Why do neurotypical people try to understand Asperger's?

I bet you every time I say I have Asperger's, a neuroptypical person says "Don't use that excuse! I know an Asperger's kid and they don't act the way you do." Apparently they don't understand it at all because of one person they know. A group of popular girls were making fun of me and they found out my disability, one of them tried to say their sister had it and that I had no right to use it as an excuse. She probably doesn't and was just trying to make her sound righteous and sympathetic. It's like saying "I'm not racist, my best friend is black (I know a black person)" only it's "I understand Autism, I know an austistic kid."

7 Answers

Relevance
  • undir
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    I assume that you meant "why don't neurotypical people try to understand Asperger's?"

    I think that the main reason why most neurotypical people don't try to understand Asperger's is that they don't really have to.

    Neurotypicals are a huge majority in society and they have each other and can understand and relate to each other and society is "designed" for them, so they have little trouble functioning according to society's expectations. It's easier for them to just ignore the few people who are different from them than to try to understand them. Not understanding aspies has very little consequences for most neurotypicals, so they take the easy way out and don't even try.

    On the other hand, aspies and others who are different from the majority have to try really hard to understand and adjust as we as well as possible to the majority, because if they don't there will be consequences for them (being alone, ostracized, bullied, unemployed, with no support etc.).

    A lot of people care about themselves more than anything and just can't be bothered to try to understand others if it doesn't serve some purpose for themselves. They're not willing to put any effort into something that they don't expect to benefit from themselves.

    I agree with you that it's really annoying that they don't even try, especially since it doesn't seem to matter how much we try, it's never enough for them.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Did you mean to write "Why /don't/ neurotypical people try to understand Asperger's?"

    In response to your query, either way, I might add that many Aspies would argue that Asperger's is not a disability. It is a grey area - in many ways I feel "disabled" by Asperger's; on the other hand, we live in a neurotypical-dominated universe, so if it were flip flopped, one could argue that NT-ness is a disability! (Sorry I digress)

    NTs don't try to understand sometimes, because they are clueless of what it is like to have an Asperger mind. People who are clueless about Asperger's sometimes don't consider it a "real" diagnosis - so it is a bit controversial. Even though we know Asperger's is a true, legit dx, some NTs don't see it that way.

    Asperger's isn't as old a dx as some, so it has not gained stature completely as an established "disorder" in some people's minds. It is not like the straight dx of autism, which few people would dispute is a "real" dx. Asperger's IS a real dx, but some clueless idiots think that if a person is smart, they can't possibly be struggling socially. Some people don't think that social struggles alone are difficult or insurmountable. Some people think that it is mind over matter - if someone is of average or above average IQ, then they "must" be smart enough to overcome other things. It is not a matter of intelligence though.

    People, like in your popular girls' example, can be cruel and will pounce on any "weakness" they perceive. They probably think it will push your buttons. They have succumbed to the mistaken notion that Asperger's isn't that serious. Who knows? However, if they did the same thing with race, they wouldn't get away with it as easily. It sounds like those girls are, in their true hearts, cowards.

  • 9 years ago

    That's the point, they don't!

    I've met this frequently (and it gets ridiculed by a line in that wonderful film, Snow Cake: "I know all about autism: I've seen that movie.").

    It is *not* understanding, but being happy with a simple tidy wrong answer. A label or pigeonhole.

    In many mainstream folk their allegedly well-developed social skills and intuitive empathy don't really go much beyond expecting other people to be pretty much like themselves.

    Though if you are part of a big majority that works, much of the time.

    Really attempting to get inside an alien mindset and viewpoint is a much better test of social and empathic flexibility.

    But it's the minority of the majority that take a serious crack at that.

    With my Asperger's I'm not particularly good at understanding other people, at least instinctively.

    But I grew up knowing their were other ways than mine of looking at the world: in fact that was the vast majority.

    And through my adult years I've *worked* at that, intellectually.

    As a result I (partially) understand a range of different perspectives better than many people who may have started with more inherent social understanding but have not put in any work at all, being largely happy with what they "know".

    Preferred is a short, simple image or description of Asperger's.

    I can get it down to two words, possibly three.

    We vary. Enormously.

    Short and simple, but not tidy. Because real life isn't.

  • There's a similar question that was just asked. Essentially when you say you have Asperger syndrome and that explains your behavior, you are using your As as an excuse for what to them is bad behavior. You respond to a question with a clear, concise, accurate answer and it hurts a person's feelings. ( I do this all the time.) What they expected was a less clear, less concise, less accurate answer that would allow the person not have their feelings hurt. ( I rarely seem to do this.) When people complain about their feelings being hurt and you excuse hurting their feeling on As - you are blaming yourself for their hurt feelings. The truth is that is is not the fact that you have As that is the problem, it is the fact that you told them the absolute truth and they didn't really want to know the absolute truth - they wanted you to sugarcoat it so it would hurt less or not at all.

    So instead of explaining/excusing your behavior on Asperger syndrome, either apologize for hurting their feelings, or ask if they really wanted the truth or not, or why did they ask the question if they didn't want to know the answer?

    Because the truth of the matter is - we with Asperger syndrome sometimes do things that make perfect sense to us, but hurt others. If we didn't have Asperger syndrome we would still do this, but very likely do it less. So it is not the As that causes us to do it - it is the As that causes us to do it more frequently and with less motivation.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Bob
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Try not to say it many times.

    I tried in few moments but found it to be pointless. Most people don't care. They don't as in an not apathetic way. I even don't cares about some other medical problems. It serve no purpose.

    According to Sociology teaching, there is a theory called Labeling theory. Its belief believed that if someone were label severely, it eventually become stereotype, distraction, or conflict in social or judgement.

    Source(s): I have Autism.
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    That really goes for any mental issues. If they can't see it they tend to not take you too seriously. I've learned for my own safety to control my breakdowns from sensory and go somewhere quiet if it's getting me down too much. I'd rather not draw too much negative attention to myself. I've been in the mental hospital before and I'd prefer to stay out of there.

  • 9 years ago

    I agree with Undir and Chiliswoman for the most part. The thing is, like Undir mentioned, because neurotypicals make up the majority, they really aren't the ones who need to understand people with Aspergers. As it is the case with so many other things in life, it's the responsibility of the minority to measure up to the expectations of the majority.

    I will say that using your disability to justify your actions/inactions is weak sauce, it's pretty much the equivalent of a minority playing the race card. It's viewed, at least in my opinion, a cop out to escape personal accountability and responsibility.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.