The idea that Aspies can’t be sociable is a dated one. Fair enough, at time, social skills may seem like a whole other language, with its own dialect and almost secretive structure. It’s an incredibly important aspect of human existence, and if you’re on the Autism spectrum, it can be a difficult subject to broach. Like another language, however, social skills, and even the body language that comes accompanying, can be learned.
‘Emulating sociality’ is a concept familiar to a lot of people on the Autism Spectrum, though the name varies from person to person. Within my family, we call it ‘running an emulator’, but I’ve heard it called anything from ‘pretending to be normal’ to ‘playing NT’ (neurologically typical – not a term I’m fond of, as nobody is typical, on or off the spectrum). It’s the process by which a person on the Autism Spectrum can emulate normal social skills, at least for a while. The problem lies in the fact that it creates a strain on the person on the person. When you’re recalling a language you don’t use all the time, your mind is constantly straining to bring up the rules and ethos, both in real time and in the right order. It takes a strain, and it can be exhausting.
Often the most rewarding things are tiring though, and the same applies in this situation. Social situations are tough, and it can be completely shattering some days, but everyone has their own story and personally I’m still driven to keep ‘pretending to be normal’ the more people I meet. It’s tough, but when it comes to whether or not Aspies and people on the Autism Spectrum can be sociable, it’s a clear yes.