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“Why are you so quiet?”

Posted by: alisrowe, November 12, 2016

How many of you have ever had the question asked, “Why are you so quiet?” or along those lines? My quietness was commented on throughout my entire childhood – by peers as well as teachers. Yet no one ever suspected I had ASD. People thought quietness was a negative character trait. This is really sad as it can actually be a wonderful, positive trait.

I always used to think what a strange thing it was for teachers to remark on, since as far as I was concerned, school was a place where students listened and teachers taught. I never used to say anything, I just used to get on with my work quietly. Why was there a problem? I was getting high marks and meeting deadlines. Even as an adult, the few times I’ve been in employment, I’ve had colleagues and employers tell me that I’m “quiet.” Well, yes I am quiet, why is it such a big deal to have a quiet personality?

“Why are you so quiet?” is such an odd question to ask. I would never dream of asking somebody that. It feels really judgmental. I wonder why people feel that this is an acceptable thing to say?

It just seems such a ridiculous thing to comment on.

In hindsight however, I understand why a teacher would comment on it. They think something is wrong and that the person’s confidence needs to be developed. But never did they suspect it was a characteristic of my ASD.

Being quiet can be a part of someone’s personality (like mine). There may also be more to it (as in my case, too). Here are some possible reasons why a person on the autistic spectrum might be quiet:

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