Guest post by Tracey Cohen, author of Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome
Socializing and social events are incredibly difficult and 'tricky' for many people on the autism spectrum including myself. We very much want to be included but are overwhelmed quickly - by the social situation itself as well as the very notion of attending. As a result, we often decline invitations and/or make very brief appearances which are often seen as standoffish; some even assume us to be arrogant. But such assumptions could not be further from the truth. In fact, what may appear to be a small 'token' effort is actually monumental and often a huge achievement for many of us on the spectrum.
Personally, I get much more exhausted from even a brief social gathering than from running dozens of miles. This does not in any way though mean that I do not enjoy or appreciate the opportunity and people; I just have to be careful to not take on much more than I can handle as I can be snippy when overwhelmed and I never wish to do wrong by anyone.
So - please be aware that while we always value an invitation, should we decline or only stay briefly or be at a loss for words, this is not an indication of indifference, disdain or otherwise.
Please try to be patient with us and do not give up. We care deeply but likely need to show our appreciation and friendship in ways that differ from the norm.
Inspiration for Life with Autism
This blog has a variety of articles about people living life with autism, and topics and ideas that can help in the journey. Guest bloggers are welcome. Inspired by Trevor, a young adult film critic, photographer and college graduate on the autism spectrum.