2 thoughts on “Does Teaching Social Skills Teach Masking Asperger’s?

  • May 13, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Great article. As an educator this is all relevant. As a Mom and a person, this is not comfy to read. No matter how much we respect and live our aspergillosis kids and friends, we can’t think they should be accepted somewhat or fully “just the way they are.” We will not be living in an ideal world. I always accept people’s disabilities. But that’s cause I was taught to do so and tend to be empathetic. Others could care less at times. They’re Busy with their own lives.

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    • June 22, 2019 at 3:53 pm

      I understand your concerns fully. That’s why I do support teaching social skills work to help NDs navigate the NT world. The way I do it is to frame it more like anthropology than “fixing”: it’s important to understand the culture and expectations of the community you’re in, just as if you went to another country. In Japan, bowing communicates respect and everyone does it. If you didn’t want to offend someone, you would bow.” This doesn’t suggest that not bowing is a mark of inadequacy, but that but bowing is a choice to handle the situation based on the outcome or impression wanted…
      It’s also important to consider whether individuals need is to use these strategies on an as-needed basis by choice, or whether the expectation is that they will use them 24/7. Children certainly need to feel accepted as themselves. For adults wanting to be in ND/NT relationships, I try to help both partners find ways to understand and meet needs of the other that works for them. The family situation needs to be more ND friendly and understanding. You can’t simply expect someone to put away difficulty with transitioning because it’s inconvenient, or sensory overload because we want to go to a highly stimulating place.
      For individuals who have strong sensory sensitivities, process more slowly, or need clarifications of expectations they simply miss, they can’t change that and do need to advocate for accommodations that will make success possible. There are more tolerant college environments and employers who actually seek out ND individuals as employees because of their reliability, attention to detail, high standards and unique cognitive strengths.

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