I was recently contacted about the assumptions people have about autistic people and how we are often paired with other autistic people without thought for whether those people will actually get along. They are paired simply because they are both autistic. So I wanted to use this blog to address this and highlight that we need to be seen as individuals who can choose who we have relationships with.
Everyone in the world is unique and has their own interests. Any chosen relationship is based on those interests and experiences that are shared. Due to everyone’s experiences being different it means that not everyone will automatically get along with each other.
This is also the case with autistic people. Whilst we have the shared experience of being autistic, just like neurotypicals we will have different interests and views that makes us all unique. However, this often seems to be forgotten and instead there is an assumption that all autistic people will automatically get along because we are autistic. You wouldn’t expect two neurotypicals with completely different views and interests to get along so the same should apply to autistic people too.
There are many occasions where an autistic person is asked to ‘look after’ another autistic person simply because they are both autistic. But this shouldn’t always happen and if anything this only acts to separate us from neurotypicals.
I have even seen and heard of so many examples in schools of all autistic children being told they must sit together because they are grouped by being autistic. This is just wrong as I have seen that some autistic children, just like autistic children can’t work together and actually trigger each other.
I’m not saying that autistic people can’t be friends with each other but just want to highlight that rather than always enforcing these relationships allow us the ability to choose these relationships. We are individuals and deserve to be seen in this way.