#AutisticRave: Group Processing Disorder. It’s a Thing.

"NO," original digital illustration. In yellows, gold, and dark green. In foreground a young person holds their hand out toward the camera, signaling, "no." In the background an adult figure uses both hands to signal, "No." Both are wearing dark gray hoodies.
Season 2, Episode 13: Push ▶️ to Listen, 3 dots at right to download.
Listen Free…

"NO," original digital illustration. In yellows, gold, and dark green. In foreground a young person holds their hand out toward the camera, signaling, "no." In the background an adult figure uses both hands to signal, "No." Both are wearing dark gray hoodies.
“NO,” original digital illustration. In yellows, gold, and dark green.

NOTE: Some autistic & ADHD folks process reading better, some listening… some both at once. So I include a transcript, podcast, and “pretty” captioned video below. #InclusionMatters.


EPISODE

I can’t DO social groups. I don’t think I’m alone. So, I’m launching a hashtag. #GroupProcessingDisorder.

I’m Johnny Profane. At 70, an #AutisticElder.

This has been on my mind a bit…

See… folks sometimes ask me to join a Space or Zoom group or whatev.

I GOTTA decline. It’s never personal. Well, pretty-near never…

Between #autism, #ADHD & trauma? I just can’t pull groups off.

Processing verbal communication is freaking hard for me in ANY context. Even recorded audio or video.

And communication difficulty zooms exponentially for me in real-time…

THEN doubles & redoubles with each added individual in the conversation.

Word finding, being clear without offending, swimming up from details to get to the point…

Exhausting. When I try to do it in a real-time moment.

Article continues below…


Podcast (5:42)

Season 2, Episode 13: Push ▶️ to Listen, 3 dots at right to download.

Videocas (captions, 5:42)

Captioned to aid audio processing.

ADD THIS…

Even in #autistic-run groups… there’s so much social interaction that I can’t master.

Everyday life for other folks. Not so much for me.

Even in “therapy” groups, SOME people have status… others don’t. Sometimes from sitting close to the teacher… sometimes accomplishments… sometimes contributions… sometimes simple sticking-it-out-the-longest seniority.

I’m totally status blind. Never “knew my place” to begin with.

Then there’s the in-group/out-group secret handshakes & vocabulary that I never know, the group shaming & piling on, the cliques just like Junior High…

Occasionally, some folks seek power thru groups…

[Sigh]

At least that’s the fog my bruised, abused & status-blind mind wanders thru.


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All in my head? Who cares? The exhaustion… & pain… are real. And not worth it for me.

Tbh, I don’t find simple posting in social media groups… comfortable. Vanilla Twitter is thorny enuff for me. Spaces…?

Even for relatively safe tweets, posts, snapshots…? I have a stim-before-and-rest-after routine.

This is ALL me. Nobody else’s failure. Not even mine.

Just #GroupProcessingDisorder.

Understand… I finally have a great deal of #AutisticJoy in my life. At age 70.

Cuz I chose to become pretty much a semi-recluse. Limited contact with people & world.

And NO groups.

So I can’t see ANY reason to gamble on group dynamics…


Well, I probably overshared a bit.

But, I seem to offend people when I try to explain. Especially when THEY try to back-s’plain that THIS one will work for me.

Cuz THIS one is DIFFERENT…

I drown in reassurances. I need disability advocates… of ALL people on Earth… to hear me.

Lotta autism. Lotta years of abuse. And, ya know, like Riff Raff sang in Rocky Horror…

“Madness takes its toll.”

So I just can’t pull off group participation. Many autistic, ADHD & other neurodivergent folk find community, inspiration, knowledge & support there.

Not all.

Best I can do? Share & amplify groups, Spaces, Zooms that work for other folks.

And I’m ALWAYS happy to do so.

If your aim is to do good…

Word to the wise… #GroupProcessingDisorder.

My guess? It’s a real thing. Separate from one-on-one social challenges.

Am I the only sentient #autistic, #adhd or #AuDHD being who needs this consideration. I’d bet not.

Not every articulate autist has the rest of their shit… together.

Holster your judgment. And be gentle out there.


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#AutisticRave: Group Processing Disorder. It's a Thing. #AutisticAF Out Loud

  1. #AutisticRave: Group Processing Disorder. It's a Thing.
  2. Imaginary Friends? This Autistic Kid's Bestie… Dissociation, Pt 1
  3. #AutisticRave: Life after Diagnosis: Joy… and Horror.
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4 Comments

  1. Infidel753 says:

    I drown in reassurances. I need disability advocates… of ALL people on Earth… to hear me.

    Some people are just stuck in broadcast mode and insist on lecturing when they should be listening. It’s infuriating.

    I think a lot of people struggle with group social settings. My own reactions are somewhat similar to what you describe, although I’m not autistic. The preferences of the most gregarious people shouldn’t be treated as a social norm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder what you think, my friend…

      I think social norms are a problem. At least maintaining across entire nation states.

      Only useful in smaller social groups… family to village?

      I’m convinced we’re family/tribal animals. And we can’t be educated past that basic design.

      Hope this makes sense. If I don’t take hours to compose…

      I frequently sound l ok me brain salad

      Always a treat to hear from you. I may email…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Infidel753 says:

        My feeling is that the size of social groups isn’t the problem — the real problem is the inflexibility of social norms, the unwillingness to accept that different behaviors and ways of life are optimal for different people.

        It’s a mark of primitive, rigid minds that they believe there is just one way of life which is proper for everybody. You find this among religious fundamentalists, but it’s also characteristic of primitive, tribal societies. Their social norms are extremely rigid.

        Over time, as we’ve progressed, our social norms have become more flexible and our societies more accepting of difference (and as the societies get bigger, it’s easier for unusual people to find others like themselves to interact with). This is why hard-line religionists, who are intolerant of difference, are so agitated and hostile to modernity. But we still have a long way to go in making our social norms more flexible and able to accommodate a wider range of differences.

        I hope this makes sense…..

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Of course… You always do. You know I’m a slow thinker. Let me get a rational response together.

          It’s not that i disagree. But i have some yes-anding to do.

          And i suck at nuance… Without spending some time.

          Liked by 1 person

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