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11 hours ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

Just thought it would be worth saying that it is rather common for autistic children on the more severe end of the spectrum to elope, and that may very well be what some of the signs are referring to. 

That's the sort of useful information which these signs are failing to convey. Although if they're eloping then they aren't eloping well if they're staying in the same area with the sign posts. I hope I'm not sounding like a dick. Honestly do find these signs confusing. They don't put up signs for bipolar disorder. SLOW. FAST. SLOW. FAST.

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Eloping is eloping. For those kids it is far more dangerous, because no, they don't have the same social awareness as neurotypical children, and many also don't possess navigational strategy to actually watch where they are going and pay attention to their surroundings, because it is too much for them at a sensory processing level within their brain. Even as an autistic adult, that is one of my most prominent challenges whenever I go into the outside world. 

Additionally, whether on the severe or mild end of the spectrum, or somewhere in between, the vast majority of autistic children don't respond to being called or surrounding dangers. This means they are far more susceptible to severe and potentially fatal injury, or getting lost. As far as knowing the rules and code of the road, that is also highly unlikely.

For example, I did not learn how to cross the road safely until I was 15-16, and still struggle with it because of my lacking visual spatial reasoning, processing and awareness. I do not understand what the vast majority of pictures alone mean and it is very difficult for me to grasp what they mean, similar to pictures of facial expression. 

In their brain, they are just wandering around, and that is that. 

Also worth noting that there are far more non-verbal or speech delayed autistic children than there are verbal autistic children, and even verbal autistic children still have difficulties understanding aspects of communication if you do try to communicate the importance of personal safety to them. 

Personally, I have no issue understanding the value of such signs, but I am autistic myself, and I grew up around other autistic children who were often on the more severe end of the spectrum, so those types of things were just normal parts of life and common knowledge. 

 

Edited by Hopelessly Broken
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Thanks Hopelessly Broken, that's cleared a lot of things up. I would make an effort if I was driving to not endanger autistic children, it's just that putting up a sign explains nothing. I'm not totally ignorant about autism and have read about it, and I've met people here who I like who are autistic, but seeing that sign, I wouldn't really know what to do about it. And I've met people with autism and I'm studying psychology. I should know better than most people what it means. So if I'm ignorant then god knows what normal people make of it.

Edited by Fluent In Silence
Sounded like an arsehole.
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2 hours ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

For example, I did not learn how to cross the road safely until I was 15-16, and still struggle with it because of my lacking visual spatial reasoning, processing and awareness. I do not understand what the vast majority of pictures alone mean and it is very difficult for me to grasp what they mean, similar to pictures of facial expression. 

My best friend is in her 40s, served in the Army, has a Bachelor’s degree, and flatly refuses to cross the street anywhere except at the corner and with the light, because otherwise it’s spatially too much for her to process. 

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On 12/19/2020 at 2:02 PM, Hopelessly Broken said:

Eloping is eloping.

Not necessarily. In modern usage, most people understand elope exclusively in the sense of “to run away to get married”. The word’s origin is in the French aloper, “to escape, flee”, and so there is some current usage in that sense in institutional contexts like psychiatric wards, but for the average person on the street (at least here in America) your original comment informed us that autistic children have a tendency to run away to get married. Which made me scratch my head a little. I had to double-check the etymology to understand what you meant.

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On 12/7/2020 at 12:42 PM, Gearhead said:

I have a t-shirt that says “Vaccines Cause Adults,” which I wear with pride.

I just found this shirt on the interweb. Yayness.  Also, I bought the "The autism is strong with this one" shirt, and wore it yesterday to my GP appointment. My doc thought it was hilarious, as did the pharmacist. I also purchased one for my clone. I wore it with pride around the supermarket, along with my black baseball cap and aspie headphones.

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Interesting. I have never heard elope being used in that context. Then again, I have only been exposed to the word in the context of autistic children and some other disabilities. 

I have heard elope being used to mean "go off and have sex" though. Considering that would be massively inappropriate, and that it is irrelevant to the context I used it in, I figured people would know what I was referring to by elope. I realise now that I should have just said go off wandering unsupervised. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

Interesting. I have never heard elope being used in that context. Then again, I have only been exposed to the word in the context of autistic children and some other disabilities. 

I have heard elope being used to mean "go off and have sex" though. Considering that would be massively inappropriate, and that it is irrelevant to the context I used it in, I figured people would know what I was referring to by elope. I realise now that I should have just said go off wandering unsupervised. 

