My Inside Reflections on Friendships (geared toward Non-Autistic People)

Friendships for me have always been complicated. I find it difficult to distinguish between the various levels of friendship such as “acquaintance,” “friend,” “close friend,” or even “BFF” (Best Friend Forever). When it comes to trusting others, I am rather binary in that I will either trust them or not.

I generally view strangers as ‘untrustworthy’ in the beginning. It can take a long time to fully gain my trust because I do not trust easily. As I spend time with someone, I will observe the other person to collect evidence of trustworthiness.

Once a person graduates to the ‘friend’ stage with me, it means that I trust her/him (a) to tell the truth and can believe the words that she/he says, (b) expect her/him to honour commitments and keep promises, and (c) can let down my guard and be myself around her/him.

There are certain qualities valued highly by me in a friend: a great sense of humour, creative thinking, honesty, kindness, perception, trustworthiness, understanding.

My advice for non-autistics looking to be friends with an autistic:

Be your genuine self. I like people for who they are, and appreciate when they like me for me too! 🙂

Embrace stims and other eccentricities. For me, my stims are mostly flapping,                      fidgeting, and rocking. I usually flap when I get excited, and rock when I am either                 anxious, under stress, or excited. Fidgeting replaces flapping and rocking in public so that my stims are less obvious and more socially acceptable. If I flap or rock around you, that is HUGE. That means I trust you fully and dare to be vulnerable around you.

Share some passions (‘special interests’). I once had a non-autistic friend in high school named Lloyd. My passion (‘special interest’) at the time was stars and clouds. One of my most poignant memories is of Lloyd and I sitting outside one evening discussing, at great length, stars and clouds. If I start to share my passions (‘special interests’) with you, that means that I am feeling more comfortable around you and am trying to build a friendship with you.

Most, if not all, of us have sensory issues. Know your autistic friend’s sensory                     challenges. I (as well as many other autistics) prefer quiet places. Personally, I LOVE             coffee shops!  🙂

In conclusion, if I am connecting/engaging with you, it is because I find you interesting and want to get to know you better.

Advertisements

Dear employers ~ How to work with employees “with” Asperger’s / #autism ~ Part 2: Creating an autism-friendly atmosphere

Well-written, informative post, SW!

the silent wave

This post is a sequel to my last post, in which I mentioned that many companies are becoming increasingly aware of the unique inborn talents and qualities of people on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum that make them (us – I’m an “Aspie”, too!) potentially excellent employees.

There will more than likely be one or two follow-ups to this post, the first one covering the application/interview process, and the other conceived in response to a fellow Aspergian/autistic friend who posed the honest question of why employers should care enough to make the changes described in my last post and this one.  The previous post, this post, and the two future posts that I have planned for this series will be tagged under “Hiring and Working With People on the Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum” for easy reference.

For now, I’ll cover the second prong of the material I have, which involves creating…

View original post 3,753 more words

Dear employers ~ How to work with employees “with” Asperger’s / #autism ~ Part 1: Making your office an autism-friendly environment

GREAT post, NeuroSister! Hit the nail on the head! 🙂

the silent wave

Companies in various fields are waking up to the realization that we, the people on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum, have various skills and personality traits that often make us pretty darn fine employees.  I may address these characteristics in a future post.

But for now, let’s say you’re one of these companies.  You’ve already seen the light, and you know you’d like to hire more of us…except that you’re not quite sure how we operate, and you’re not quite sure what we need or which accommodations might have to be implemented to make your company an Asperger’s/autism-friendly work environment.

Naturally, when I mention words and phrases such as “accommodations” and “Asperger’s/autism-friendly work environment”, a business owner or manager might get a little nervous.  That’s because those words and phrases tend to cost businesses money, and they begin to wonder how they’re going to figure those new expenses into the budget (do…

View original post 2,454 more words

New #Autism “Research”: Sexual Abuse of Autistic Mice: Factors that Increase Risk and Interfere with Recognition of Abuse

Just Under Your Radar

group of mice hiding in a log Can you spot the autistic mice? They’re the ones not making eye contact.

Note: People, this is satire. Kind of. It stems from the strangely popular trend now of studying “autism” in mice. Please don’t take this  paper seriously — just as you shouldn’t put too much faith in any research which purports to understand autism in humans by studying … mice (of all things!)

But please DO take seriously the issue of sexual assault and predation on autistic girls and women. It’s a thing. It’s a very serious thing. And far more research needs to be done in this area, which must then translate to vastly improved awareness of this issue for autistic women, as well as training for girls and women on the autism spectrum to stay safe — and not spend most of their adult years wrangling with nasty PTSD issues, which just makes everything even harder. Seriously…

View original post 6,804 more words