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    16 Things Not To Say To Autistic Adults

    We exist, we are everywhere, and we are tired of your bullshit

    1. But you seem so normal


    I know that sounds like a compliment, but it's not. From a very young age we are taught to try our hardest to blend in with the rest of the world. It can get exhausting.

    2. You must be really high-functioning


    Also not a compliment. Don't use functioning labels on other people, ok? You don't know their lives. They also really don't tell anyone much about what the person's needs are. And

    3. I'm sorry to hear that


    Though yes, being autistic does come with its share of problems, our lives are not tragedies. In fact, many of us are proud of certain traits that come with our autism such as having a strong memory or a special talent that we can focus on. You do not have to feel sorry for us, in fact please don't.

    4. Anything about "Mental Age"

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    Having needs that the typical adult does not have does not make us any less adults. And yes, you can very easily keep our unique needs in mind and still keep in mind that we are not children.

    5. But you have a job/a significant other/et cetera

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    Autistic people are everywhere and many of us are capable of living independently. Having a job, significant other, or own apartment does not make someone any less autistic.

    6. I think people with autism are so precious!

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    This may sound like a positive stereotype, but it's really infantilizing, especially when said to an adult. Children and adults with developmental disabilities may appear happy most of the time because they were taught that the way they show anger and sadness is bad.

    7. Don't you mean you have asperger's?

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    Asperger's is a subset of autism. The latest edition of the DSM classifies it as an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Many people who are diagnosed with asperger's also refer to themselves as autistic. It is not your place to tell us which word to use.

    8. Have you tried...

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    Chances are, we've heard any type of unsolicited advice on how to make our disability affect us less. Even if you genuinely mean well, keep it to yourself.

    9. Can people like you get married?

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    Yes, plenty of autistic people can and do date, get married, and have families. The choice of whether or not to do so is just as much up to us as it is to anyone else.

    10. The only disability is a bad attitude!

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    Thinking positively will not make the very real barriers that exist for people with all kinds of disabilities magically go away.

    11. So are you asexual?


    Though some autistic people are asexual, we come in all sexual orientations and varying degrees of sex drive.

    12. I've never met an autistic GIRL before

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    And that's probably not a coincidence. Autistic traits are less likely to be spotted in women and people of color, so these groups are likely not to get diagnosed until adulthood.

    13. My 8-year-old cousin has autism and you're nothing like him

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    That might be because he's eight and because autistic people do not share one monolithic personality. I wouldn't compare you to my little cousin just because neither of you are autistic.

    14. Are you a math and science genius?


    This is probably the media's favorite stereotype about autistic people. However, it is not a trait that all autistic people share. Many, if not most, of us do have subjects that we are intensely interested in, but they can be just about anything.

    15. I'm not vaccinating my kids because I heard it causes autism

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    Not only has the supposed link been disproven over and over again, but bringing it up makes autistic people feel like crap. What we hear when you say that is "I would rather have my child die of a preventable disease than turn out like you."

    16. I totally understand what that's like. My brother is autistic

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    Contrary to what seems like a very popular belief, caring for an autistic relative is not even close to being autistic yourself. You may be witnessing it, but we're living it.

    The best things you can do when you know an autistic adult are listen to our experiences and get to know us as individuals. Sure, there's no denying that we're different from you, but we're just as worthy of your time and respect as anyone else.