Social skills non-autistic people need to learn
There’s a lot of talk about social skills autistic people need to acquire in order to do right by the non-autistic. There are also a lot of social skills non-autistic people need to learn in order to do right by autistics. Here are some of them:
Interacting with someone without eye contact. Learning to tell whether someone is listening and respecting you without relying on eye contact as a cue.
Communicating in text. Understanding nuance, tone, content, and emotion when it’s conveyed in text rather than voice.
Communicating complex ideas with people who don’t have many (or any) expressive words. Figuring out, and caring, what that person is and is not consenting to. Respecting no even when you know you could manipulate the person into appearing to say yes.
Noticing when people do and don’t respect the humanity of people with disabilities, and responding appropriately. Taking it seriously when this happens. Supporting disabled people in their humanity and autonomy rather than pressuring them to cooperate in the aggressor’s attempt to dehumanize them.
Understanding that people who do atypical things for people their age aren’t being mindless. They are *doing things*. Notice the things they’re doing rather than the ghosts of the things they’re not doing.