I wonder if it’s common for people with Aspergers or high functioning autism to come across to others as lacking basic intelligence.
I get that from people all the time and I hate it. In social situations, such as at work, where I have to interact with neurotypicals (NTs) who I don’t know too well, I’ve noticed people patronize me, they repeat things to me as if I didn’t understand them the first time, or just respond to me in a condescending way, as if they’re talking to a two year old. I am paranoid but I don’t think it’s my paranoia because they don’t act that way to everyone
I think people’s behavior toward me is because as an Aspie, it’s so difficult for me to process the things people tell me in a normal way, especially when I’m forced to deal with people in a group setting. I am also almost silent due to my shyness and unwillingness to get involved in social conversation. That probably makes me seem a little dim too.
I don’t hear that well either (I have only 20% hearing in my left ear due to having severe ear infections as a child), so that makes it even harder for me to understand what people say. I often have to ask them to repeat what they just said, which irritates both me and others. I’ve told people I have bad hearing, because being asked to repeat something annoys people less if they know there is something wrong with my hearing.
I find social chatter and small talk overwhelming and it’s not fun for me at all. It’s a lot of work for me to process all that. Of course there are some people who just intimidate me anyway (probably narcs) and I totally clam up around them and act really stupid and inappropriate when I’m forced to talk to them or ask them a question. Socializing is just so difficult! NT’s love it. I don’t.
It makes me so angry that I’m treated as if I’m a mental lightweight by people who know very little about me. I so want to say this to people who talk down to me or ask me the infuriating, “Did you get that?” :
“Look, you don’t have to act so condescending toward me. I’m not an idiot. I understand what you say. I understand a lot. I may look stupid to you because I have Aspergers, and that makes it almost impossible for me to process verbal communication and body language very well or deal with people in a group, or know how to act when you’re yammering at me. I also have Avoidant Personality Disorder, which exacerbates my discomfort in social situations. I get very anxious. But I want you to know I’m actually very smart, probably smarter than you. My IQ is above 150 but I know you probably think I’m lying. If you could see the way I write, you would be shocked at how intelligent and insightful I am. I see a lot of what goes on, I notice everything, I know a lot about a lot of things. I just don’t know how to communicate that well except in writing, or react appropriately when you tell me something. So please stop thinking I’m borderline retarded, because I am not.”
Of course I’ll never say this. But I wish I could!
Having Aspergers and Avoidant personality disorder combined with only partial hearing really is a handicap to dealing with the NT (neurotypical) world.
People who love me and know me well, and people who read what I write know I am not stupid.
Besides, Einstein had Aspergers too, and all his teachers thought he was retarded! 😀