Adulting: Personal Safety

Anymore, at least in my world anyway, it has been imperative to be vigilant of my personal safety when out and about in public, as it should be of anyone. However, for many autistic people, this can be a struggle to have understood and know one’s boundaries when it comes to your own safety.

Autisitc people in general are more prone to being vulnerable because of their wanting to have a personal connection to someone let alone get something in return (in most cases.) Stranger awareness is imperative as early as possible, particularly in the arena of autistics oversharing personal information. This is another known trait that can appear in autistics who may not be aware of situations when this may occur and the understanding of consent must be taught as early as they are to comprehend it alongside being reinforced.

Technology, while a savvy avenue for autistic individuals, must have more of a sense of safety. While there are many social platforms out there to connect with others because autistics long for connection just as their neurotypical peers, being autistic must require a more vigilant sense of safety because we can be unable to understand many social cues. Emojis and other nondescript movements can perplex the autistic individual and send the wrong message to the other party and make a situation very challenging if the other party has a disregard of the autistic person’s challenges.

Sometimes, behavior can be unwanted or not the personal norm. Autisitc people are many times and even more so in recent years withheld from the public eye and many norms that we have become used to prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic such as gestures of touch are not widely as accepted as they were in the past as they are today. Sometimes the autistic brain can only think about satisfying the personal need of a feeling of pleasure as in a sensory seeking need that may not have the ability to be done in no other way than with a human being. As such, just as a filter is metaphorically used as a way to describe an autisric’s individual when speaking, the same can be said when they are needing to seek that sensory seeking behavior that can only be delivered in the form of touching another human body.

Nonetheless,especially these days, this can be very unwanted behavior and can can send very unwanted messages to the party that it is extended to if they are unaware of such behavior beforehand. For these individuals, doing things that neurotypicals do such as holding down some for of community employment or even attending social events can be nearly challenging or non-existent. More opportunities and awareness must be made known to these more marginalized individuals that continue to be sheltered even after more sheltered programs are closing and a bigger push is being made towards community integration.

It must be made aware that all autistic individuals will not have the opportunity to do the things that many of us take for granted, however there can be the instilling of the necessary skills to ensure that instances of unwanted mixed messages are less prone to occur of which can lead into very tragic, traumatizing and even at times criminalizing effects to the autstric individual  Therefore, the delicacy of understanding the nuances of the world that at many times is not understanding of our needs has to be the understanding of the individual along of those that care for them of their understanding of societal norms and the consequences that may come as a result of not understanding these nuances, Yes, it can be very challenging at times, even messy and absolutely not perfect, yet autistic individuals and those that care for them will not only have a better quality of life, but a sense of pride and safety knowing they are going to be OK in this very challenging and complex world.

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