Mental Rules, Autism

Page Index:

Mental Rules, an introduction

The Rules

1. When in Doubt or Stuck, do something

There’s never a good reason to be stuck, though there may be a lot of reasons where uncertainty and indecision are real. It’s important to move forward by doing anything rather than to remain stuck by doing absolutely nothing (and waiting for someone to come to the rescue).

2. Be Polite

Whether or not being polite makes sense or is in any way logical, always be polite. This means saying “please” and “thank you” as well as opening doors, listening, and doing all of the other things that are expected (read: required) in neurotypical company.

3. Be Kind

Kindness is never hard, though it’s also not always obvious.

4. Not everyone is as Smart as Me

It is the case that I will go into public or to work and interact with people who don’t have the same mental and intellectual faculties as me. This is not an excuse to act or lord intellect and almost never a reason to show off*.

5. I’m not always the smarterst person in the room

6. No on needs to feel stupid or belittled


Please note that these rules will be updated and clarified as necessary. The list isn’t complete and the logic for any single rule may not be easy to follow. That’s not the point. The point is that I’ve had to come up with a lot of rules in order to interact with and remain sane around people, even before I knew I was autistic. This is an attempt at helping others figure things out.

* Neurotypical — this is a term used in the autistic community (or is it community made up of autistic individuals???) to designate someone who is not on the autism spectrum.

† Showing Off — Showing off may be fun and it may be interesting to show people up in areas of intellectual superiority. And there are times when it may even be appropriate or acceptable, but the rule states that showing off should be avoided and should be considered as something to not engage in. The one exception is if you’re a rock star on an ax and you’ve got the world’s greatest solo going on, then there is never a time to not show off. Period.