Yikes! Please accept my apology. I did not mean to put you down in any way. Please reread my comment, and let me know what I said that sounded like I was suggesting that ASD people need fixing.

You're preaching to the choir, Keira. As I said in my comment, I'm at least mildly on the spectrum myself, with a son and a niece who are well into Asperger territory, plus any number of delightfully quirky and creative friends who have been diagnosed and just as many who probably could be.

I was responding to your stated wish for info on skills relevant to dating. I thought you'd appreciate the link, coming from a would-be friend who shares this difference and has been living with it far longer than you have. (I'm 68.) The rest of my comment was just sharing some of my philosophy for living in a world that doesn't "get" me.

My use of the word "deficit" is part of how I think about MY areas of weakness. I never say "defect," since I know I'm not defective, but a skill I lack is a deficit I can correct. Nothing's going to change the way I'm wired, and I wouldn't want it to. I like being who I am.

But I had to learn to look at eyes. I'm still not good at recognizing faces. I was still learning vital social skills in my 30s and emotional self-regulation in my 40s. I still cry at the wrong times. There are still foods I can't force myself to eat and shows I can't watch. I keep pushing myself to overcome my deficits when I see them blocking my from doing things I want to do.

Social skills aren't NT. They're just useful. Learning them doesn't make us less autistic, just more able to negotiate a world that isn't always going to meet us halfway.

You may not agree with anything I say. But I hope you can see that I am not your enemy.

Retired psychologist, wordsmith, teacher, MFA candidate. Buy me coffee: ko-fi.com/edrobson. ecrobson@gmail.com

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