Autistic People Are Tired Of Not Being Believed
Those of us on the spectrum are treated like liars when we tell our truth
Imagine being far more honest than the average person and regularly being treated as the opposite.
Regretfully this is the experience of many an autistic person. For much of our lives, we feel as if we are being gaslit.
When we struggle, and we state that this is the case, we are told that we are merely acting up.
When we clearly state what our needs are and why they are a prerequisite if we are going to be able to function in a meaningful sense, they are at best ignored, and at worst treated with contempt, hostility and disdain.
We get accused of having hidden agendas when we couldn’t be more transparent with our words about our intentions.
In short, we are viewed by swathes of society as the polar opposite of what we know ourselves to be.
When it isn’t dispiriting it is intensely frustrating.
Now it may seem like a bold claim that we autistics tend to be far more honest than our non-autistic peers and counterparts. Of course, this isn’t to suggest that this applies to all on the spectrum. Autistic people can certainly be dishonest.
Nevertheless, there are studies that suggest rather strongly that those on the spectrum are more likely to lean heavily towards being scrupulously honest than those who are not.
It is therefore a cruel and bitter irony that most autistic people spend much of their lives not being believed. We are told that the way we experience the world is not legitimate.
We get judged by the standards of the society that surrounds us not by our own. This is unfortunate because in many cases our own standards are actually higher. We are assumed to be liars because we live in a society where dishonesty is endemic.
The great frustration is that our lives are made terribly hard, and it need not be this way at all.
But this way it most certainly is right now. Institutions are designed in such a way that makes them inhospitable terrain for those of us on the spectrum.