A common belief I hear that’s it’s “essential” for autistic students to “socialise” in our schools, otherwise they will never develop the “social skills” they need in the real world.
As an autistic adult, I fundamentally disagree with this view. In school I learnt that the safest option was to withdraw and avoid people.
Not how to develop a genuine reciprocal relationships with others. Also I find all the types of relationships I’ve had since school (friends, lovers, family, colleagues etc.) are nothing like the dynamics of the relationships in a school environment. So what do people actually mean when they believe “it’s essential for autistic students to socialise in our schools”
I suspect it’s they believe we should socialise in a neurotypical (normal) way. For some of us, it’s impossible.
For others, we mask. Put on a front to seem like we’re normal, but at great emotional cost with a long term hit on our mental health. We’re demanded by many neurotypicals to conform (regardless of the cost to our well-being) while they make to effort to comprise how they communicate with us.
There’s rarely middle ground. Autistics will pay the price, particularly those who have other maraginalised identities too (e.g Race, gender, sexuality)
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