True.

Then again, I've known a couple of autistic people who have been the obnoxious bullies. And their spouses and families have made allowances as apparently it's their autism and they can't help it.

Bowerbird5 Fri 05-Apr-19 06:58:47

I’ll turn that statement around.

Yes, they don’t realise the impact they have:
how much they have taught me
How I have loved working with them and how while some children over time are forgotten none of the children with autism have been. I can recall the very first child I worked with who was mute so I had to find a way in to communicate with him. I did find a way. That was 27 years ago.
How one family I’m still in touch with at their request and I will be visiting this school holidays. He is now 19.
How I look at the world differently now and consider how lots of small things may make a difference one way or another.
How extremely intelligent some people are ... a person I know went to Cambridge and is probably the most intelligent person I know.
How they have changed my life for the better. Taught me more than any book can. Made me laugh and cry.

That we are all different and we should celebrate those differences. That it teaches other students patience and compassion - a life skill.

Please realise it is only their opinion. Yes they have an impact but please consider that it might be positive.
I haven’t read the article but I will today. Thank you for drawing my attention to it.

vickibee Fri 05-Apr-19 07:00:36

My asd son finds it so hard to just get through a school day, he holds it all in all day behaving mostly in a nt way so you would never know he has it. It is a different story when he gets home in his safe place his rue self comes out and his behaviour can be very hard to deal with. In our situation it is close family that gets the brunt of the behaviour whilst school describes him as delightful. He certainly doesn’t realise how he affects family life, have to work round his needs and plan everything in fine detail

BlooShampoo Fri 05-Apr-19 07:06:05

A horrendously cruel and lazy remark based upon stereotypes. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.
I'm autistic and I feel massive amounts of empathy. Making someone else feel small and shitty would make me feel worse than being made to feel that way myself and I will often try to "absorb" the embarrassment someone else might be liable to in a situation as a result. I was humbled to learn that my course mates at uni know me as someone who is very kind and friendly.

I tend to find that I am much more conscious of not encroaching upon others' comfort (eg by having regard to personal space, not talking too loudly, not getting in the way) than they are to me.

BlooShampoo Fri 05-Apr-19 07:10:41

None of the people who bullied me when I was a teenager gave a shit about the impact that had on me. The medical professionals who were happy to have me abused as a result of their defensive practice didn't give a shiny shit either. People who behave in inconsiderate ways in public don't care.

Vulpine Fri 05-Apr-19 07:11:05

Agree with ellenborough

Ellenborough Fri 05-Apr-19 07:13:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 05-Apr-19 07:15:36

My best friend is autistic. One of the most difficult things about it for her is that she does understand how her behaviour can affect others, but she can't always control it. The effort of constantly self policing has a huge detrimental effect on her mental health. In fact, the policing itself makes her behaviour seem more self centred to people who don't 'get it'. Unfortunately this includes her family...

She's actually extremely clever, very funny and a warm, loving person. Sadly, the way she's been treated over the years means it takes a very long time indeed for her to be able to trust someone enough to display those qualities.

OneInEight Fri 05-Apr-19 07:21:27

ds2 has a huge impact on us but he would argue that we have a larger impact on him. I did find it vaguely amusing that when he was still in mainstream they used to say he lacked empathy but several of the school staff seemingly had little capacity to empathize with how he was feeling because how he reacted to situations so differently from how they would.

NopeNi Fri 05-Apr-19 07:23:56

So logically what's your answer Ellen? Perhaps you'd prefer autistic women to have been sterilised beforehand? Or be locked away from the family? Maybe let the children go into care, would that be better?

Meltdowns aren't a choice and educating others on how to handle them isn't a terrible idea, it emphasises that it's not their fault either.

BlooShampoo Fri 05-Apr-19 07:26:36

I think you are taking a statement intended to show empathy and support to carers/parents of people who present with some challenging autistic traits and reading it as an insult
Empathy and support for caregivers shouldn't come at the expense of those they're meant to be caring for.
A lot of "Autism Mom" types think that their opinions on autism-related issues should be held on par with, or even take precedence over, those of actual autistic people.

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