Autism Literalness

Autism is a funny thing. We can be very literal in what we do and in how we communicate.

I have been doing an online course that I found during the second lockdown in the UK. I was starting to go out of my mind, so I had to find something to keep me from going insane.

However, this course has caused me to have flashbacks to school and literalness issues. Being undiagnosed autistic, I had many many issues with teachers. They would say “answer this question” so I would answer the question and get yelled at for not showing my work. My answer to this would always be “you didn’t ask me to show my working, you just asked me to answer the question”. The number of times that I got detention for this argument is unbelievable.

However, now as an adult and knowing that I am autistic, I take this in a different way. Some of the feedback on the assessments I had was “This is a good start, could you please expand on your answer”. I answered the question, but they needed more explanation. Now, I take it as “OOOPS Autistic moment” and correct the issue. Now as an adult with the knowledge of my autism, I am more aware that I missed something and went far too literal when reading the question.

As a child, it can be devastating, especially as an undiagnosed autistic child, when you have to fight with your teachers because they were not clear enough for you. As an adult and knowing what you struggle with, it gets a little easier to handle, but the pain of it will always be there. You have to work through it to move forward.

If you have been diagnosed late in life, like me, don’t let the sins of your school teachers affect what you do. If you would like to do a course remember that you are able to complete the course and do not let the fact that you have autism put you off. 

Stay safe and well out there.


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