Autism Neurodiversity Psychology

Inclusive Autistic Traits by Autisticality

Originally posted on autisticality:
Problems Autism is big and messy and confusing, and no-one really understands it. It’s difficult to make a good summary and description of autistic traits, because generally no-one can agree on what autism actually is. But even taking that into account, I’ve never read a satisfactory article or leaflet summarising and describing autistic…

I’m hitting the “Reblog Button” for the first time ever. This list is amazing. It is extremely comprehensive without being pathological or overly negative. It also does not dismiss or overlook difficulties. PLEASE read the entire list on the original poster’s page.

autisticality

Problems

Autism is big and messy and confusing, and no-one really understands it. It’s difficult to make a good summary and description of autistic traits, because generally no-one can agree on what autism actually is. But even taking that into account, I’ve never read a satisfactory article or leaflet summarising and describing autistic traits.  Every description I’ve ever read suffered from at least one of these problems:

  • Wrongly weighted. So many descriptions of autism written by neurotypical people focus completely on social traits. Often autism is described as an entirely social thing, and any other differences are considered incidental if they’re mentioned at all.
  • Vague. The “triad of impairments” is the worst offender here. It divides social traits arbitrarily into “interaction”, “communication”, and “imagination”, but there is absolutely no clear distinction between those categories. They’re meaningless and useless divisions that don’t remotely simplify the description, and so they serve no useful purpose…

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5 comments

  1. I loved reading this. I am neurotypical (see what I’ve learned from reading your blog? 🙂 ) but have run across many people who exhibit traits described in this post. I am ashamed to say that I silently labeled and unthinkingly dismissed many of these people before even trying to understand or relate to them.
    I also love your original blog posts. Before I happened upon your writings I had no concept of neurodiversity, of the “normalcy” of it all. We are one giant diverse beautiful human family. Every one of us deserves to be authentically who we are without reservation or apology. I want to meet more autistic people so I can give them a big hug… or not. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This reblogged post is basically why I didn’t see the condition in myself for so long. The mainstream diagnostic criteria basically made out at the time (and still does apparently) that we lack imagination generally. I didn’t even lack social imagination, I have vivid memories of trying VERY enthusiastically to involve my peers in the little plays I made up in my mind, and perhaps I’m an outlier within the autistic community here but I’ve never actually had that much of an issue with taking things literally all the time.

    Also, particularly as a female, you tend to learn very early on in life not to “talk at” people about your special interests, often the hard way, so even that trait is often no longer applicable by the time you even wind up on the diagnostic radar… so much of it is wrong, or at the very least highly misleading. And yes the fact that it’s constantly about “impairments” and deficits”… yeah that’s a good way to end up feeling like you’re generally a bad thing.

    This revised diagnostic criteria should be far more well known.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should clarify – the traditional criteria which the reblogged post refers to, not the post itself, was the reason I didn’t see the condition in myself for so long. Just to avoid a potential misunderstanding!

      Liked by 1 person

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