Autism is a spectrum disorder, and people with autism can have very different experiences of the world. People with autism often see and interact with the world in ways that are different from those of neurotypical people. Even individuals on the autism spectrum who share some of the same traits may not understand each other or how they see things differently.
The World Can Be Scary
For neurotypical people, the world can be a scary place. For those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it can be even scarier. Many people with autism have sensory issues that make them more vulnerable to things like loud noises and strong smells. They may also have trouble understanding social interactions and taking them in stride.
People with autism may not understand the world around them as well as someone who is neurotypical does. For example, if you tell someone with autism that the sky is blue, you might get an answer about what color it isn’t instead of what color it is.
People with autism are often faced with the reality that their internal experience of the world is much different than those around them. As a result, it can be difficult to communicate and understand other people’s experiences. The autism community has developed its language to describe what they see and feel in the world, which helps everyone understand each other better.
Autism Is a Spectrum; It’s Not All the Same
Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that it varies widely in severity and presentation. There are many different forms autism can take, and they don’t always fall on the same spectrum.
For example, some people with autism have amazing memories. They can remember any date that they have seen and the events associated with that day. Others are highly talented when it comes to building legos. They can look at a picture of something and build it without ever looking at the directions. Some people with autism collect certain things and display them in a specific fashion and know all the facts about that one thing.
However, despite differences, people with autism do often share common strengths. Those on the autism spectrum tend to be very detail-oriented and notice things in their environment that others might miss. They may be strong visual thinkers. They are often very focused on collecting information about certain topics. They can be very good at focusing for long periods without getting distracted. These strengths make up part of what makes someone with autism see the world differently than other people do.
Autism and Inner Worlds
People with autism can have a rich inner world, but they often don’t understand other people’s inner worlds. They can have difficulties with sensory input, emotions, and social understanding. This can make them feel overwhelmed in situations that most people find normal or easy to navigate.
People with autism are often aware of what’s going on around them but unable to process it or react appropriately. For example, if someone is talking to you, you might be able to understand what they’re saying and respond appropriately by answering their question or asking one yourself. Someone who has autism might not be able to do this so easily because they may not understand what the person is saying. In some cases, this is because of auditory processing difficulties. However, it may also be because of difficulty interpreting someone’s tone of voice or facial expressions.
This doesn’t mean that individuals with autism are incapable of feeling empathy for others; many do. However, those who struggle with social interaction may have greater difficulty recognizing emotions like sadness or happiness in other people’s faces. This is a phenomenon known as affective empathy.
These differences in perception are reflected in how autistic individuals interact with their surroundings. People with autism may have difficulty understanding social cues or reading another person’s expression, which can make social situations challenging for them.
Some People With Autism Think in Literal Terms
Some people with autism may take things literally. They mean what they say and say what they mean. Some people with autism do not understand sarcasm or metaphors. It is important to remember that the person with autism sees the world differently than neurotypical people do.
Autism and Social Interactions
Someone on the autism spectrum might have trouble understanding social interactions and how things work in society. They may not understand why people do what they do or the motivations of others. However, there are ways to help people on the spectrum understand these things better.
The world can be a confusing place for someone with autism. It’s easy to feel lost when you don’t know what other people expect of you or where they are coming from. While some things might seem obvious to someone with autism, they may not always be as obvious to others around them who aren’t on the spectrum themselves.
The world can be a scary place for someone who is neurotypical, but it can be even scarier for people with autism. Others in society often misunderstand people who are on the spectrum because they see things differently and they don’t always understand what other people are thinking or feeling. They also have trouble with social interactions and understanding social rules that everyone else seems to know instinctively. However, despite these challenges, individuals on the autism spectrum have rich inner worlds which provide them with deep insight into their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. If you or someone you love are interested in services for autism, call Acera Health today at (949) 647-4090.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.