…instead of telling him to stop pretending and join us, we started pretending and joined him.
“Joining,” to use this author’s term, is what I have been advocating all along. Coming from being on the spectrum myself, I can say that it also works in the other direction — people on the autistic spectrum, within their ranges of abilities, can reach out to the rest of the world in the same way.
I do differ from the author in at least one important way. I take the view that “everyone is broken,” which is to say that we’re all in the same boat, we all have major issues, and rather than sit around pointing out and objecting to other people’s limitations we need to grab a bucket and start bailing.
Most people probably don’t think about it this way, but from the point of view of someone on the spectrum the surrounding world can come across as an incredibly broken mess. Being socially (and sometimes verbally) disconnected also means perceiving differently and being able to see things that others can’t seem to allow themselves to see. Watching this go on can be extremely frustrating.
So “joining” is a two-way process, and there is always much to learn from entering into another person’s world, related or not, autistic or not. This is a general principle and a choice we can make in ALL of our relationships.