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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.
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…
Videocas (captions, 5:42)
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…
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.
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.
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.
Authentic Autistic Life: 4 Short Stories Fearless, Joyful and Chaotic, s3e2 – #AutisticAF Out Loud
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