The murky world is where you’ll see exactly why “autistic intuition” can frighten some people. It’s an important topic because the people who abuse Auties and Aspies have more ammunition than most so I’ll expand on it a little. 

I once introduced a friend of mine (an Autie) to another Autie’s father, turning my back on them for a minute or two while I answered the telephone. At opposite ends of the room they barely seemed to speak.  And yet, as soon as we had left the room, my friend told me that the parent she had just met was an abuser.

Having known him for many months I had never considered such a thing.  However, after my initial surprise, the pieces suddenly clicked, and I realized that she was oh, so right.  Like many abusers he did it in a very unobtrusive way.   His son was self-abusive, so all his father had to do was “wind him up” and stand back to watch as his son hit his head and generally hurt himself. 

Tragically, while such abuse might be relatively rare that father is not alone.  Others too have learnt to manipulate the sensory or other problems to trigger disruptive or self-abusive behaviors. 

Thus one self styled “autism expert” knew full well that his son found some noises extremely difficult to cope with.  And yet he said that he repeatedly played a tape which was flawed and screechy whenever the family went on a long trip in the car. 

This was the man who then coolly commented that the child got “extremely upset!”  Hardly surprising.  For any such child confined in a car... that’s not only horrendous.  It’s abuse.  Particularly abhorrent abuse.

Unfortunately, though, such abuse can often be overlooked by outsiders who, not recognizing the clues, see only the outcome.  Thus they may conclude that the behavior is due to the ASD.  

Let me explain some of the “giveaways.”  

Many such abusers are intelligent, know the child well and are also aware of the sensory differences or the child’s other weak spots. 

This is the person who repeatedly mishandles situations; thereby precipitating incidents of difficult behavior and or self-abuse. 

Okay.  I know that we all mishandle situations inadvertently at times, but when it happens frequently or consistently, it warrants investigation. 

Stella Waterhouse
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