What Autistic People Want Family and Friends to Know About Being Autistic

We asked autistic people what they would like their family and friends to know about being autistic. These were their responses:

“Support and understanding would be appreciated. And If you don’t understand me… you can still support me.”

“I would like my family to know that taking care for myself looks different to how they take care for themselves, that being mentally healthy as an autistic looks different from being mentally healthy for them. And that it is okay.”

Every autistic person is different. Just because I don’t fit into your stereotypical notions of what an autistic person should be like doesn’t mean that I’m not autistic.

“I am the same person I was before my autism diagnosis. Nothing about me has changed towards you. I only understand myself in a more authentic way now.”

“I may act ‘weird’ but I am still your son. Don't exclude me because I don't fit into your ideals of how you live your life.”

I wish my family and friends understood that my struggles are genuine, not faked. If there is anything I fake, it’s being okay.

“When I say I need something or I feel a certain way, I mean it. I am not being ‘dramatic’.”

“I may not express my emotions in the same way as you but I still feel them.”

“I want my family and friends to know that I want to bond with them, I just don’t know how to go about it.”

My special interests are very important to me and talking about them is my way of connecting with you. Please don’t dismiss them or make fun of them.

“I place a high value on honesty and authenticity.”

“Please give me space when I ask for it. I need it to manage my emotions and sensory overload to prevent a meltdown.”

“I say what I mean. There is no need to read between the lines or draw conclusions based on my tone.”

I have many characteristics that you will probably not see in non-autistic people. This does not mean that you can look at me as any lesser than non-autistic people.

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