Conversations within the autism community

Miscommunication

Miscommunication

Before I begin, you should know that I’ve altered these to be a bit more… generic. As in, not specific.

Also, I recognize that these types of conversations happen in any community and basically in general on the internet but this is an autism blog and thus, it’s my topic “du jour”.

But if you’ve been a part of the autism community for any decent length of time or even just been on the internet for more than say… 5 minutes, chances are you might recognize some of these.

Be sure to let me know which conversations seem most familiar to you in the comments.

 

Reading Comprehension

Person 1: Would you like to go for a drink after the movie?
Person 2: I’m not hungry.
Person 1: I didn’t say food, I said a drink.
Person 2: Listen, I don’t even like steak so just stop.
Person 1: What? When did I say steak would be involved?
Person 2: Great, now you’re talking in circles. You don’t even know what you’re saying. Man you’re stupid! This conversation is over. I’m out.
Person 3: What just happened?
Person 1: I have no idea.

Mis-association

Person 1: Hockey looks like fun. It’s fast paced and full of action. It’s a lovely sport.
Person 2: So you’re saying that baseball is a terrible sport, is that it? You prefer hockey over baseball??
Person 1: No, I didn’t say that. I didn’t even mention baseball.
Person 2: I can’t believe that you hate baseball!! It’s a perfectly great game and you have to come and rain all over it.
Person 1: I don’t hate baseball. I was just commenting about hockey, that’s all.
Person 2: People who hate baseball shouldn’t even be on the internet. I hope you die.

Condone-sation?

Person 1: They really should try to put a stop to the fighting in hockey.
Person 2: So what, you think it’s ok to fight in baseball?? All the players rushing the field and hurting each other is suddenly fine with you?
Person 1: What?? No. I don’t think fighting is ok in baseball either.
Person 2: Well that’s what you’re saying. Suddenly fighting in hockey is bad but all this time, you never said a word about the fighting in baseball so obviously you condone it!
Person 1: That is some twisted logic you’ve got going on right there.
Person 2: You’re the one who’s twisted. I can’t believe you actually think it’s fine for there to be all kinds of fighting in baseball but when hockey does it, it’s all rules and regulations with you.
Person 1: Wait, what?? I didn’t say any of what you just said.
Person 2: I’m going to go tell everyone what a bigot you are… how you want there to be more fighting in baseball but none in hockey. God I hope everyone learns to hate you as much as I do.

Para-flipflop-phrase

Person 1: This ice cream sure is cold!
Person 2: So you’re saying that it’s too cold to eat? It’s not that cold, you know.
Person 1: No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying it’s cold. You know, like, I might get brain freeze if I eat it too fast.
Person 2: That’s like saying that a steak is so hot that you might get heart burn. You know you can’t get heart burn from something that’s too hot right. You do have an IQ high enough for that, right?
Person 1: No, it’s not like saying that and yes I do know that. What does my IQ have to do with it?
Person 2: So what, now you question my intelligence? That’s like saying I didn’t even go to high school. I’ll have you know I went to college and was on the honor roll! You probably didn’t even finish elementary.
Person 1: Wait, what? Of course I did. I finished college too. I don’t understand what our IQ has to do with the temperature of ice cream.
Person 2: I knew it, you’re a moron. I can’t talk with someone so stupid.

Victimizer

Person 1: Science is better.
Person 2: No, religion is better.
Person 1: No, science is better.
Person 2: No, religion is better!
Person 1: Listen, religion is all nice with it’s fluffy clouds but science is based on facts.
Person 2: Ah, Fluffy!! How dare you remind me of my childhood hamster!!
Person 1: What? What does your hamster have to do with this?
Person 2: You’re the one who brought it up. And you keep mentioning it!! Don’t you know I was horribly traumatized by the stench of my uncle farting on it and killing it?? It was death by gas cloud man!!
Person 1: Ooooo…. k. Well, I’m sorry I brought up Fluffy.
Person 2: You keep saying his name!! Are you intentionally trying to hurt me!! Is this how you win an argument??? You’re so cruel!!!
Person 1: Wait… what? I just said I was I sorry.
Person 2: You’re a vile and evil person.
Person 1: Ok… well, anyway… back to science vs religion…
Person 2: You don’t even care!! You jab a knife into my gut and then just go on like nothing happened!! Is this how you’re mother raised you!?!?
Person 1: Look, I said I’m sorry about the Fluffy thing. Let’s move on.
Person 2: You’re still talking about it!!! I can’t believe you keep saying his name when you know how much it hurts me!! I’m like, unable to stay seated in my chair right now because I’m just so furious!!
Person 1: I am very sorry that you’re so mad, I’m sorry for what ever I said… can we get back to the topic at hand?
Person 2: Oh no, I’m not leaving until this is resolved. You are going straight to hell and I’m going to see to it that I’m driving the bus mister!!
Person 1: Ok well, this really isn’t going anywhere productive for me so I’m going to go now.
Person 3: What happened here?
Person 2: Religion totally won that argument.

