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Old 02-20-2019, 02:46 PM #1
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Default Explaining autism to someone autistic

Note this text is horribly long, I should have shortened it but my mind wants to go to sleep soon.

I know I have been at this before, but it is getting into almost a crisis situations. I have a real life friend that is not like my best friend, but unfortunately I think I'm hers...

I have aspergers and because she wasn't born here they were told when she was little that it is better to just practice than to put a label on her. A label would not have helped her in that situation and country.

As I see it she is below normal IQ and autistic. Of course I cannot be sure, but this would have been her initial diagnosis if she had gotten one. Whatever she is dealing with, something is different about her.

For some strange reason she only connected with aspies online (we talk online too), and they too say they think she is autistic.

I wouldn't say anything is really wrong with her, she is quite adorable, and makes up in singing and art what she cannot do academically or socially. In her school they made things learn even with learning disorders, by hitting them. So when she was little, she spent her time on school work. She actually managed to graduate from junior high, because she was stubborn and also she had to retake the grades until done. Academically she's on a 14 year old level which is really high for her functioning and proves how hard she really battled in school. Poor girl.

She is really adorable, friendly, cute and can be outgoing if the situation isn't too complex. She hates both being left out or having own time. She has a hard time keeping friends because her social ways. She wants me to explain all the social rules so she won't mess up again, and I try to explain there are so many they cannot all be explained. We made some progress though, she learned the back and forth play we do when we talk. She didn't know how to before.

When something becomes the slightest abstract, I am lost, and she gets frustrated I can't explain. A simple example is how she asked me to teach her how to read maps, but she doesn't understand how the map can symbolize the world. I tried different approaches.

She has a lot of shortcomings, mainly because she was mainstreamed and still is, after moving to my country. She asks me if she has a problem with this or that and gives examples, so she knows there is something going on. I tell her yes, she is correct. I try of course to not hurt her and stress how we're good at different things.

Even though she has different issues, she never understood how people can piece them together and call it autism. So the word autism is a mystery to her. I want to demystify it, and also really make her understand it doesn't make her subhuman.

I think she feels bad about herself because of constant rejection, she accidentally treats people bad so they leave.

Thing is does she need to know she has neuropsychiatric issues of different kinds? Her parents say no (she is an adult). But I want things to make sense to her and make her understand what her weak and strong points are.

As things are now, her mom gets mad at her for not starting to be normal. The mom says it is a choice. One day you simply decide you're normal and then you are. This made my friend try things that were way too hard for her, like jobs where she was fired the first week.

She tells me her mom says shes normal so she should continue looking for these jobs, I mean these days when it's hard for a "normal" to get a job, how can she keep one? It just hurts her to fail again. But she asks me how I can know that she's not normal, she says it's not possible for me to draw that conclusion. She is just waiting on growing mentally and thinks it is a growing process that is just a little late for her. I understand it is hard for her to hear she might have autism, but the let downs from others and the constant failures aren't good either.

I have told her she is still a human being even is she has autism. I tell her I have a type of autism called aspergers. And does she think I'm bad or lazy or subhuman. She says no, not you, you're smart and knows everything. I tell her I am not normal, that doctors told me, but I still think I am a person the world could count on and that has worth. But it doesn't help. She cries herself to sleep every night because as she put it she didn't grow up and everyone around her did.

Should I give up telling her she has a neuropsych condition? It's not like I say it every day or anything like that. Do I harm her by doing so? Should I just take everything the way she want, every problem step by step, thing is she gets in trouble every day, and she could easily talk to me 4-5 hours to have me explain. I don't have that kind of time.

I also tell her that if she gets to stay in the country, there are special programs for people like her, good programs, good help. I had some of those myself. But she says she'd rather have a normal job. Sigh.

The most dangerous thing in all this is that she refuses to use her own shortcomings (she can't shop for clothes, cannot cook, can't do laundry, can't buy groceries unless her mom gave her a list, and she can't even take care of her own hair, her mom does that for her) as a compassionate case in the asylum process. So rather to "be autistic with a bit low IQ and maybe learning disorders", she wants to risk being kicked out to the country.

How could she ever support her parents there, they are getting up there and are not healthy, so as a daughter she is supposed to be their caregiver. In a country that doesn't even have built up infrastructure after the war. It's like her mom rather put the family in that situation, that "use" her daughter's condition to be able to get asylum in my country. I understand they feel more shame than we do, but this is life and death.

Sorry to be so lengthy. She doesn't like to read but she loves Youtube. You think it would be any help whatsoever to give her links to videos by people who have autism?

Or should I just accept she cannot group symptoms together in her head and just be a friend? But it seems like in this case, just being a friend could take some destructive parts I am afraid of.

At this point as an asylum seeker, she has no right to mental help else than pills.

I want her safe in a warm house in my country, with help to rebuild her self esteem and help for autism, and also practical help. It saddens me to think that she might have to live in the ruins of a house with a lot of demands on her.

They already rejected the family's first asylum application.

