When was the last time you saw an adolescent or teenager who was always on their best behavior?
As an Adult with Aspergers, I can, and will, stand toe-to-toe against anyone who says just Asperger’s kids have issues with social skills. What should make an adult is learning how not to deal with others. It’s an important life lesson. I’m not going into specifics about what I’ve said or done unless someone who knew me way back when calls me on what I’ve said or done. If you don’t see what you’re doing in that moment, maybe someone should explain what you said or did and why it’s offensive. I can tell you right now there are several times I ticked off and upset people without trying, but there were times where I didn’t bring it on myself. This story about a traumatized boy in Iowa was hard to stomach, and so were both followup stories where the people involved spoke in broad terms. I want to know what exactly was said or done instead of tap-dancing around the uncomfortable yet important parts. No one except for two classmates showed enough maturity to explain to the confused young man why they were so mad. They make it sound like he has a half-filled Zeppo lighter but the other kids roar back with flamethrowers of their own. Or at least that’s how I felt when I was that age.
There should be a universal sign for when someone is offended or needs a break that isn’t coming. When I first heard of bullying epidemics, I thought that there were just too many developing brains butting heads under extreme time and space constraints. As an Adult with Aspergers I’ve gotten offended a few times in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes I’ve doubled down and taken a conversation to an unpleasant place, where if I feel like I’m going down, so are you. Other times, I hesitate even if I think I have a hilarious punchline. I’ve doubted myself a lot since I was little, and I’m positive I’m not the only one seeing shadows of other people shooting confused and angry looks at me.