ASSumption

Person 1: Aww…. my baby just sneezed.
Person 2: YOU’RE A TERRIBLE MOTHER!!!!!!

 

Sound familiar to you? Have any to add?

Leave me a comment below!

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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23 Responses to Conversations within the autism community

  1. The domestic goddess January 28, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    All of the above?

    Sigh.

    • Christoffer January 28, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      I seldom participate in discussions which run like these, but I have seen them and what my autistic understanding tell me is that it is some sort of social competition game rather than pure misunderstanding. People without a higher education tend to participate in such games more than those with higher education. This may be linked to a general knowledge uncertainity which make them read and answer emotionally and in a contest mode trying to be as rhetorical wise that possible to win the game. The ad-hominem argumentation style (also called personal attacks) is a rhetorical strategy which tend to repeat itself in much of the examples.

  2. Blogginglily January 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    What Marj said…I think I’ve had every one of those fights in the past two weeks.

  3. Lou Melgarejo (@loumelgarejo) January 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    This is why I have now taken up a new hobby… apathy. I just keep putting it off..

  4. Landon Bryce February 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Stuart:
    Let’s try this one
    Person 1: This is good.
    Person 1: This is bad.
    Person 1: This makes me happy.
    Person 1: This makes me sad.
    Person 1: This makes me angry.
    Stuart Duncan: You are a horrible awful destructive person. It’s wrong for you to constantly attack people and be so angry.
    Person 1: Why is you only notice the things I say when I am angry and ignore all the other things I say?
    Stuart Duncan: Stop attacking me! You are a bully! Waaaaaaah!

    • Stuart Duncan February 3, 2013 at 7:16 am #

      First of all, when I suggested that autistics should try to not respond to hate with hate, you weren’t even being considered there. I’m not sure why you think it was about you.

      Second, suggesting that a person not respond to hate with hate is a very far cry from outright saying that a person is “a horrible awful destructive person” and certainly does not suggest in the least that I’ve ever ignored anything else that person has ever written. A response to a response is simply that. It’s kind of how the internet works. One person writes something, another person replies to it. It’s rarely preceded with “first, let’s talk about your history and then let me sum up with thoughts on your most recent piece.”

      And finally, I’ve never called anyone a bully, much less cried about it and certainly never gotten upset at anyone over any disagreement they’ve had with me over anything I’ve written. You disagree with me and think that autistics should respond to hate with hate? That’s fine. I know several that do and that’s fine with me. It doesn’t bother me one way or another if anyone feels that way. I made my suggestion and am fully willing to accept that others will have differing opinions than my own.

      I wrote that piece and your entire opinion of me changed. Now I can’t talk about the weather without you giving me attitude about it or being condescending in some way. It’s unfortunate but I move on.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog though. I’m glad you still take the time to read.

  5. Landon Bryce February 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Stuart:
    This comment was not about that piece. It was about the fact that I NEVER hear a word from you about the dozens of positive posts I do, but boy, are you there to pile on if I say something you can attack for being “too negative.” When there is a mob of parents attacking me, I exist so you can join in the fun. When I do anything that you can’t point at with disapproval, I, like most other non-parent advocates, do not exist. This tendency of yours LONG preceded that post– it’s why I wrote a long response then, which I would have bothered with a one-off. You have been teaching your little friends that I and other autistic people not in your clique are hateful and fit targets for scorn for YEARS. This is still hurting me. Please stop it.

    • Stuart Duncan February 4, 2013 at 12:27 am #

      Is that so? That’s news to me as it is to many of my readers, I’m sure. Are you certain you don’t have me confused with someone else?

      It does make me wonder though, if this is how it’s been for years, why did you send me this in August, less than 6 months ago?: “If you ever have anything that you would particularly like to feature on my site thAutcast, please let me know. I respect your work a lot.”

