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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

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Social Discomfort Regarding Difficult Times

By Out-of-Sync Woman
I genuinely do not like large social gatherings where I don’t understand what’s going on and I feel out of place. I was so uncomfortable this past Friday because I went to a funeral for a good friend’s family member and it turned out worse than I thought it was going to be. I forgot to factor in my sensitive hearing, my dislike of crowds, and my genuine social awkwardness that strikes during those times. It was a struggle just to get through the line to be able to greet them and say how sorry I was for their loss for the family member. I made the effort but I did not feel graceful and felt awkward in my interactions.
The good news was my family friend understood how stressful it was and was appreciative of the fact that I made the effort to be at the memorial service. In fact, she said that her son never went to funerals or weddings because of how uncomfortable he was. I’m wondering if my own family members and other close friends would understand if I said the same thing, that I’m too uncomfortable, it stresses me out and affects me for several weeks. I would hope that they understood me enough that it wasn’t that I wanted to skip but that there’s often so many negative effects as a result of attending events like these. I guess the basic questions are: Am I willing to stand up and advocate for myself for this need? That I feel avoiding the uncomfortable situation helps abate negative effects to my mental health. Do I keep quiet and just do it?
I think I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking on this, about what is best for me ultimately. Do I conform to social convention and try my best in an awkward situation? On the other hand, I could just say, “This isn’t the right thing for me and I’m not going to be comfortable” and just skip it.
I know one thing for certain, I’m going to talk to my family about my future plans regarding when I’m no longer around. I’m going to tell them that I don’t really want a funeral or viewing or memorial service. I’m going to have to see what they say about that. I personally don’t really see the point. I wish people would say nice, complimentary things about people before they die, not after. Open, clear communication before it’s impossible feels more appropriate to me. I know that this is a difficult subject but I hope my viewpoint was useful or at least helpful. Best of luck to the readers in all their future endeavors.