Any idea is welcome. She does not do forums, she has to be one to one to function.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:18 PM #2
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Default Re: Explaining autism to someone autistic

Your friend needs a lawyer or some sort of advocate. Who can help the family make decisions. Isnt there a social group or society from her native country there?
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:59 PM #3
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Default Re: Explaining autism to someone autistic

I will look into it. Also there are groups for any asylum seeker, might look there as well. Thanx!!!
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:52 AM #4
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Default Re: Explaining autism to someone autistic

She is fortunate to have a friend like you. I am a child of immigrant parents, so i understand what it is like to have one foot in the old country and the other foot in the new one. And for a woman it is a double whammy. Then add on a learning difference.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:35 AM #5
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Default Re: Explaining autism to someone autistic

I'm so sorry you're going through all of this, -jimi- I have never experienced this, so unfortunately I don't have a lot of advice to give to you. Unfortunately you can only do so much to help. From what you wrote, it seems like you're being a wonderful friend to her. Unfortunately whether or not she wants to accept her condition is up to her. You can't force her. I'm so sorry, it must be very painful for you to see her like this. unaluna gave you some wonderful advice, better than I ever could. Try to see if there are some social groups near her. I feel like that could help her a lot. Remember to set some boundaries for yourself as well. Otherwise she may become too dependent on you. You need some time for yourself, after all.. I'm so sorry, I wish I've had more advice to give to you. I can listen to what you have to say if you want. You know I won't judge you. Remember to take some time for yourself as well. You can't fully take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first. You're a caring and wonderful person. The world needs more people like. Be proud of yourself for that. I'm so sorry, I know it's hard. Please don't give up. I hope things will get better soon for you and for her. Remember that we're here for you if you need it. Feel free to PM me anytime. Let me know if I can do something to help you. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:24 PM #6
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Default Re: Explaining autism to someone autistic

Thank you, I try to be a good friend because I know she's not socially awkward on purpose. She longs for friends, she is very sociable, not like me, I'm more the content being alone aspie. So yea I draw some lines for esp online communication. If I don't watch it she monologues for several hours. She is nice though, when I say I have to go she doesn't try to guilt me into staying.

I tried to have her go to a group, but she didn't wanna, I sort of understand, because they are more aspies and finds them bossy. Not all of us, but enough to not wanna go. She is very cautious with new people. And then gets sad when she was too afraid to jump in.

She wants to be grown up as she calls it for life to be easier, and not feel shame, but she really doesn't understand at the same time. I made myself an example to make it easier, but she doesn't get that building blocks can make aspergers. She understands that I am different socially. That I can be strange around people. Or misunderstand. And am quite fidgety. And are really good with some stuff and really bad with others. And that I have strong interests I know a lot about. And so on. She understands all parts.

But when I explain all those parts are all my way of having aspergers, I lose her. She asks which of the examples is the real aspergers, and I sat All of them together. She said that's not possible or she can't understand. Connecting dots impossible.

I want her to have what I had, finding a group and talk to them and be like "I feel that too!" I just don't know where to find them.

Too bad she can't go to information meetings that are formal. Maybe I can find something informal.

The worst thing is she thinks I'm normal so she can't relate to me. Me normal??? NoOoOo lol.

I will remember any input because my mind came to a full stop now and I'm really happy about ideas.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:16 PM #7
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Default Re: Explaining autism to someone autistic

May I ask what country she is from? Sometimes knowing more of the culture can help.
I learned a lot in my social psychology class that helped me understand neurotypicals and social situations, like how far away to stand. There are also ways to teach her when someone is done listening (they look away, stop responding, start moving a lot) so that she doesn’t keep going with the monologue when neutprotypicals don’t understand that she needs to be gently told they need to go.
I was not diagnosed until I was 30 and I was punished a lot for my autism. It is hard to get past that. But I learned a lot about being in the neurotypical world. Now, most days, even my T has a hard time remembering I am autistic... it is just that it is learned and I have to think about it rather than it being natural.
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:08 PM #8
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Default Re: Explaining autism to someone autistic

She is a Syriac from Syria. She is from northern Syria that is not as progressive as the more southern parts.

She gets grumpy and says that people don't care when she is monologuing. She's not mean or a bad kind of selfish, but she is so self centered that she really does not understand that there is more to the world than her. I have tried to explain that everyone is the center of their own world and that is why people don't always wants to do what she wants. She acts like everyone should be on standby to help her whenever she needs help. "They have their own lives" she repeats to herself, someone taught her that. But it is like she understands it at the moment she says or thinks about it, then the knowledge is gone.

I tried the Sally-Anne test on her and she failed. But when I explained she understood.

Since she came to my country she made so much progress that it would be wasted if she's not allowed to stay. Here people have been much more prone to explaining things instead of just covering things up. I don't think an autistic person should change everything about them, but not being able to keep friends is quite a big thing. Either she feels hurt by things people normally don't find hurtful, and she leaves, or others leave her because she is so self centered and she lacks the understanding of very basic things. She is my friend but I wouldn't say she is a friend in the same way an adult is my friend. I feel kind of mean thinking like that. But we're more on the same level with music and art so there are other things than intellectual stuff.

I invited her to come and stay here for a bit like in two weeks or so. Luckily for me, she doesn't easily drain my energy like most people do, so I think it will work out. It's actually possible she will end up here since her family is about to get homeless. In that case, I hope her parents will find somewhere. If it's just the two of them, maybe they can rent a room or something.

So yea, there is a lot of crazy stuff going on in her life part from being mentally disabled. That is also something I can't understand about her, in all this she is more worried about how someone might or might not be mad at her (repeating theme), than being evicted.
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