Help… What is that?

Let me start by saying I have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This should give the following a little more context.

I recently came to the realization that I don’t know how to ask for help.

Lately, I’ve become overwhelmed by the number of requests I get to help others. Originally I found it simply amusing that people would ask for help for the most ridiculous things, “How do I get a job?”, “How do I learn how to do that?”, “How can I get along with others?”, “How do I get my kid to listen to me?”, but this has gotten out of hand.

Now, I know people often speak rhetorically without intending you to answer the question (a VERY common mistake we with ASD make), but in my case these people ACTUALLY want answers. That last one literally gave me her kid’s phone number and asked me to call him… The others got mad at me because I didn’t have an answer for them and responded that “you just don’t care about others”. I was baffled that they would ask questions about their personal things I couldn’t possibly know about and expect any kind of practical answer.

So, now I’m starting to realize, ^^^ this is normal. People simply ask others for help ALL the time.

In school, I never understood the questions asked. Especially in medical school, I noticed 3 kinds of questions made up 90% of those asked:

  1. They want to appear intelligent and ask a tangent question to show they made a correlation that isn’t actually relevant to the topic.

Since I don’t like attention, am VERY patient, and usually come to conclusions based on previous knowledge and facts, I seldom ask questions. I extrapolate information and only ask if I truly need additional information.

I do this in life too. I don’t need any affirmation for what I do so going at it alone is just as fine for me. If there is something out of my control I focus on what I can control and patiently wait for the conditions to come where I can control it. If there is something I don’t know, I look it up.

I found this common among the ASD community, we seem to be driven to do things on our own and rarely seek the aid of others. While I may sound negative towards the phenomenon, I actually find it quite beautiful and am saddened that I can’t be a part of it. Something deep inside every human wants help and reaches out to others for it.

Lacking whatever chemistry compels this behavior I am left as an observer. This has made life more difficult than it should be, but also… I am given a perspective of life that is unseen by many others and a privilege to gaze upon a complex system of many wonders. I wish I could share this view with everyone. It’s truly amazing what you have. It’s a very deep connection that drives progress and makes things one person alone could never be capable of. It’s so deep that isolation from it can drive one mad. All the silly arguing, fighting, and violence you often bring each other… it’s usually just you asking for help.

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Aaron Ramos

Virtual reality experience designer and fiction writer