Many of the behaviours associated with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are perceived as rude, unacceptable, or impolite in society. Thus, there are many misconceptions about what these behaviours mean. Sometimes, what you believe someone is thinking, and what they really are, are entirely different things. Anyone with ASD will tell you that, sometimes, reading people is hard. But it just goes to show you shouldn’t jump to conclusions about a situation.
A family friend of mine has a child with severe autism, who is non-verbal, and has the tic of reaching out and touching fabric. When he touched a scarf that was hanging from a fellow shopper’s trolley, she was furious and made this anger very much known. Whilst it might be frustrating for someone on the outside looking in, it’s definitely more annoying from the perspective of the person who is performing the behaviours. In hopes to try and help everyone understand a little better, here’s a list. We’re not quite the ghost-busters, but we promise, with our busting – exclusively the ‘myth’ variety – there will be far less slime.
Routines and Rituals
Lots of people have things they like to do, and do the same. Maybe every week you go for a walk on Saturday morning, or always have a roast dinner at one o’clock every week on Sunday. People with ASD might have a few more of these routines, and stick to them very closely. Perhaps they eat the same thing every day, asking the same questions over and over and needing a specific answer, or not liking changes in furniture layout.
They’re pedantic, being ridiculous, or selfish for not being more adaptable.
When you have a lot of different thoughts rushing around in your head all the time, it can make life easier to have things you can rely on and don’t have to think about. Even if it might be frustrating for family members when a child has a limited diet, it might simply be that it reduces the thoughts and choices they have to make. When there is already too much input into someone’s mind, having reliable routine might take some pressure off.
Fidgeting and fiddling
There are just a few of the ASD-associated behaviours we’ve found can be misinterpreted. In all actuality though, this list barely breaks the surface. There are so many more, and you can let us know which we’ve missed in comments, or by tweeting us at @SafeCinemas on Twitter! We can’t wait to hear from you, and hopefully you can break down some of this stigma in your own life too. Sometimes, all a person needs is a little understanding or educating, and you could be the person to give them that!
Stay safe, friends. x