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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.

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

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


“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.


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 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


“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 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.

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