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Responding to the world as an autistic person

October 17, 2019

 

I used to respond very poorly to important stuff.

If someone took issue with something I said or did,

If something happened that took me by surprise,

I’d respond badly.

I would not know how to feel, not be able to think; to process or work through the experience.

I’d force a ready response.

And because it was forced, propelled by pressure and anxiety,

It would not be a fair representation of who I am, or how I think or feel about the world.

Many people believe autistic people are over reactors, over responders, that we can’t let something be.

I feel so deeply and my processing never stops.

I ruminate on events for weeks, months, years.

When I force a response, it will be over the top.

When I force a response, I will respond in a way that is not thought through.

When I force a response, I will continue an ongoing, open dialogue and add to it as I unravel and process because I didn’t have the space to in the first place.

These days, when I can’t make sense or pinpoint my emotional or cognitive or physical or energetic response to a situation, I let it be.

I let it unravel in its own time.

When I am forced, when I feel pressured, I shut down.

I need time.

I need processing time.

My thoughts, my feelings, my response to the world is huge.

It needs time.

When an autistic person does not respond immediately, or not in a way you’d expect, it may be that they need time.

We think differently.

Patience, time and space will allow you to get to the heart of who we truly are.
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Kristy Forbes
inTune Pathways
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Image: Broken isn’t bad.

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