      Also, please let me know when I’ve ever said you were “too negative.” What was the context? I honestly can’t remember any times that this has happened.

      • Landon Bryce February 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

        Stuart: See– here’s the thing. I don’t divide people into “hateful” and “good” like you do. You do good things and bad things. I try to recognize both. The last time you joined a lynch mob against me was when Flannery Sullivan and Jill Smo spent the night trolling my Facebook page, and you made fun of me for thinking that was not cool, and then made fun of me for thinking your response was not cool. You are part of a clique of parent bullies who descend to keep uppity autistic people in line. Knock it off.

        • Stuart Duncan February 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

          I don’t divide anyone into any groups actually. I think that responding to hate with hate is not productive. That’s it. Plain and simple. An instance with an instance. Not the person or any history preceding that. I’ve never named any names because there are no names to name. That’s all I’ve ever said and most people are aware of that, at least I hope. Yes, I do know some people that are hateful, usually focusing on hating others rather than being positive but I’ve never said you were in that group nor have I said that those people don’t contribute anything positive. These are things that you are saying I said. I didn’t. The fact is though, I wasn’t considering you at all when I had any of that stuff was crossing my mind back then nor now.

          As for joining a lynch mob, I put “/sigh /rolleyes /facepalm” into a post on your page that you started, in support of you. I didn’t post in their comments or their discussions. I posted in yours. For a reason. I just simply could not believe that this was still going on. After a simple miscommunication, days later, it had turned into an all night thing on Facebook between you and others that weren’t even involved. But that’s not how you replied. You replied to me very aggressively and filled with assumptions. I never once said anything directed at you. You did by paraphrasing my “sigh”. And then got mad about it. I replied with “Is that what I said?”

          Did I correct you? No, I didn’t see what the point would have been. You had and still have very obviously made up your mind and anything I say, as is evident by this conversation, wasn’t going to change it.
          Yes, I said that autistics should try to not respond to the hate with hate in kind. Ever since then, these are your responses to me. That I divide people. That I call people a “horrible awful destructive person”. That I am joining lynch mobs.

          You know what Landon? You have made up your mind about me but perhaps you should consider who came to this blog post to make unwarranted attacks. You know, the very thing that you call others “bullies” for doing.

          I’ve made my position clear. I invite you to go back to that Facebook post and reread what I wrote, this time, keeping in mind that I was saying those things because I was disappointed that your page was trolled and it was still continuing after it should have been resolved.
          Or don’t. It’s clear you won’t.

          Thank you though, for proving the point I originally made with this post.

          • Landon Bryce February 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

            Stuart:

            I had no idea that you intended “/sigh /rolleyes /facepalm” as a message of support. It read to me at the time as you joining in an attack on me that had already lasted for days, and I responded as such.

            And I guess this is my problem with this article– we’ve had communication problems. I have no doubt that this has been due to failings on both of our parts. This article reads as “reasonable person and the unreasonable jerks he has to deal with,” not as “communication is hard.”

            I think we’ve both been unfair to each other, and I’ve been unfair in some of my comments here. I’m sorry for that, but not for trying to tell you that, whether intended or not, I’ve left several interactions with you feeling really disrespected

  6. confessionsfromhh6 February 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Also all of the above.

  7. Kelly February 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Hi! New to your blog, but, boy, I like what I see so far!

  8. jillsmo February 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi Stuart! Just wanted to say that you are awesome and please keep up the good work!! <3

    • jillsmo February 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Still laughing at that last one, ASSumption…. GOLD!!!

  9. Jen February 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Then there’s my favorite:
    Person1: here’s how I see it
    Person2: I see it a little differently
    Person1: troll!

    Well done )

    • Deanna February 5, 2013 at 12:01 am #

      well said.

    • Stuart Duncan February 5, 2013 at 9:00 am #

      Indeed… another great example :)

      • Landon Bryce February 5, 2013 at 9:52 am #

        Thanks, Stuart, for proving that you do in fact encourage the sort of behavior you claimed to be objecting to above.

        • Stuart Duncan February 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

          So she didn’t give a great example of miscommunication?
          You’ve lost me on this one Landon.

  10. john February 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    You have done a great service to the internet with this. All commenting functionality is now redundant. We can just paste this to the bottom of every article!

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