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the language of autism

  • Seminarverwaltung Support
  • 17.01.2020
  • living with autism


I’ve been using the description that this world feels like an alien planet or me being one living on earth


I paraphrased finding out about autism with finding my language and finally  understanding and being understood


I tried to explain my autistic traits and about masking them


but to fully understand me - living with autism- you would need to understand my language as well - because otherwise it just gets „lost in translation“ ;)


In my article „masking autism“ I told you that I have no mimic or facial expression on my own and that I suffer facial blindness on top of that and in the  combination with not being able to read emotions or body language of others non-verbal communication becomes an extreme challenge for me


People often think I am un-emphatic or inattentive but I simply can’t decode your signals


Even though I have good communicational skills and am able to express myself and emotions well doesn’t mean I get your language (at all !)


I can’t pick up tone or sarcasm I don’t get jokes if you can’t take them literally I often struggle with meaning of sentences if you can’t take them word-for-word, I never know if a person is joking or being serious and I can’t differ a question from a rhetorical one and also take descriptions to literal as well


My own language is more pedantic and I use language more specific than „normal“ people would


I hate unspecific, inconclusive or  phrases like later/ in a while , somehow or somewhat ect I can’t interpret the meaning of it at all


With my lack of short term memory and being unable to influence on which information stays and goes I most likely will repeat information you already know or ask the same question again


If I am in sensory overload and busy with masking it you will notice my delay in reactions and my inability to find back to my train of thoughts when distracted


I can’t distinguish what is important from what is unimportant so I will probably end up in a rant with opening up a lot of side-stories or background information which makes it hard for you to keep up with my thread of story


The way I communicate in general is different - I never talk just to talk - that’s why simple small talk is impossible for me


I always have an objective when speaking if I am talking too detailed about my newest obsession or SI you won’t get a chance to even put a word in and I can’t tell if you are interested at all or not and would keep talking without any sense for my counterpart


I will mask if I didn’t understand what you were saying (meant) in our conversation but overanalyze right after -for hours if necessary- to figure it out


I just started with being honest and inquire a specific explanation if things are unclear for me in those situations but since I am being perceived as pretty smart you often feel insulted or at least irritated by my stupid question(s)


That’s the main problem with being on the high functioning end of the spectrum people can’t imagine that I with my well developed intellect, won’t understand the (for you) most simple expressions


my misinterpretation of verbal and non verbal language and the lack of my own skills of expressing it is building a gap in communication that I can’t simply overcome and causes a lot of misinformation, misunderstandings and conflicts in social interactions


Since my autism makes me incapable of reading social cues or understanding the social „dress code“ of a situation I might come across awkward or clumsy and unintentionally hurting someone’s feelings


Since I have no good sense for boundaries either I will act invasive or being too personal with strangers by oversharing privat informations


Since my behavior and communication is so different from yours you might experience it as intrusive as I enter your personal space without noticing


On the other hand if I am in sensory overload or just overwhelmed in a situation I might shy away from physical touch and feel like you are too invasive yourself and me reacting promptly aggressive to that will make you wary in the further contact with me


As I said my first impression isn’t always a good one and I often make it worse with my lack of social and communication skills


That’s why it is so hard for autistic people to form friendships or relationships but even with / behind those social impairments I am a caring, loving and unique personality that just uses a different language than you are familiar with


So please try to understand mine because I already spent years of my life learning yours - but there are limits with my autism that I can’t break through but you could meet me half way