Autistic Survival Guide

"Theories should be as simple as possible, but no simpler" - Albert Einstein

Table of ContentsEdit

  1. Introduction
  2. Preamble
  3. A note to professionals
  4. Understanding social interaction
  5. Visualising social interaction
  6. Understanding non-autistic thought processes
  7. Developing Social Learning Skills
  8. Sexual and Romantic Relationships
  9. Schooling
  10. Choosing a profession
  11. Holding down a job
  12. Self Esteem
  13. Co-occurring Conditions
  14. Suggestions for Autistic Spectrum community building
  15. Survival Strategies
  16. Territorial theory
  17. Author Comments

More distortions of the truthEdit

This is an extension of the Distortions of the Truth section of Marc's book.

  • "Debate framing" is a particularly nasty form of manipulation described in a book called "Don't think of an Elephant". The idea is to change the context of a debate to put it in a light favourable to one side. Some examples of this are:
    • The premise, theme or synopsis of the book is that the attacks of 9/11 were promoted as an act of war by the Bush administration rather than a crime, and that in this context, justice, the rule of law and due process do not apply as they would if it were a crime, thereby giving the Bush administration an excuse to launch wars on those they wanted to.
    • Due to the architecture of western society, the measure of a person's worth is typically how well they obey orders in school and in the workplace, despite any other qualities they may have.
    • Some more really good examples can be found in the history of this document, where certain individuals keep rephrasing and distorting the first example given above.

A 'Persona' is Socially SavvyEdit

A persona is a social mask. You create it out of your strengths and wear it in public. When you 'get to know' a stranger, what you reveal sends a message. If you want to pursue a friendship, the conversation move toward what you have in common. If you dislike them you do not discuss commonalities with them. This allows two people to avoid humiliation from social rejection. there was no rejection. just a lack of common interests. Do not create a complex or fraudulent persona. You want to be consistent and comfortable in different situations. Your social mask will be awkward initially. Pay attention to the way people react to you. When you become familiar with your persona, you'll relax into the role. The top 'likeable' characteristics are cheer, calm, competence, cooperation and confidence. People do not want smart friends. They want kind and mellow friends.

Words are huge and concrete to me. Words are neither huge nor concrete in actuality. People use words as tools to accomplish a task. They tell outrageous stories for entertainment. The meaning is clear in the eyes of the speaker. The meaning cannot be found in the words. Most people do not think an untrue statement is a lie. They have a point. Fairy Tales are all lies in a story of profound truth. Society is a big picture. you lose friends by focusing on details. Make friends with an entire person. The good and the bad exist in everyone.

Small talk is unimportant. You need a response when someone asks you about yourself. Come up with a three sentence description that makes you sound superb. Be truthful and promote yourself shamelessly. Your interest is not acceptable to discuss in a social situation. Keep behind your persona around strangers. Talk about pastries and the weather while making eye contact. The eyes will let you know if someone can be trusted. Sometimes they are honest, but not often. This does not means they are bad or untrustworthy. They don't care about the words.

People are all different. People who like each other become more and more alike by spending time together. Don't rush or push people. We are very intense. This scares people. Be very gentle and calm and your focus will be welcome instead of intrusive. Good Luck. Practice, practice, practice.

Understanding the Western WorldEdit

NOTE: This section is based on the works of w:John_Taylor_Gatto, which in turn are based on documented history. He writes very well on this subject and is well worth reading. In particular I recommend visiting his website, and googling for transcripts of the following of his speeches since they are not on that site.

John Taylor Gatto google queriesEdit

Random NotesEdit

  • This section is where I often dump thoughts I believe could aid in the development of this guide. They are not well thought out.

Cracking the social skills and connection problemsEdit

  • This problem is much, much deeper than it at first looks.
  • You will not get a substantial break from people by explaining the problem.
  • You will not get substantial information from people unless you get truthful answers from well thought out questions.
  • With the rise of the internet and technology, aspie traits are proving useful to people and because of that, accommodations are often made for odd behaviour which may lead many autistic spectrum people to believe that things are getting better, which they are not, or that they don't have a social skills problem at all.
  • The creative nature of autism does not actually improve peoples lives in the way that some autistic spectrum people believe. People still have to work the same amount of time as they did hundreds of years ago in circumstances that are just as stressful and demeaning, whether it's doing a job manually or with machines that multiply productivity and people usually still have to pay to receive most of the things that autistic people contribute to society.
  • The impression people seem to have of autistic people in successful careers is one of wealth and success who are just as much players in the pecking order as anybody else.
  • The impression people seem to have of autistic people who aren't, is that of someone who is mentally ill and that of being a dead weight to society.

Autists vs non-autistsEdit

  • Autistic people can "connect" if they have common interests. Outside of that, the communication problems can be just as difficult as between autists and non-autists.
  • It is possible for autists and non-autists to "connect" as long as both parties can compensate for each others communication weaknesses.
  • The work required by both parties to get to this point can be enough of a mind bender to make it difficult for a person to be able to communicate with their own kind if they make habits of the communication techniques that make this possible.
  • Non-autistic people tend to learn by example and memorise by rote repetition.
  • Autistic people learn by being able to find accurate visualised representations of the lesson, and gain faith in those visualisations by seeing them work in action.
  • Non-autistic people tend to get all aspects of social interaction 50-99% right all the time.
  • Autistic people can get aspects 100% right or 200% wrong, yet rarely, if ever will an autistic person be able to achieve 50% of all of them.
  • Non-autistic people seem to make a game of judging each other by how close they get to 100% (see section on confidence). This may be at least part of the reason that it is difficult to get explanations out of non-autistic people. It can be seen as an attempt to cheat the game.

Random, as yet unstructured thoughtsEdit

  • It is necessary to let some negative emotions "radiate". If you don't permit yourself to do this sometimes, things can reach a boiling point and explode inappropriately.
  • Nice Guy Syndrome: XXX
  • Although autistic people seem to be incapable of reading the emotions of others, the emotions they express are VERY readable by others. The confusion others have in reading those emotions are in the fact that the emotions often don't make sense. This is true in reverse too.
  • Fear and aggression are emotions that are communicated across species, and between autistic and non autistic people. They are "reliable emotions".
  • The relationships between sociopaths and autists, and sociopaths and non-autistics are likely to be worth exploring.


  • Suicide was once a crime in many parts of the world.
  • Assisting suicide is still a crime in many parts of the world.
  • Driving a person to suicide has never been a crime legally in some countries.
  • Why do people respect peoples graves more than their lives?
  • Why do scientists ask "are we alone" when human communication has such barriers?
  • In science fiction stories, why does it virtually always become very clear very quickly whether the aliens are friendly or not?


  1. Marc Segar: A survival guide for people with Asperger's Syndrome
  2. Chinese medicine - how it works
  3. ESR's sex tips for geeks
  4. OKCupid - socially explicit and geek-friendly dating website (it's free, be careful of literal interpretation though), encourages written communication

See AlsoEdit

Other survival guidesEdit