First, I want to credit that I was inspired to write this upon a fellow autism blogger that touched on the subject. I personally have witnessed the victimization and trust be compromised in not only autistic individuals but individuals both with and out mental and neurological health conditions. It, along with the awareness of those that we as autistics do not know, must be given the proper skillset in learning just what is appropriate information to share with others and what is not. Also, we must be aware of what is a safe to do and what me be skeptical and may result in us being victims at a moment’s notice.
We as autistics must build a defense buffer around ourselves. Yes, it has been known that we like to be sort of an open book, and while that can be beneficial from a standpoint of acceptance and awareness of ourselves, there is still many things in our lives that we shouldn’t share with others. Some have different levels of privacy, meaning we share these items only with only certain individuals that we know that will be trusted with our information. Internet safety is paramount in this regard because there is several things that just shouldn’t be shared online unless necessary and only to certain parties. Oftentimes both neurodiverse and neurotypical individuals get caught in the blind side of a person or place that seems as they can be trusted with things that can if used improperly, can cause severe damage to our stability and wellbeing.
Yes, I wholeheartedly understand that as an autistic person that we long for friends and especially when we are on our own and have that taste of freedom that we want to network, but there are ways about going about in a proper manner that protect both parties. As in neurotypical dating, common safeguards must be adhered to such as not inviting the person directly to your home at the first encounter, rather make that someone neutral. I get that sometimes logistics such as transportation can be a barrier in this regard, however we must remember that everything we see online isn’t necessarily true or honest to what one is told and, yes there’s individuals that victimize on the less fortunate and sometimes are very successful in doing so.
I understand that also we as both autistics, neurodiverse and neurotypical want to believe everything we read, hear and see out there is true and 100% accurate and true. Many also want to believe that simply because they read it online that it “has to be true.” If I heard that a hundred times over and over again. Make sure that the content that you are reading is validated and comes from a credible source. Many times those that write their content don’t check their sources to verify their content and this can lead to a spread of information. I personally feel that there needs to be more education on making not only autistic but all individuals who need support being aware what indeed is to be shared with others and what should be kept within our inner circle. Sometimes we just want to be accepted and we will share too much personal information as a Segway of wanting to be accepted by others as friends.
Autistics should be aware of things about people and do their research, check out things before committing to things such as social connections for example. You should take time to get to know the person before sharing information that is out of that inner circle, like letting them into your social media profiles for example It is highly suggested that you develop a rapport with that person before allowing into your personal life, yet continue to let them into your life. Yes, it will take time and it is a long process but if it is meant to happen, it will. But, always keep up your defense guard because there is always instances that individuals can be advantageous of you, regardless of whether or not you are on the spectrum. As always, special attention must be adhered to when letting down our guard.