Upon coming out as Aspie/autistic to a friend last year, I was shocked when, during one of our early discussions, they brought up the fact that thinking back over their career, which included working with children, and they associated Asperger’s/autism with violence. Because they knew a kid who was “probably” autistic, and he had a tendency to lash out unpredictably. My friend’s claim ran counter to everything I had known and experienced regarding Asperger’s/autism.
I’m sure my demeanor took on a slightly harder edged than intended when I flatly stated, “that’s not autism. That particular child may have been autistic, but they also must have had something else going on, too. Or they weren’t even autistic at all. But lashing out isn’t necessarily inherent to the autism spectrum.”
I’m not sure if I ever convinced them. They responded with the usual shrug of the shoulders as if to say…well, I…
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