A Glimpse into our Autism: The wrong seat

20 September 2017

Dear friend,

Yesterday we went on the bus. He took the wrong seat...

We don't ride on buses very often and as we had just decided to jump on the Park and ride into Cambridge rather than risk city centre parking we didn't have time to prepare him.

Boarding was busy and he asked where do I sit and I answered where you want...

He sat down on the end of a row so I had to squeeze past him to get in, instead I asked him to move up. He looked at me in confusion, he was right, I had told him to sit where he wanted!

It brought back a memory of us on the aeroplane and on the airport bus. He had taken the outside seat and his brother had quickly climbed over him to get in...

I swallowed my impatience and instead explained, when you take a bus, train etc you always sit in the second seat so someone can sit next to you.

Oh, ok I get it now, he answered, moving up.

Another reminder of how the small, social cues we take for granted need to be learned by autistic people.

When you're tired, stressed, ill etc it's easy to become irritated by this seemingly thoughtless behaviour. React with impatience and how does he feel? Like he got it wrong again. A failure. Unsuccessful...

Butterfly with coloured jigsaw pieces pattern with text
How alienating must it be to not know or misunderstand the things most people take for granted?

And how easy it is to dismiss or misinterpret his behaviour as 'thoughtless' or even 'bad'.

Yesterday we went on the bus. He took the wrong seat..

A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore how autism effects us on a day to day basis. Disclaimer:  this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.

More autism awareness posts...

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