Neurotypicals, allistics, non-autistics. I’ve had so many people tell me “oh, you don’t look autistic” or “you look normal” – well honestly, I am autistic and that is that.
But not all neurotypicals are the same, I’ve got friends who completely understand me. Today I decided to get an outsider perspective on autism, a different view from someone on the outside looking in.
I asked one harmless #neurotypical a variety of questions, questions that will give a different insight to autism:
1. What is autism to you?
Mikey: I used to see people who are Autistic as the stereotypes of “oh they’re a bit weird”. However that was because I was uneducated and ignorant. After learning more, I came to understand that they aren’t weird, they’re the same as us, they just see the world a little differently.
2. What is your connection with autism?
Mikey: My connection to Autism would be yourself. A little while after becoming friends, you discovered you were Autistic and I decided to learn a little more about what my friend was. I have also since found out that some other friends are on the spectrum too, which backs up the point of the “do I look Autistic” movement. Autism doesn’t have a set look, you could be walking past someone who has Autism every day.
3. What is one thing people should know about autism?
Mikey: Well I think this would go back to the point of looks. There isn’t a set Autism look at all, in fact I challenge someone to try and describe the look of Autism. I bet you can’t… The movement I mentioned too, “do I look Autistic yet”, is amazing. To see so many people fighting the stereotypes and being proud of their looks, it’s actually quite inspirational.
I would also like to point out, it’s hard to just choose one thing people should know about. There’s so much more people need to know about, like; not staring during meltdowns, how Aspie’s understand emotion, Media stigmas, the fact there isn’t an actual cause or cure. I’m sure they will find more of this through your articles, there’s so much people don’t know.
4. In your own opinion, do you think enough is being done to help/accommodate those who are autistic?
Mikey: No, I don’t think enough is being done at all. I’m appauled at the lack of support available for people on the spectrum, especially adults. Again, there is such a bad stigma surrounding the disability and nobody seems to want to touch it. NAS are fantastic and do a lot, as do some smaller charities. I think though, the government needs to take a good look at the Autistic community in the UK and do something about it.
5. Most people view autism as a negative thing, from an outside perspective what would you say are the positives of autism?
Mikey: Well I am going to look at this from the perspective of having an Autistic friend, being yourself. At times I’ve noticed you personally feel clingy or attached, however I don’t mind that. Because I have a friend who always sticks by me, always wants to talk and who genuinely enjoys my company. From my understanding, some people on the spectrum don’t understand sarcasm or spite, which at least makes for a loyal and honest friend. Also when I’ve been upset before, it seems to bother you too, and you instantly try to cheer me up. You won’t leave me alone until I’m happy, which is normally not too long after we start talking. I think the last one I’ll talk about is the different perspective. You see things in a way I wouldn’t have looked at them. Each day as your friend is educational, but in a good way. It’s better I think, than having friends who see everything the same way. Otherwise things get boring.
Having another perspective can be really helpful. It allows you to gain greater insight into what autism really is about.
Thank you to Mikey for agreeing to the interview, and for being a great friend!