Aliens and Autism
But aliens learning about autistic people and being confused by our behavior !
“But why don’t you treat them equally as well?”
“No, we totally do!” The human, Lorie by name, looked hurt and confused.
‘Todd’ (their name was very very long but they liked this English human name) shook their head. “No, you don’t. You treat them like they aren’t as marvelous as the rest of your species. One said they were made to feel ‘broken’ when we spoke. That is not good.”
Lorie reeled. “I… I thought we had started doing better. Accommodating their illness.”
“Illness?” Todd was confused now. “But they are not ill. They are not made to the same neurological specifications as what your medicine defines as nominal for your species, but they are as exceptional and unique as your entire species amongst us. Your species seems to have an exceedingly arbitrary limit to how much a person may be ‘eccentric’ before you shun them.”
Lorie’s cheeks heated. “I’m ashamed, but they make us uncomfortable.
“But you tolerate Bill, and he is obnoxious, makes unwanted references to mating, and prioritizes physical contact over others comfort. He just received a promotion. Does he not make you uncomfortable?”
The human tech couldn’t meet the Yotruvan’s eyes. “I suppose you need a mirror to see your own face. Thanks, Todd.” She smiled but Todd did not think she was happy, and he was confused.
Days later, Potre pulled Todd aside. “Hey, Todd?” The Yotruvan remembered not to look this human in the eye and kept the amount of space they were comfortable with.
“Did you talk to the other humans? About me. Me, I mean.”
Todd could not judge their emotional state by their voice, but their posture seemed to express fear and hope, an odd combination. Yotruvans expressed little in tone or facial expressions but their amorphous body made them excellent at displaying and reading body language. “I asked why they treated autistic members of your species poorly.”
“Oh. Thanks.” Potre made a small movement and Todd nodded, acknowledging their gratitude and friendship. Potre walked down the hall and Todd was left again wondering at how often humans would thank others and never explain what they meant.
Remarkable species. Always surprising.Submitted by: @katjohnadams