concrete vs. abstract thinking

arithmetic vs. math

dyslexia vs. dyscalculia

details vs. big picture

to pay attention or not

messiness: sin or salvation?

eye contact and connection

social norms vs. people skills

left vs. right brain



Socially Appropriate Behavior
is Not the Same as People-Skills

When one’s brain works differently from that of most folks, the social norms that seem sensible and worthwhile to others, may seem not as sensible to you. For example, if you are highly sensitive and crave “real” emotion and cringe when people’s words don’t match their mood, the social niceties may be unsatisfying or painful.

For example, one may understand perfectly well the norm that one is expected to accept, “I’m fine,” as the answer to the question, “How are you,” no matter how obvious it is that the person speaking is in pain That person may decide to break the norm anyway. That is reaching out. That is making a connection. That is showing compassion or trying to. But it may also be socially “inappropriate” behavior. To ask a child with learning disabilities to understand how and when it is a good thing to break a norm that makes no sense to them and when it is more caring to leave the norm in place, is asking a lot indeed.

Are we teaching the most empathic and intuitive amongst us to ditch those talents in favor of “fitting in” and “making more friends” or “having more play dates?” It is, at least, a question worth asking.