“A person wearing headphones and/or avoiding eye-contact when you are talking isnt necessarily ‘rude’. That person may be autistic and most probably finds it easier to listen like that! Please respect their sensory needs!”
Just a quick PSA.
I’m feeling a lot less pissed off at neurotypicals today so that calls for less angry art.
Avoiding eye contact and wearing headphones all the time is often perceived by neurotypical people as a rather rude gesture. This is unfortunate and is something that really has to be unlearnt for the benefit of autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people who do these things.
Autistic people (as well as some other neurodivergent people) avoid eye contact because the experience ranges from uncomfortable and mildly distressing to very painful and upsetting. Avoiding eye contact is much more comfortable and natural for a lot of us and makes us feel a bit more at ease interacting with people and the world in general. (I will add though that not all autistic people avoid eye contact but enough of us do that it needs to be respected. If you meet a person who says they are autistic but are able to make eye contact yes they are still autistic.)
Forcing an autistic person to make eye contact with you is not only incredibly rude and insensitive, but it is also an act of ableism. You are in no way entitled to force anyone to make eye contact with you. Please respect autistic and otherwise neurodivergent peoples need to avoid eye contact.
Wearing headphones all the time is something a lot of autistic people and people with sensory processing disorder do to avoid sensory overload and meltdowns that can be caused by loud noises or too many noises at once. It is important to remember that our hearing can be more sensitive than yours so what we perceive as loud might not seem that loud to you but that doesnt change the fact that it may still be painful to us.
If an autistic person wears headphones while interacting with you they are not being rude, they are avoiding pain, sensory overload and potential meltdowns. Please respect this. If you try to force an autistic person to remove their headphones you are being rude and insensitive and being very ableist.
That is all for now, unless I have forgotten something. Thank you.