There may be times in the life of a person — whether the person has a diagnosis or not — that he or she will need help from others. For some, the need is greater than for others, such as if an autism spectrum disorders is in play. Because of the nature of autism, the help that is needed may be atypical of the types of help a non-autistic person might ask for. People on the spectrum may have processing differences and co-morbidities which prevent them from being able to do even simple tasks effectively.
When spectrum dwellers see other people go about their business so easily, and so competently, autistics may feel embarrassed, or ashamed, or even afraid to ask for assistance. Yet, it is important to realize that even the most successful people in the world needed help to get to their level of success. In fact, if someone made it from an infant to a child, someone helped them get to that point. A baby needs to be fed, cleaned, and cared for, don’t they? Viewed in that light, everyone on Earth started out equal even if people wind up finishing unequally.
And so, as people go throughout their lives, there will be times when help will be needed. How does one go about getting it? And how does one ask for it and receive it without imposing on others, or becoming a burden to others?
Asking for help is a tough one. Whereas asking for directions is generally benign, other types of asking for help, such as asking for money, could be seen negatively. What to ask and when to ask? What help is acceptable to ask for? These are questions to be considered when asking for help.
Here are a few things to consider:
- How well do you know the person?
- What sort of help are you asking for?
- Why do you want help?
- Can you do it yourself, but it would make it easier-or do you absolutely need help?
- Are you asking for a socially appropriate thing?
- If not, how can you phrase it to seem more “palatable?”
These are just some of the many, many things an autistic person needs to consider when asking for help!
One further thing to consider is that when people provide assistance, whether it be a in the form of doing a task, giving money, or giving advice, while people may do these things out of the goodness of their hearts, they will want to see that whatever effort or money or gift or advice they have given is received thankfully and put to good use.
It is important to be thankful for what one is given, even if it is less than what one has expected, and thanks should always be returned upon receipt of the assistance, and perhaps again sometimes thereafter, with some additional commentary on how the given service or item was put to use.
As much as someone who receives something may be embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid about asking for help, it is vital to remember that the person who is doing the asking IS indebted to the one who gives.
Although the tips in this article are written primarily to help those on the autism spectrum, many of the suggestions are helpful to anyone with or without a disability who is in need of assistance.
Article researched, compiled and written by MIC volunteers,Thomas D. Taylor and Greg Trutner.