 

@Hopelessly Broken, different counties use different terms, and not even consistently. We have something here called a Silver Alert, which means that a senior citizen is lost. I’ve never heard that called “eloping,” even though it’s the exact same thing as when an autistic person wanders off: An old person has gotten out of a care facility or away from whomever is meant to helping them. 

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34 minutes ago, Gearhead said:

different counties use different terms, and not even consistently.

So here’s a question - given that the prefix ant- usually signifies the opposite or reverse of something, and given that a gazelle is an animal that survives largely by fleeing, why is it called an antelope?

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actually, that was/is funny; we laughed. 

don't look up the origin of the word antelope though and expect help: it's not helpful. ("mythical beast with serrated horns living on the banks of the Euphrates")

i believe eloping may also refer to some of the traveling that folks with dissociation do too. at least we've read papers and seen it used in that context.

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34 minutes ago, yarnandcats said:

actually, that was/is funny; we laughed. 

don't look up the origin of the word antelope though and expect help: it's not helpful. ("mythical beast with serrated horns living on the banks of the Euphrates")

i believe eloping may also refer to some of the traveling that folks with dissociation do too. at least we've read papers and seen it used in that context.

Yes, I have also heard/seen it used with disassociation... I think it was in my abnormal psych textbook 

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  • 3 months later...
On 12/19/2020 at 8:00 AM, Hopelessly Broken said:

Just thought it would be worth saying that it is rather common for autistic children on the more severe end of the spectrum to elope, and that may very well be what some of the signs are referring to. 

kids in general run off is the thing, that's why we have "caution children" as a sign everywhere, if there are kids in an area, or if it's a residential area, you always need to drive slowly and carefully is the thing. It's not like NT children never play in the road or can withstand the force of a speeding car

Like you are saying "they don't have teh same awareness as NT children" but at what age? the "caution children" sign means everything from 3 to 15, you take your eyes off a 3/4 year old NT child for 2 seconds and they are gone... so you need to drive extra carefully if the kids are older when they do that? I don't think so, where you have kids you always have the potential for someone to run out after a ball or just decide "I can go really fast down the street!" the fact that it is likely for a longer period of time for some kids than others doesn't mean drivers have something extra to do. If there potentially are any children then you drive slow

Or you should. I am in a residential area that cars use as a short cut, they race through it. There are always kids out playing on their bikes or running out after balls that is what kids do, it's only a matter of time before someone gets killed, it makes me so angry and I've said it to every politician I've met but it doesn't seem to be getting better. I saw lots of government vehicles doing it and wrote an angry letter (not saying times because i didn't want to get anyone fired) about that and since then all the government vehicles passing through go slowly so they must have got an earful

I think the thing with the sign is "what am I supposed to do with this extra piece of information" like "caution children" = drive slow and keep an eye out. "caution autistic children" = drive slowly and keep an eye out... what extra? Please don't honk your horn maybe? But that's not a thing in residential areas, there's more of a problem with house alarms and other alarms going off

I guess the sign is saying "we know you usually completely ignore these signs and drive fast and don't pay attention because you don't give a crap about kids or human life and you think you are special and can break rules but please actually follow this sign because this time it is even MORE likely that by driving fast through an area with lots of children that you will kill one, and we know that you usually consider it an acceptable risk but this time the risk is even higher!"

Edited by Antecedent
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When my mother was a little girl-this is a long time ago, folks-the signs didn’t say:

 

        CAUTION

CHILDREN PLAYING

 

where she lived. What they said was:

 

       CHILDREN

        YOU MAY

        KILL ONE


This caused spasms of grammar-based hilarity for her father every time they passed one. Even better than Burma Shave.

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  • 2 months later...

lol what on earth

that's incredible... they are trying to say "be careful because you might" right?

The shock of that might make it more effective, maybe that's the purpose of putting "autistic" on the signs, because, as I said, we know people usually ignore those signs so anything that makes it novel increases the chances that it will get listened to, even though what you are supposed to do (slow down, be careful) doesn't change. A silhouette of kids on stilts or pogosticks might be equally effective

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12 hours ago, Antecedent said:

that's incredible... they are trying to say "be careful because you might" right?

Yup, that was the intent. But sometimes punctuation can save lives. One colon and that sentence could go from macabre to merely awkward.

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