Monday, February 6, 2012
It's Not Polite
Today I observed that I am hardly the only autistic person who compulsively grabs food. I got together with a group of autistic friends who are all non-verbal and all communicate by typing. I guess sometimes it is necessary to see others do what you do to realize it is really not okay. I tend to grab appetizing things sometimes, even if it is from someone else’s plate. I know it is bad manners. I have been told this many times, but impulsive behavior is not thinking behavior. I saw that my actions are really not acceptable when I saw others do the same. One mom had a drink that looked colorful. Two kids drank from it before she could stop them. The mothers of the drinkers were embarrassed and I thought, “I do that.” Then another family arrived and in seconds the son grabbed my mom’s sandwich and took a bite. Too fast for her to stop him. At first she said, “It’s okay,” when the embarrassed parents apologized. Then she said, “I actually don’t like it when people tell Ido it’s okay because it’s not. I want them to correct it.” The parents agreed and said that people take more offense now that their son is older, so after that my mom told the boy that he shouldn’t bite her sandwich and it’s not okay to take food from her plate. I think people need to do this more. My feeling is that people shouldn’t excuse our bad behavior because we are disabled. When we are rude we need to be told that clearly and not enabled by understanding, polite tolerance of something that isn’t acceptable. My mom wouldn’t have let a dog snatch her food, let alone a human, but we tend to be too forgiving if people have autism. Don’t worry. We can take the correction.