October 26, 2021

“Treat others as you’d like to be treated” does not mean feeding them your favorite ice cream, dressing them in your favorite clothes, or subjecting them to your favorite TV shows.

So why do people assume it means greeting others in your preferred way, engaging them in your preferred activities, and interacting according to your preferred social norms?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the neurodiversity movement – not just autistics like me, but a variety of neurotypes – it’s that people are very, very different.

You can never presume that someone will want exactly what you want. You need to find out their individual preferences.

Knowledge is the foundation of empathy, and curiosity empowers us to treat people well.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.