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Fighting Ridiculousness With Ridiculous-er-ness

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | February 26, 2023

My daughter is twenty-two years old. She has autism and is diagnosed with Asperger’s. She’s high-functioning, but she has some tics which give her away. She gave me permission to share this story.

She’s trying to work on her social skills and become less sensitive about her surroundings, so she has joined a group on social media where they invite people out who might struggle with the great “outdoors”. During and after their outing, they discuss thoughts and bring out suggestions on how to improve and be more comfortable.

One day, they sit down at a café. There are more people around than usual. It’s more than my daughter can handle, and she starts stimming — rocking gently from side to side while folding and unfolding her hands. It’s a behavior she uses to help calm herself.

From nowhere, a couple of women approach, asking another member of the group what’s going on with “this”. The group leader speaks up, trying to be sensitive about his group.

Lead: “I’m not sure what you mean, miss.”

My daughter, however, doesn’t care what others think and wants these women gone.

Daughter: “I have Asperger’s. I don’t like crowds. I’m here with these people trying to work on this.”

The women speak to her with fake enthusiasm in their voices, with a tone usually used when talking to pets.

Women: “Oooooh. Okay, sweetie. Can we just ask you a quick question? Are you vaccinated?”

Having had this question asked before and knowing how this might turn out, my daughter is quick to respond.

Daughter: “Just recently! My idiot parents didn’t vaccinate me or my brother.” *Not true* “We both caught a neuro-comolious disease.” *Not a real thing* “That gave me autism and my brother ADHD.” *Not true* “We both got vaccinated once we moved out, but it’s too late now. We’re r****ded for life and it’s their fault!”

There’s nothing else said. The two women simply walk away with confused expressions. 

[Daughter] comes home and shares a little bit of this event. I give the group lead a quick call. With my daughter right next to me, I put him on speaker.

Not only does he fill in some extra details, but he happily praises my daughter for speaking more than usual and not getting worked up by the situation. He isn’t happy she lied, but he does support my daughter’s logic. 

Daughter: “I’ve been asked about vaccines a lot. If they can make things up, why can’t I? If I tell the truth, they lie to themselves. So, I thought next time, I would lie first.”

She’d had this planned out, even the name of the condition. She said she wouldn’t do it again, and for her routine and sanity, I agree. But I can’t help thinking to myself, “Why not?”

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