Why reading and talking are so difficult for autistics

Reading and talking are hugely psychological tasks. If you’ve ever tried to read when hungry you will know that the words just don’t sink in. This also happens if your tired or just don’t have the energy. Reading in the morning can also be rather demanding if we haven’t got sufficient food leftover in us from last night.

It’s also why we often can’t talk until we have properly woken up. The popularity of the meme “Don’t talk to me until I have had my coffee” attests to the fact that this is a common situation in life. Late night talks are good for getting us to sleep peacefully hence bedtime stories for children being so popular.

Reading can be reassuring though as nobody is giving us tasks to do, impacting us with their unresolved issues and we have control over what we read. There is generally a lack of autonomy in an autistics life as we can’t communicate our needs in a way that can be understood by neurotypicals. Obsessive reading and collecting facts make us happy as it is something we can do. In a world where we are infantilised because of what we can’t do according to neuro typical standards; we turn ourselves into Rainmen to get some attention and recognition for the fact that we are worthy and can make a difference in the workplace.

Both reading and talking are also hugely emotional. Wedding speeches often move us to tears. Births often render us speechless. When we are surprised by an event like a birthday party or an engagement we often lose the ability to speak. Good books also cause us what are now called “book hangovers” where your still living in the world that the book created for you. It also explains the popularity in the neuro typical community of such badly written books as Fifty Shades of Grey.

As autistics don’t have the inbuilt filters that everyone else is born with; we have a lot more data to process. We however are not given any extra time to cope with this backlog. This is why we take longer to speak as children and why when turning up to social occasions we spend the first 15 minutes absorbing the energy flow of the current environment. It’s also why when someone new comes into the conversation we can’t immediately respond. We are checking there energy to know how to respond and what to avoid.

So this is why for an autistic it can be extremely difficult to function. Were expected to communicate all the time yet we don’t have the energy to be able to perform those tasks. We often have other health conditions that drain our energy. We are also highly emotional but frequently we are not given time to process our emotions so we can’t inform you of what is happening inside ourselves. We therefore get left out and isolated when all we need is more time. We are capable of socialising if given the correct circumstances but many do not allow for this.

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