Why The Unwritten Rules of Life are Hard to Understand

by Marc Segar, Adapted by Autism Spectrum Directory

– Most people instinctively know and take for granted the unwritten rules in life which people on the autism spectrum have a hard time understanding.

– When people disobey these unwritten rules, sometimes they get away with it but usually they who break informal rules are made to suffer informal punishments. These punishments may include being laughed at, being treated as a less important person or being isolated.

– The most difficult thing about being on the autism spectrum is that so many people expect you to know these rules and live by them as they do, even though no one has told you what these rules are. There is no doubt that this is extremely unfair, but unfortunately most people don’t see it this way because they don’t understand the problem.

– If you yourself are having trouble accepting that you are on the autism spectrum, you could be making things even more difficult for yourself. Accepting such a thing will not only help you but may also allow you to forgive yourself for things you might be doing wrong and take away some of the pain which can only be holding you back.

– Usually there is an unwritten rule against talking about unwritten rules in public but it is normally all right to talk about them with parents, teachers, counsellors or friends when they are on their own.

– With many of these rules you are likely to want them explained to you. Also, many people are able to follow the unwritten rules perfectly but are not even consciously aware of them.

– There is no harm in spending some of your time questioning the unwritten rules but don’t be so busy questioning these rules that you cannot put them into practice.

– Some unwritten rules are too vague and depend too much on the situation.

– You might think that these are the rules to a rather silly game but the game is life and the rules cannot be changed.

– The problem with the game of life is that every situation is slightly different. Some things might be suitable in some situations but not in others. People cannot tell you how to respond in every situation but they can help you by setting guidelines.

– People on the autism spectrum tend to remember detail, non autistic people tend to remember plot. Plot closely accompanies the detective work which enables most people to learn unwritten rules of society.

– Sometimes certain people might give you advice and criticisms which you find slightly patronising, pedantic or unimportant. This might often cause you to want to rebel but you could in fact be rebelling against the very things which are to be most helpful to you.

– Unwritten rules that are shared from others are based on their own personal experiences and what is right for them doesn’t always have to be what’s right for someone else.

Here are some of the unwritten rules of life for:

People on the Autism Spectrum Have to Learn Information That Neurotypical People Already Understand Instinctively

How to Overcome Worrying and Anxiety

How to Understand Body Language

Keeping a Clean Slate (a good reputation)

Copyright Marc Segar

Other Resources

Book: The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations

iTunes App: Hidden Curriculum for Kids

iTunes App: Hidden Curriculum for Adolescents and Adults

Book: The Unwritten Rules of Life Volume 1

Related Articles:

Complete List of All Articles on Autism Spectrum Directory


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