Can autistic people understand social cues?

My pet peeve is people thinking that because I am non-speaking I am unable to understand.  Being someone who doesn’t communicate with words by mouth, actually has me understand cues in a bigger way.

You see, I have spent so many years in silence observing the behaviour of others that I have developed my ability to read people.  Authenticity is very important around me.  In other words, I am a breathing lie detector.

Go into any group setting and the level of inauthenticity is hard for my sensitive body to bear.  Everyone posturing to look good, prove themselves, hide their true selves, or just plain lie is outstanding.  All of it a cover for fear of not belonging.  We are all totally driven by fear.

What would those same groups look like if motivated by community, diversity, inclusion and appreciation?  How would our ingrained social habits shift?

(Note:  I am speaking here only of non-speaking autistics with motor and sensory differences.  I am not qualified to speak for all who are on the wide spectrum of autism.)

Jordyn

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4 thoughts on “Can autistic people understand social cues?

  1. I appreciate your deep questions about how people would behave if motivated by appreciation and inclusion rather than fear and desire for belonging! Very good questions to imagine and ponder! If we all imagined this, the world would be a better place!

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  2. Jessie Porter

    I agree 100%, and I have thought this for a long time, but only understood what I felt by putting my deeper felt understanding into words in the last 10 years. I’m now in my 40s, and used to think that I was the reason I couldn’t feel comfortable around social interaction.

    I know now that it’s a majority of a lack of authentic non-fear based interaction that contributed so much to feeling confused and inadequate. I barely spoke for years to people, and often still prefer not to unless I feel that authentication or respect of my space and timing of the interaction. Even though genuine interaction sometimes feels intense, I prefer it to the tension of observing and engaging with the opposite. It’s also too painful to pretend. Thank you for sharing! I love finding connection.

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