May 5, 2021

I enjoy occasionally flabbergasting my autistic students with insights into neurotypical culture. It feels like being a tour guide on a safari.

One such insight – which, being autistic, I only learned recently myself – is that some people correct factual errors as a power move.

That’s one reason other people might get angry when you correct them. It’s not that they care less about truth, just that they assume you’re flexing on them.

I shared this with a student, hoping it would shine light on an experience they found confusing, and create empathy toward people who don’t view correction as a favor.

In the process, however, I may have exacerbated the student’s belief that neurotypicals are weird. I say so because they crinkled their nose and exclaimed, “Neurotypicals are weird!”

It was as if they’d just seen a lion eat a zebra. I hope they’ll grow to see that other neurotypes aren’t our enemies – it just takes extra effort to understand them sometimes.

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.