Dancing with Autistic People

Don’t do “the dance” with us.

You know what I’m talking about.

Starting with a “Hi Hunter.” Or “Good morning.” Or “Hey.” And then waiting.

Then I might finally respond in kind. With a ‘hi’ back. Or ‘Good morning.’ Or ‘Yes?’

And then they keep digging, stepping, prying, trying for a Viennese waltz with an uncommitted partner: “How are you?”

By this point, my autistic alarms are blaring.

I’ve seen this, felt this awkward crawl time and time again. And that’s the issue.

This kind of engagement — the sort where, at the end, it’s rarely about the dance. By the time I’ve gone through committed assent and otherwise strung along into the goodness of the morning, how I’m doing, how my weekend was, and whatever other detail I can remember about the requestor, what they do on weekends, if they have kids—

Then they get to the point:

“I’ve been meaning to ask—”

“I had a question for you —”

“While I’ve got you —”

Some of you genuinely ask how I’m doing because you care, and you just want to know, and I am glad for you. This, we appreciate. Some of you have a latent interest in the shambolic chaos of my life and want to know what a weekend looks like in Hunterland — I’ll oblige that.

That is truthful.

You know me by now. You know my type. You know types like me. We autistic people don’t dance as a means to an end.

We dance for the dance.

To learn more about autism from an autistic person’s perspective, follow & subscribe to The Life Autistic here and on YouTube — or follow the more whimsical, spontaneous, and amusing content on Instagram.

And hey, check my latest episode on YouTube — some of you enjoy the words, but hey, I do a lot of speaking of words in these. Enjoy.

One thought on “Dancing with Autistic People

  1. Oh heck. This!
    How are you? On teams.
    How am I? How?
    I can answer where, what, when, even why. How? That’s not even the question that’s being asked. Its subterfuge. If they want to know my feelings “melancholic with a small bit of suicidal ideation (mortgage) and some incoming dread (audit)” then they’d be lost thinking why has he suddenly overshared … by answering my question?!

    Nope. It’s the opening salvo designed to soften me up for a request.

    What “How are you?” means is “I’ve found a hole in my skill set. Can you turn on your special interest and help me get this answer and/or learn the skills to do this myself?” To which my answer is “fine thanks!” I mean “sure”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s