Standards of behavior

I was driving to the gym this morning, thinking, with a smile on my face, about last night. Last night, my boyfriend and I walked hand in hand to get some frozen yogurt. Along the way, I was filled with joy and decided to skip. He laughed at me, kindly. He has long-since embraced my quirkiness, and I can be my true self around him. And he said, in a lovingly, jokingly way, “Do you think people can’t see you?” And I replied, “Of course they can see me, but I don’t care.” And I went on, to say, “They probably laugh and then think how envious they are of me to be so comfortable with myself.”

And that was it. And it wasn’t until this morning that I realized. How fine of a line it is. When we work with our autistic, Aspie, NVLD kids. How often do we tell them, “That’s unexpected, that will make someone have a weird thought about you,” when if it was a neurotypical individual doing it, we would view the behavior as, “Wow, they have enviable self-esteem to be so comfortable with themselves that they do x, y, or z without worrying about it.”

I last wrote about not extinguishing “weird” behaviors unless they are detrimental to one’s becoming their true self. But it goes deeper than that. Our standards, our viewpoints, the lens in which we view behavior is so different, and it hit me big today.

Author
Speech-Language Pathologist. Nature-loving, book-reading, coffee-drinking, mismatched-socks-wearing, Autism-Awesomeness-finder, sensitive-soul Bostonian.

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