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19 Secrets Autistic People Will Never Tell You

"We may hear your question but choose not to answer." A writer with autism gives his perspective.

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1. If you really want to annoy us, compare us to Rain Man.

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Although being a gambling mastermind would be awesome, that's not really how it works.

2. It might look like we're being antisocial, but that doesn't mean you should ignore us.

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All we need is a little push into the right direction. If you always ignored the quiet people at parties, think how many great conversations you'd miss out on.

3. Even though we hate loud noises, we love listening to other people's conversations.

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We just hate shopping centres and busy train stations. But who doesn't?

4. The idea that we lack empathy is nothing more than a misconception.

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It's a common myth that people diagnosed with autism can't relate to other people. But that doesn't apply to all of us. And plenty of people who aren't autistic lack empathy too.

5. And if we do seem unsympathetic, you shouldn't take it personally.

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Those of us who do struggle with empathy just find certain social situations slightly overwhelming. We're not trying to be rude; we just feel uncomfortable.

6. We have varied interests. And we'd rather not call them "obsessions".

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Just because we're interested in something doesn't mean we're ~obsessed~ with it.

7. Like everyone else, we use our interests to find a sense of purpose.

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We often feel misunderstood and anxious that we don't have the same opportunities as others. That's why we take so much comfort in what we do.

8. There's no point comparing us to cultural figures who also have autism.

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We can't all paint masterpieces in five seconds like Van Gogh. And we definitely can't all come up with life-changing theories like Einstein.

9. We're not like Sherlock either.

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10. Contrary to popular belief, we do get jokes.

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If we don't laugh, it probably just wasn't that funny.

11. But some of us can struggle with sarcasm.

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Most of us can take a lighthearted joke. But sarcasm can be really tough to appreciate. That doesn't mean you should call us out on it in public, though. If you think we misunderstood something you said, just drop it.

12. We don't have superpowers and can't imprint every single word in the English language onto our minds.

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It would be helpful for exam revision, mind.

13. We don't spend all day sitting in a dark corner, coding.

14. And we're not all mad scientists and mathematicians.

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We're all into different things.

15. If we ignore you, that doesn't necessarily mean we missed what you were saying.

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We might just not like you. Sorry.

16. Having a diagnosis isn't something we use to differentiate ourselves from society. It just gives us a sense of identity.

17. We're more than capable of being in relationships and expressing heartfelt emotions.

18. We don't like being told that we're not capable of doing things "normal people" can do.

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In fact, we're pretty confused by the word "normal", anyway. What does it actually mean?

19. We're pretty open and don't mind talking about the condition.

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If we know you, ask away!