I'm in exactly the same situation but for me it's my brother. A lot of people on this thread who are telling you how terrible you are for feeling this way most likely have no idea what it's like to have to deal with (and in my case live with) someone who is highly autistic and is unable to take even basic social cues. its completely infuriating and draining as you sit back and watch situations only go from bad to worse as you desperately try and salvage them. However, I've learned that it's best to swallow your pride and deal with it as it's not their fault they may be unable to understand social cues or empathise as hard as that seems to believe in the moment or in the heat of a situation.
I think it's more than just autism here. I think bad parenting has to do with it too. Yes, Autism makes understanding social queues hard, but it's the parent's job to help their child understand them. One of my friends have autism and great parents and you could never tell he has autism in the first place. I think that if the parents of your friend really cared, they wouldn't put him up on some sort of pedestal and not help him out like that.
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.