Photo © Emma Dalmayne
[image: Emma Dalmayne, a woman with brown skin and dark hair
wearing a nose ring and a blue sundress, looking into the camera.]

by Emma Dalymayne


They say to autistics:

Make eye contact 

Look at me

How am I meant to know you can hear me if you don’t look at me?

Not like that

Not like that!

Ok you’re staring now…

Why are you staring?

That’s inappropriate eye contact!

Stop staring you look like a freak.

They say to autistics:

Talk to me

You are rude when you don’t answer

Can’t you talk?

No I’m not looking at your text on the screen you need to learn to talk! 

Stop talking so much!

I’ve heard about this Janice it’s called “info dumping”

So rude. 

They say to autistics:

Express yourself 

No stop moving like that it’s weird!

Why are you rocking? 

You look mad when you do that.

You need to focus

Stop moving

Will you stop fidgeting?! 

Ugh, why are you so closed off?

Stop flapping.

They say to autistics:

Er what’s wrong with your hearing?

What are you listening to? 


So…. just nothing?

We aren’t on a building site mate you don’t need ear defenders.

Too loud? 

What’s too loud I can’t hear anything?

I’m not talking to you if you wear those you look weird. 

They say to autistics:

Stop screaming like that!

Stop crying there’s nothing to cry over! 

I’ve read about this Janice it’s called a “meltdown” 

So a tantrum then.

Sort of but not

You would think by that age they would learn to control themselves…

Oh my god JUST GET UP! 

Why aren’t you talking if you are upset just say there’s no need to cry.

You need to communicate.

They say to autistics:

So what’s your talent?

So what are you good at? 

Well you must have a special talent they all do,

I knew this one person who has autism really good at maths, do you like maths?

Why not?


You need a hobby

Not like that that’s obsessive! 

Less is more.

They say to autistics:

But we use the puzzle piece to represent you because you are puzzling you see?

Er no it’s a puzzle 

It’s not actually up to you is it? 

But the puzzle piece is known universally no one knows that sign.

Maybe things will change one day but at least people know what this is yeah? 

“But he’s my little puzzle piece Janice, that’s what I think anyway.”

It was made by the National Autistic Society and THEY would know wouldn’t they? 

They say to autistics:

No… first this THEN that.

I know you are pulling me to the fridge but you have to say the word

Thats not communicating is it? 

No no you do the task THIS way THEN you get the treat

So what if it’s done?

Well you did it the wrong way it’s this way.

It may look ok but you made it in the wrong order!

Yes thats right jump three times then you get the treat.

Ok so listen, screaming and pulling at the door handle tells me nothing! 

You need to say “Out!” Can you say “Out?”


They say to autistics:

Why aren’t you normal?

What’s wrong with you?

I heard you can cure autism with bleach it’s a parasite that causes it.

You are not autistic

You have autism

Don’t let it define you

You are more than just autism

I thought you grow out of that?

But that’s a kid’s thing

Control yourself

You are NOTHING like my neighbour’s friends son now he is REALLY autistic

You must be high functioning

I know all about autism I saw this programme

“Janice she can’t understand you no use talking to her, she can’t even talk.”

Low functioning. 

Never amount to much

Bless you I’ll pray for you

Have you prayed?

Try it the Lord will save you

Not like that

It’s the vaccines

Have you tried Homeopathy?

Camels milk is meant to help.

You can overcome autism just work harder 

They say to autistics:

You must be hungry 

Well if you are hungry you will eat it

There’s nothing wrong with it eat it

What do you mean you forgot to eat?

Have you drunk anything?

Why not?

You can’t play on that phone all day you need to eat 

Er no it’s the same brand 

No really it is!

Ok it’s not.

You surely aren’t eating that again?! 

No you can’t have that again

I don’t care if it’s all you want to eat

Try this…

Why aren’t you eating?

Well obviously she won’t starve herself Janice she will give in soon…

Listen to autistics.