Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Apparently autism either means you get away with everything or you get away with nothing.

So far as I can tell, there are two main categories here: Autistic people who have gotten away with everything because their parents shielded them and used their autism as an excuse for not disciplining them, and autistic people who got away with precisely nothing. No flapping, no stimming, no perseverating, no nothing.
When I talk about getting away with everything, I'm not talking about people who won't force their kids to make eye contact or stop stimming. I'm talking about people who let their kids physically attack people and don't do anything about it, not even explain that you shouldn't do that. I'm talking about people who never made their kid apologize for hurting someone, ever, even if their kid does have enough words to do so. I'm talking about people who ACTUALLY needed to discipline their autistic kid, not ``oh hey, my kid is acting autistic, I guess I should make them stop" but ``my kid is actively hurting people, I should probably do something about that besides just saying that she's autistic and not even trying to figure out why it happened or explain why she shouldn't do that."
When I talk about getting away with nothing, I'm talking about not even tolerating levels of quirkyness that would be OK if the kid were neurotypical.
Neither one of these approaches really works. Just putting that out there.
What should work is something along the lines of ``I'm going to educate my kid, and I'm going to help them be better at being autistic, and I'm going to help them understand which things they really do need to do in order to not actively hurt people, and I'm also going to help them understand what probably is and probably is not autism related, and I'm going to let them stim all they need to."
That seems to be pretty rare, though. I think we should do something about that.


  1. Your account makes for interesting reading, not least as I've an aspergers suffering brother who has been 'getting away with it' for the past 40 years. He has made life extremely difficult for all our family, and (although we feel compassion towards him due to his situation) it's a total nightmare!!! Our mother passed away 15 years ago, and ever since his self-centered behaviour has become even more pronounced; since she made real efforts to discipline his behaviour and outline acceptable boundaries etc, etc. Our father takes the 'line of least resistance' - so now the brother can do anything he likes without come back. I've searched on-line for any kind of document that might provide a guide to negotiating with autistic/ aspergers suffers - but there's nothing!!! Help!!!!

    1. I have a lot of things to say here, so be warned, is long. The basic summary is "This isn't an autism issue, it's somebody being a jerk because they've been told it's an autism issue when it's not."
      1) He's an adult. Talking about disciplining him is kind of infantilizing, is problem.
      2) He's being a jerk and possibly claiming it's an autism thing. Failure to respect boundaries that have been defined explicitly is NOT an autism thing.
      3) You can't control your dad, he'll handle it the way he wants.
      4) You can set boundaries with your brother. It won't be "You must do X" type boundaries as much as "If you wish to interact with me, you will have to do X," since he's an adult and either one of you can choose to not be in contact with the other.
      5) If he claims that Asperger's makes him unable to respect your boundaries, tell him that makes his choice for him/call him on the fact that it's probably malarkey.
      Also: has awesome information, and using "suffering" language to describe Autistic/autistic/aspergian people/ people with autism/aspergers who have not specifically told you they are, in fact, suffering is 100% not OK. At all. Unless he's told you that's how to describe his, don't do so.

  2. why would you say this .we have to learn all the things that typplical kids learn by seeing the world around them .some parent excuse the child behavior on the autism it wrong it make the kid worse thjey dont learn how to behave .they do learn how to control the family .i wasnt alowed to get away with crap becuse i have autism it took lots of therhy an hard work .for me to get were i am .i may not be as hf as this guy who write this blogs .but if my parents teachers an therhist didnt work hasrd an push me i wouldnt be were i am now

    1. Are you responding to my post or to the anonymous commenter? I'm not saying that autism should let people get away with everything, that's one of the things that this post actually says is bad. I'm just also saying that not everything people try to stop autistic people from doing is bad or needs stopping. I'm saying neither extreme works. You have to work, but people shouldn't demand you stop using coping mechanisms that don't actually hurt anyone. That kind of thing.

  3. Alyssa yes i was .i was wonder why u thought he was being a jerk .i have to be taught everything you just learn normally .at home it autism heaven i have been taught how to behave more app in public those people still can tell i have autism or something .no mater how much help i got an still get .i cant pass for typplical some of myu friends with as can .but they also werent as severe as i was as a child

    1. Boundaries is the key here. Setting boundaries is important, and while passing for typical, in my opinion, isn't even necessarily a goal, staying within explicitly set boundaries is always a thing. Like, "Don't touch me" has to be followed, 100%, that kind of thing, and it sounded like that's what the anonymous commenter was talking about.
      Like, passing for typical isn't the thing that he's talking about, crossing all boundaries after they have been explicitly set is. Which isn't an autism thing. Not getting ones that are only hinted at? Yeah. Not getting ones that people think "you just know"? Yeah, autism is relevant. Not being capable of acting neurotypical? Yeah, that's a thing. Hurting people? Ignoring boundaries that have been explicitly set? Nope. Not autism. That's just being a jerk. Which is what the commenter was describing, so far as I can tell.
      Remember, his mother set boundaries, and it got worse once there was no longer anyone setting boundaries firmly. That means it's not autism, it's a person ignoring boundaries and no one calling him on it. Which is something a jerk does. Autism doesn't prevent being a jerk too.


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