The problem is ‘how’, not ‘what’

Posted by: alisrowe, May 1, 2021

One of the greatest challenges that affects me on a day to day basis, and has done throughout my whole life, is not knowing ‘how’ to do something. Not knowing how to do something is a problem that many autistic people have and that many neurotypical people overlook or do not understand.

For instance, when I have a problem, the (very simplified) process is as follows:

I have a problem >> I tell someone that I have a problem (or they find out that I have a problem) >> they give me a solution.

After this conversation, the other person believes they have solved my problem and that all is now fine!

What they don’t realise however, is that there is now actually another problem…

The other problem is that, although I’m grateful for their solution, I don’t know how to implement it.

This is the essence of autism – the ‘how’ is often the main problem. In fact, an autistic person might be quite knowledgeable about what they should do, they just get stuck on the how part…

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