Autism can be easily misdiagnosed with ADHD, so I picked 6 signs that I believe are not
associated with ADHD, autism has a lot of signs, but I picked 6 so the video/blog won’t be too long. I was diagnosed with ADHD and my mom had a gut feeling I had more than ADHD, and a social worker I saw before she left confirmed this.
Remember that different individuals will have different signs, but I picked the ones that I feel are the most common.
1) Takes Things Literally
This is a huge one. An autistic individual will take certain phrases literally, take the phrase “kick the bucket” say you post on Facebook your grandpa kicked the bucket, a non-autistic will know you mean your grandpa passed away, but an autistic person will think your grandpa actually kicked a bucket. And this can cause problems, like with Facebook’s new like system, they may give your post a laugh re-act because they think kicking things is funny, but they will not know kick the bucket means someone died. So If possible, I would avoid phrases like that. I also have this problem. My mom said I saw a movie 100 times and I thought she did a head count each time I saw the movie, and she meant figuratively, I saw said movie 100 times. This can make seeking employment difficult, if the person makes it to the interview, they may take the questions too literally.
This can vary. It can be tapping a pen. flapping your hands, playing with a toy, tapping your foot. Now an individual may stim if they’re anxious, and the stimming helps, like if taking a test makes them nervous, then stimming calms the nerves. This can annoy a non-autistic, making it hard for someone to do what eases their nerves. My mom gets annoyed when I stim and she has the same thing as me. She makes me feel bad about it like damn, sometimes I can control it, sometimes I can’t. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this. You really think I want to be like this? I don’t need you making me feel worse. If someone has a disorder, and they have traits with said disorder, they cannot control it. That’s like trying to tell God where to make it rain. It doesn’t work like that and can’t happen because you command it.
3) Difficulty Processing Information
If you watched my video “My Struggles With Autism” in that video, I mentioned this and used explaining the weather as an example. You can explain someone to someone with autism, and they will get extremely confused by your explanation, they will have difficulty processing what you’re saying, difficulty understanding what’s going on around them. This can be dangerous because someone can use this to their advantage. They are hearing you and listening, but they’re having difficulty processing and understanding it. So you may have to explain it in a way they can get it. Do not insult them, its not their fault they have autism like no one asks for this stuff. Provide examples, show them a video or picture if you can. You just need to provide more context. Instead of just saying ‘get me some coffee,’ say ‘get me some coffee, I want a frappe’
4) Not Understanding Jokes/Sarcasm
It will be hard for someone with autism to know sarcasm from seriousness. Depending on how you put it. It will be hard for the person to know if you’re serious or joking. You can say ” I laughed so hard I pissed myself” a non- autistic will know you’re joking and that you didn’t really wet your pants, but an autistic person will think you pissed yourself. Another instance is my friend said no one wanted to hear his voice because they’d piss themselves. He probably meant figuratively, but I thought people actually pissed their pants when they heard his voice. There can be a lot of cases. There were times where I took people too literally and they replied they were being sarcastic. They can take autism jokes too seriously. No one likes seeing a disorder they struggle with turned into a meme. The person may not know it’s meant to be a joke.
5) Not Understanding social cues
This is a big one, someone with autism will have difficulty reading social cues, for instance, you can show that you don’t want to talk anymore. The person will NOT read that you’re done talking. I like to be social, my mom makes me feel bad about it so I don’t talk to anyone anymore. Sometimes being different is hard and I feel my life would be better if I was normal. If I were to get a job that required social skills, 9/10 I’d be fired since my disorder hinders my social abilities. You can talk to someone about a movie you saw, the person you’re talking to can show they have no interest in the movie. Because autism hinders your social ability, you will not pick up and not know to ask the person what movies they like.
6) Gets upset over changes
Autistic individuals will get upset over changes. And it will be hard for them to immediately adapt to it because we like sticking to a routine, and when something changes, it’s not gonna be pretty. This can make it hard for us to hold down jobs if something changes and the person flips out. When I was on high school, we had a class called seminar, where you get help with homework, after the announcements, we were able to move, then my sophomore year, they changed it and I went nuclear( I even inserted a nuclear bomb explosion in the video, assuming Cushie Tube, I mean YouTube, won’t flag the video). And I didn’t even have time to process the changes vs if I was told before school got out. So basically if somethings changing the person need to be told in advance. My mom used to understand this. Now she doesn’t and says ‘I have to adjust.’ How can you expect me to adjust if I have no time to process the changes?!
If you know any other signs that are common, tell me in the comments down below. Here is the video if you wanna take a look.
If you want a part 2, just tell me in the comments. I also wrote a book to showcase our struggles with getting and keeping jobs. It’s about time people learned that what’s easy for neurotypicals can be difficult for us. Get your copy here.