I think I already mentioned here the concept that I call ‘communication from the system perspective’. I think that would be very useful to know for parents of autistic kids. Possibly for partners of autistic adults a little bit too, but obviously adults judge situations differently.
So basically communication from a personal perspective would be ‘when you do such and such it makes mummy upset’; instead it’s better to say ‘this behaviour is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated’. Or possibly even write it down instead of saying so that it looks like the message really comes from ‘the system’ instead of the person.
I can’t tell why but explaining to me that my behaviour makes others upset makes me upset as a result. It’s not lack of empathy, you know, I have loads of it. Yesterday, when I played Dominion with John, I didn’t want to use attack card against him as I felt it wasn’t very nice. Even though you could say it was just a game, I still didn’t want to do anything that would make him more likely to loose. So that means I have empathy. But explaining to me that I made people feel bad makes me upset and reluctant to accept any responsibility. I presume some people would say that’s PDA trait, but again, I really do not think so.
Maybe it’s just the fact that I didn’t want people to feel certain way? I didn’t consider they will feel upset when I chose my behaviour, and then what happens is, when I’m just starting to realise that, this way or the other, my behaviour wasn’t the nicest one, people attack me with even more of the consequences and present it in a way that doesn’t make much sense to me.
And anyway, do I need to know that ‘mummy’ got upset because of what I did and said? Mummy should be a role model, always strong and able to deal with everything that life (and me) throws at her.
That’s why communication from the system perspective can be so effective: it reminds what behaviour is expected without mentioning such sticky things as feelings.
I believe, we, autistics, like being part of a system that works for us. We don’t want to challenge that system and we are forgiving even if the system gets things wrong occasionally. That’s how I see it.
A couple of months ago my favourite cafe put the above note in their window. It kind of looks like it’s about covid rules but they were getting more and more relaxed at the time so I didn’t know what to make of it. That’s how I think, you see? Lol. If an information doesn’t make sense but yet, it’s there, I wonder about its hidden meaning. That note made me uncomfortable and as a result I stopped coming in. That’s how it looked to me: I was worried about my weight publicly and yet, I kept coming in for delicious coffee and cakes. It did occur to me that possibly my diagnostician asked the staff to put the note on the window (without telling them why) to remind me that I should stay two meters away, not from another client, but from the entrance.
I could still come in, you see, I have a free will. But it seemed to me like challenging the system, and I didn’t want to do that because it felt like it was working for me.
I’m in here today. I just finished my coffee and pastry. It was very nice. That’s the best cafe in Swindon, I’m telling you. But I came in mostly to show to that ‘system’ that this thing doesn’t work for me any more.
I only realised today that, when I told John that I believe he got in touch with my diagnostician when we were on the break, he wasn’t in the slightest surprised. He would be if that wasn’t true, wouldn’t he?
This thing really stopped working for me. Get me out of it (even though I may not be a celebrity).
So yes, communication from the system perspective may work for autistic adults too, as long as they appreciate being the part of that system.
Should I get another coffee and cake, or would that be too much of a challenging behaviour for one day?
Oh, BTW, Mr Henderson didn’t answer my email from last week. This one where I was asking him if he was ever approached by my diagnostician. He should take some responsibility, don’t you think so? Home Group is the reason that I first got delusional. And yet, they keep accepting public money to ‘support’ people with mental health problems.