A sign posted by a TikToker at their job advising people about autism has sparked a conversation about respecting people’s differences.
@aegoaegyo, who uses he/they pronouns, tacked the handmade sign up outside of his cubicle after getting chastised and scheduled for a meeting relating to being a “bad communicator.”
“I’m autistic,” the sign reads. “I prefer direct, literal and detailed communication. If I am: not making eye contact, not greeting you back, not understanding your social cues, etc, there is no malicious intent. It is the autism.”
Autism doesn’t present exactly the same in everyone, and impacts people’s day-to-day lives to different degrees, but is generally categorized by behaviors and interactions that are different from most people. Often, one of the ways it presents is through not being in touch with social cues the way others might be, which can incorrectly lead people to assume a person with autism is being rude or standoffish when it’s simply a result of how their brain functions differently.
Many in the comments understand this — and also fully understand why @aegoaegyo might be struggling at work with people who aren’t educated about autism.
“I’ve learned that when neurotypical people say they think I communicate poorly, they really mean that I’m just responding differently than they would,” wrote @queeovpain.
“I got called out for ‘needing to have my hand held’ when rly I just needed clear instructions/direct communication so I knew I was doing the job right,” @flowerchild_oldsoul recalled.
One viewer said that signs like this should be the norm, adding, “very proud of you for stating your boundaries and needs clearly.”
“I wish everyone had signs telling me how to communicate tbh,” another said.