I run an autism support group in the town where I live and last night we had our meeting. We have a great mix of children, adults and a lot of young people who attend and have developed a great friendship group with like-minded people, I love to watch them having a relaxed conversation all together without any judgement!
This is our groups logo! The kids did what they love to do and sorted the Lego into colours rather than build stuff with it! So straightforward!
Last night we had some new people, both adults, and we ended up having a hilarious conversation about how ‘weird’ neurotypical people are and debating what ‘neurotypical’ actually means. I mean, what is ‘normal’?
What is ‘Normal’?
I guess ‘normal’ is ourselves, we all think we’re the only normal person in the world because we understand our own thinking and we all think our way is the right way. Maybe that’s why we’re so intolerant of each other? One of the new people is a driving instructor and is actually the guy who got 4 of my girls through their test first time! For me there is only one driving instructor and he’s the best, he assesses each pupil and adapts to the their particular learning style and idiosyncracies and a lot of his pupils are on the autism spectrum although he teaches neurotypical people as well. It was he who commented that neurotypical people can be incredibly weird with some of the things they do and say!
He was referring mostly to the weird and illogical things they do whilst driving but both he and the other lady agreed that they’re often baffled by the way ‘normal’ people behave. And, I have to say, I agree with them. We’re all unpredictable, but I reckon there’s a better chance of understanding what a person on the spectrum means as they’re so straightforward, or would like to be. We were talking about the strange social dances neurotypical people engage in, having to read voice intonation, body language, facial expression etc…..They were debating how complicated it all is for us but also how they have both had to try to learn the ‘dance’ in order to try to fit in. They would love to just ask outright what someone was meaning by something they just said but how that can be misconstrued as rude.
Life is complicated, understanding people is even more complicated but does it have to be? Sometimes I feel that a world run by autistic social rules would be a lot simpler and maybe we could all benefit from that? Warrants discussion I think!