Thinking for ourselves

Autistic people are good at thinking for ourselves.

Lots of people have to deal with peer pressure, which is when people around you tell you to do something. You might do that thing even if you don’t want to, because you want people to like you. For example, you might watch a movie you hate because your friends want to see it.

Non-autistic people have a hard time saying no to peer pressure. They get very upset if they think people will not like them. Autistic people can also have a hard time with peer pressure, but it is easier for us to think for ourselves. We might not feel peer pressure as much.

Because we think for ourselves, we sometimes ignore rules. For example, if we are at a party that is too loud, we might leave, even though we know the normal rule is to stay.

Non-autistic people usually agree with each other about what is important, but autistic people might not see things the same way. For example:

James is autistic. He has a friend named Anne. Anne says a racoon got into her house and messed up her room. Anne’s other friends focus on helping Anne clean up her room. James agrees that Anne needs help cleaning up her room, but he thinks it’s important to make sure the racoon is okay first. Anne’s other friends don’t agree with James. James isn’t doing anything wrong, and neither are Anne’s friends. They just have different ideas.