Friday, February 16, 2018

It's Not License To Be A Jerk

     I'm sick and tired of people behaving like arseholes and when they are called on it, shrugging it off by claiming to be "on the spectrum."

     That's not how it works.  If you're on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, you're not any different than anyone else with a disability who is able to function in the wider world: sure, decent people treat you fairly, and decent -- or at least ADA-compliant -- workplaces and businesses have removed physical barriers, but if you're on wheels or sticks, if you can't hear or have lost a limb (and so on), you've still got to work harder than the person who isn't challenged.  I watched a blind man cross a street the other day; he read the signals fine by ear and with his cane leading the way, crossed briskly, found the curb, stepped up (the cut is offset and he'd missed it), crossed a patch of grass to the sidewalk and worked his way over to the traffic-light pole to press the button so he could cross the intersecting street: it was more work for him than you or I encounter accomplishing the same task. 

     And if you're not so good at social interaction, that's not a license to be obnoxious.  It means you're going to have to work harder at saying "please" and "thank you."  If you're not so good at reading nuance, you're going to have to ask people for clarification. And you're probably going to have to figure out how to phrase it in advance.  It's not a badge of specialness or a get-out-of-awkwardness-free card, it's a problem, and one that you must deal with.  Deal with it.  Work at not being a jerk.


JayNola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayNola said...

Well stated Ms. Ecks. We should all take that last bit to heart.

Anonymous said...

Sort of reminds me of a Family Guy episode in which Peter takes an intelligence test, and the result shows him to be "retarded" ( their word, not mine. Remember, this IS a Family Guy episode ). It dawns on Peter that he now has an excuse for every obnoxious stunt he can imagine, even things he must go out of his way to undertake, because he "...has a Golden Ticket..." .
Somehow, people who objected to it in what is obviously a cartoon, still allow themselves to be bullied by people who say, with a shrug, that they are "on the spectrum ", while expending no effort at social norms. As you note, that does make them jerks ( at best) who need the guidance of all who they offend. KEEP ON CALLING THEM ON THEIR CRAP.