Study finds overt discrimination by NTs toward autistic adults

I subscribe to a very informative organization out of Canada called: "Embrace ASD".

Here's a link to a page from their website that details the findings of a study done in 2019.

embraceasd.com/first-impressions-of-autistic-adults/?utm_source=Embrace+ASD&utm_campaign=0fffc26135-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f0e6bedcdd-0fffc26135-81524018

For those who don't want to view the summary, I'll summarize the intent and few interesting conclusions:

An equal number of autistic adults and NT adults watched short interview type videos of people who were NT and of people who were also autistic.

"Autistic observers did not discriminate in expressing interest in interacting with subjects. In contrast, neurotypical observers had no interest in interacting with autistic subjects even when their diagnosis was disclosed."

Comments

  • OliOli Citizen

    I'm surprised that the autistic individuals wanted to interact with anyone.

  • MagnaMagna Citizen

    ^ I get what you're saying, Oli. However, it doesn't surprise me that the study found that autistic people were more accepting and tolerant of people who don't appear to be "normal" since that's been my experience both of myself as well as my experience of the tolerance exhibited by other autistic people that I know.

  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor

    Autistic people wanting to interact with both sets of interviewed people, but the NTs not wanting to interact with the autistic people, doesn't surprise me.

    We have to deal with NTs in our daily lives from the time we're born, but most NTs probably never have to really get to know and learn to tolerate someone that is autistic, let alone multiple. They're going to have a much smaller amount of experience and tolerance towards us.

    I also hear a lot of autistic people say they enjoy the company of autistic people more, and that they sometimes feel more drawn to interact with other autistics, so them still being interested in them isn't a surprise to me either.

  • @Hylian said:
    Autistic people wanting to interact with both sets of interviewed people, but the NTs not wanting to interact with the autistic people, doesn't surprise me.

    We have to deal with NTs in our daily lives from the time we're born, but most NTs probably never have to really get to know and learn to tolerate someone that is autistic, let alone multiple. They're going to have a much smaller amount of experience and tolerance towards us.

    I also hear a lot of autistic people say they enjoy the company of autistic people more, and that they sometimes feel more drawn to interact with other autistics, so them still being interested in them isn't a surprise to me either.

    That's interesting Hylian, I believe we had a thread here about autistics preferring the company of autistics, so this is basically saying the same thing from the opposite angle.

  • People (NTs) don’t want to adjust their interactional styles to accommodate those who seem to exhibit interactional difficulties.

  • I've looked at many articles from that site. It's a very good site.

  • WizardryWizardry Citizen, Mentor
    This is sad, but not surprising.
  • I know the people who run Embrace ASD.  

    They're wonderful people.  
  • However, results did show that the amount of autistic-like experiences of adolescents were associated with being less often selected as a friend by their peers.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7843702/




  • I wasn’t selected as a friend many times as an adolescent.
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    edited February 7
    When NTs were made aware of the autism diagnosis their views of the ASD folk softened on paper, yet the perception of difference seems to have been enough to decide that ASD folk were socially unrelatable.

    Interesting, i wonder how the results would have been different with a sample group of women.
  • Teach51 said:

    @Hylian said:
    Autistic people wanting to interact with both sets of interviewed people, but the NTs not wanting to interact with the autistic people, doesn't surprise me.

    We have to deal with NTs in our daily lives from the time we're born, but most NTs probably never have to really get to know and learn to tolerate someone that is autistic, let alone multiple. They're going to have a much smaller amount of experience and tolerance towards us.

    I also hear a lot of autistic people say they enjoy the company of autistic people more, and that they sometimes feel more drawn to interact with other autistics, so them still being interested in them isn't a surprise to me either.

    That's interesting Hylian, I believe we had a thread here about autistics preferring the company of autistics, so this is basically saying the same thing from the opposite angle.

    Those of us who prefer the company of other autistics probably have that preference because we are less likely to be judged negatively by other autistics, with whom we have the common experience of being regarded as freaks by NT's.

  • Teach51Teach51 Citizen
    edited February 13
    Hi Mona good to see you here!
     Of course there is always the residue of  trauma resulting from prejudice, discrimination, mocking, bullying and negativity that those of us who are  ND have experienced, but it is not only that. All people have an affinity with people who share the same mindset, common experiences, a common denominator. There is the proverb " birds of a feather flock together", this is human nature. There is a distinct difference between preference and discrimination. This is the relevant point. If someone prefers autistic's company or NT  ( I actually equally enjoy NT, ND and ASD company with no particular preference) it is fine, everyone has a different comfort zone and individual mode of communication.  Autistics do not only seek each other's company when fleeing from discrimination, not at all. Autistics often  enjoy the things they share in common, the way of viewing the world, the way they process life. Autistics are not uniform in thought, I have close autistic friends who have chosen me as a non autistic to be the closest person in their lives, There are many members here in "mixed" relationships, myself included, who have connected with the essence of a person we love without  preference for a particular neurology. There are many autistics on line who are just as cruel to other autistics than any NT can be.

    I think we should focus on how to promote tolerance and understanding rather than perpetuate the negative and separation. Many successful relationships thrive regardless of neurological, ethnic, religious differences. I have a natural affinity to people who have ADD/ADHD and CPTSD such as myself because we share similar responses to life, the way we process life, and an often traumatic emotional history, but that does not mean that I would exclude another human being from my heart or categorize  them in order of preference. 
    The current global trend is divisive, violent and intolerant, this has become globally endemic and is particularly emphasized in the U.S. currently. I pray for a more inclusive, united and tolerant global trend. I personally choose to look for what can bring people closer together rather than emphasize where they are incompatible. I refuse to believe that autistics and  NT's cannot live in harmony, my aspie man has never experienced discrimination from NT's, he actually has no autistic friends, neither has any autistic I know in my country experienced discrimination, and I know intimately quite a few. How much does a country's cultural/political climate influence how they perceive neurodiversity or diversity in general? That might be  good topic for another thread.
  • firemonkeyfiremonkey Citizen
    edited February 13

    Those of us who prefer the company of other autistics probably have that preference because we are less likely to be judged negatively by other autistics, with whom we have the common experience of being regarded as freaks by NT's.

    I've never mixed with autistics IRL. Truth is I only mix with my stepfamily who live near me . I was certainly regarded as a freak at my public school. A classroom of boys directing monkey chants at me,for example. There's been several attempts to mix with other mentally ill people. I have SMI. None have been a great success.

  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    As I've said before, a lot of my friends throughout my life have been autistic. I became friends with them because I recognized similarities they had to me that other kids didn't have, and I got along with them a lot more. They often talked about their interests in a similar, "intense" (info dumping) way that I did and tolerated me talking about mine like that. I didn't really actively befriend them because we were both considered "weird", but being considered "weird" and being excluded did probably make it easier for us to become friends.
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