Autistic Behaviours are Human Behaviours

Imagine you’re a human. Probably not that hard to imagine because you are. Now imagine yourself in the below scenarios and imagine how you would behave.

You are in pain and try to convey that to others but they don’t understand you. They try to guess why you are crying and screaming but can’t. They decide you are just “behaving badly” and ignore you. Your pain gets worse. How do you behave?

You are in school, trying to do your work. The whispers of the other kids are hurting your ears. You tell them to be quiet but they ignore you and laugh at you. You ask them a bit more forcefully. The teacher hears you and punishes you for talking. You can feel anger at being treated unjustly welling you inside you. How do you behave?

You are at home. You can hear your parents arguing. They are blaming you for all the problems in their marriage. To your face they claim to love you but you no longer believe them. They say they accept you but you don’t feel accepted. How do you behave?

You are ground down by society. Everywhere you look, everything you read, people are saying you and others like you are a problem. You are constantly belittled and othered. Your anxiety as a result is sky high. How do you behave?

You are incredibly anxious because of how others treat you. You find that picking at your skin or biting your nails soothes you as it distracts you from your distress. You want to stop as your skin is now bleeding and sore. And yet you can’t because your anxiety has not lessened. You get put into “behavioural therapy” because of your “self injurious behaviour”. They do nothing to help your anxiety and in fact just worsen it. How do you behave?

Autistic “challenging” behaviours are not “caused by autism”. They are a very human response to extreme stress. All humans in that kind of stress will exhibit these exact behaviours. Our behaviours mirror our emotions. If we are exhibiting “challenging” behaviours it’s because we are finding something in our lives very challenging. Same as anyone else.

If autistic people behave in ways you don’t like, don’t blame “autism”. Blame “being human”. Unless of course you don’t actually think autistic people are human.

4 comments

  1. This is so so true. We’ve had personal experience of this. Where the autistic kid is referred to a problem behaviour unit for an action. And two other kids doing the same action are labelled as just boisterous and the issue is dropped for them. It’s all about perception and an ingrained culture.

    Liked by 1 person

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