Your perception of Autism is very wrong. One person does not set the standard for an entire group of people. Many people with Autism DO have empathy, in fact they sometimes complain about having too much. Also, not everyone with the diagnoses is going to sit there telling you all about their special interest. Just like everyone else, people with Autism have different personalities and traits. One person may have more trouble than others learning how to converse in an appropriate way, while another may have it easier. Just because your friend may be using it as an excuse, does not mean that all people on the spectrum will. Many go above and beyond, despite their learning differences.
Being on the spectrum myself, I think whoever this person is puts a pretty broad stereotype in your head. I am thankfully reenforced with disciplinary values, so I don't make excuses when I act like a s***bag. (Sorry for sounding self centered, it's just people like her who irritate me. Some people just can't own their mistakes.)
I've done a lot of things that she did, but I at least apologized and corrected myself.
I'm sorry for venting, it's just, UGH. (Someone has to understand how it feels to be generalized...)
It's simple: Don't be that person's friend. I am on the spectrum and I had/have friends who were also on the spectrum. Some of them I unfriended because their personality clashed with mine and it made it hard to interact with said person... That being said...
You should take a look inside yourself and find out exactly WHY it is so hard for you to empathize with those who simply can't (how ironic). It's not just ironic, it's- quite frankly- hypocritical. You can't just treat people cruelly just because they are different. I should know because I've actually seen it in-person: my mom's aunt is such a cunt to her own severely mentally disabled daughter that it sent me into a panic attack while I was staying with them one time. I know her condition was different than someone who is on the spectrum, but it's about being kind to your fellow person and not being a total douchebag.
Let me go through your list and see if I can give you a cliff notes of autistics from an actual autistic's point of view:
1. the very specific interests that if you don't talk about, they don't want to have a conversation with you That may be true for some autistics but not all. I do have my own interests (demonology, scientific illustration, industrial music, etc), but I know how to show more interest in someone else's life than my own, even when I have to fake interest just to get through a conversation. It took me years to understand my interests and where they would lead me later in life and I am grateful for it. But I do know how to restrain my own interests and discuss other things with people as well.
2. Lack of empathy/understanding Again, true, but it can be very difficult for us and you have to be understanding about that. This is where the hypocrisy comes into play. You can't just demand that someone who doesn't tend to show empathy to just do it on command like a dog. It's not that autistics are socio/psychopaths, it's just how the brain is hardwired. I am the opposite, I'm an extremely emotional person but I tend to hide my feels so I don't hurt others. Being brutally honest has gotten me into trouble and so I PURPOSEFULLY remain emotionless/unemphatic as a way of remaining neutral in times of conflict or misunderstanding. Some people just have to get through life that way or else they will be consumed whole by the cruel monster that is society.
3. Being rude because they don't understand social cues Please see 2. This ties in with the empathy: some autists can come off as rude, unsympathetic, or callous simply because of how their brains are wired. We (W)OULD should empathy and/or not be rude if we (C)OULD understand the social cues in real life, which is why most autists find it easier to interact either over the phone/online so they don't have to deal with social cues in person.
Thank-you for taking the time to go through my response and I hope you can become a better person in life just as I finally have.
I know the feeling of not wanting to inherently hate a specific group of people, but not being able to help it because you know a really annoying person from that group and everyone else from the same group seems to show the same qualities, so even if you want to think that it's just invidiuals and not the whole bunch, it's very hard to actually convince yourself of it because you can only find experiences to support your annoyance and none to the contrary. Yup.. >_>
If you know one asshole with autism you know one asshole with autism. that doesn't mean that everybody else is the same. Just stay away from her, I mean using their autism as an excuse for everything is not okay.
There are also autistic people who are adapting, trying to fit in, like me. Nobody even knows of my autism and I am not telling anyone who knows me in reallife. Just when you accidentally talk about my special interests... have some tape for my mouth ready (but it's a somewhat normal/philosophical one so non-autistics can easily be interested too)
And that's what she's more or less trying to say, which is so untrue, and of course she's getting plenty of flack for it. As I said in my original reply to this thread, not all of them act the same. Everyone's an individual. And she's probably too ignorant to respect that.
Several of my friends are on the spectrum and I never would have known had they not told me first; they're some of the coolest people I know. However, when I used to clean cages at an animal shelter, there was another individual on the autistic spectrum that came in several times to volunteer with his grandmother, and hoooo boy, I never looked forward to working with him. He'd insist that kittens with higher-pitched squeals simply *must* be females despite the obvious anatomical cues and would tell clients such (and when I'd jump in to point out the converse, he'd just look at me strange), talk for days about the Transformers while I was trying to sort out whose food went where, though one particular instance... A melancholy woman came in looking for a cat after having to put her dog down, and he got all 'What?! Why'd you put your dog down?!' and started asking about all the details of the unfortunate accident that necessitated it -_- That was NOT a fun day, and his grandmother supervising him thought it was absolutely adorable, just flat-out refused to make him behave in a more appropriate manner 'cause her precious baby couldn't help it. Stuff like *that* pisses me off. Though, on the other side, one of the aforementioned friends I have, we happen to share the same interests, and me being a terrible conversationalist, it kinda helps that he can talk for days about them, 'cause I sure have trouble. xD I know that might be annoying to some people, but since we have that connection, it's nice.
My best friend has some form of autism and I didn't find out until two years later. He never flings it around and he's awesome to be around - he's a naturally witty and funny person and he can be savage sometimes ( for comedic purposes, though so does almost everyone else ) but for me I don't care about what you have as long as it isn't made into a huge part of who you are/your identity ( like those people who advertise only their mental disorders and have no personality beyond that. I don't get it ) and if they're genuinely good people who are tying, I'll respect them for that. Judge individuals, not communities.
You're free to hate on that one person for what she does but know this, not everyone with autism are the same. Everyone's an individual. With that said, some can actually be very smart people, and know what they're doing. Just my two cents.
I agree. I have several anxiety disorders and autistic people more often than not make me super uncomfortable. I have a hard time liking people in general, but thy are like dealing with very invasive toddlers. So I avoid them whenever I can. I live in a community with a very high population of autistic people, so I've been dealing with them throughout my life. I've had nothing but bad experiences, people standing up in class and yelling, looking over my shoulder watching me, won't shut up about their obsessive interests and ignore me when I talk, don't understand when I don't want to be talked to or approached, touching me and invading my personal space, having sensory overloads that are scary as fuck, etc...
And I know that they cant help it and it's a neurodevelopmental disorder and stuff, but I just don't like them. It doesn't matter what they do, I don't like them. I know they just don't understand, I know they don't mean ill by what they do - but it doesn't change the fact that I don't like it. Like I understand there are people who don't want to be around me because of my anxiety or my behaviours are weird - and that's okay. Everyone has their own comfort zones.
And if that makes me a bad person, fine. I don't care. That's fine with me. I don't go out of my way to bother them, I just try my hardest to avoid interacting with them.