Is this normal for someone with autism?

My friend with high functioning autism always wears a thick towel-like white workout headband on his head. Always. In meetings, at weddings, out in town, everywhere he goes.

When he was hanging with us at the mall me and my friend FINALLY told him very casually he'd look better without it and his response was that we were being weird and then he legitimately walked out the door of the mall and drove away in his car.

Is this normal for autism? We were shocked.

Is It Normal?
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Comments ( 17 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • Does not sound particularly high functioning.

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    • He was diagnosed with atypical autism which used to be called high functioning so I don't know. It was really weird he's still not talking to me or my friend we're so confused and hurt

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      • Your friend made an offhand remark, and he’s overreacting to it. Just do nothing, sometimes people are over sensitive dicks, with or without the autism.

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  • I dont know anyone with autism who does anything like that but that said it's common with autism to have comfort objects. Maybe the only way he feels 'safe' out in public is by wearing that headband. Maybe to him the headband is part of whom he is. Maybe the sensation of the headband around his head is comforting and reduces the risk of him getting overwhelmed by surronding sensory input.
    People saying he doesn't sound high functioning couldn't be less wrong. Functioning labels are harmful and not very accurate and they are only based on how well one is able to blend in and not display their autistic traits publically. A high functioning individual may be like any neurotypical publically but all of a sudden their autism peaks out in forms of a comfort object or a big reaction to something that most people wouldn't be bothered by.
    If it's a problem for you that your friend wears a headband then maybe it's best you stop hanging out with him and let him find less shallow friends. Clearly it's not a problem to him if the headband looks silly.
    It's always funny to me when neurotypicals are suddenly shocked because a disabled persons disability showed.

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    • We're not shallow. It's just a single comment anyone would casually say hey what's with the headband... It's common sense no one usually sports a workout headband every single day. Incredibly rude to call us shallow when we're anything but.

      You find it funny our friend drove away suddenly and isn't replying to our calls because we casually mentioned the headband in a nice way? You must have autism as well if you find humor in this situation.

      Blocking you now for being so hateful.

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      • A bit too defensive.

        I think you posted this expecting everyone to be on your side. "Hateful"? How hypocritical of you to call someone else hateful after you decided to use autism as an insult. "You must be autistic too". Clearly you never had any respect for your friend in the first place, if you think being autistic is such a bad thing.

        It's not bad for autistic people to feel more comfortable wearing certain things. He is not justified in his response, and you were not being rude in the first place, but your reaction to this situation speaks numbers about who you are as a person. And I know you'll read this with a closed mind, and think to yourself "this person knows nothing about me, they're wrong and that's final", because that's just what people do when they're too stubborn to admit their flaws.

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  • I agree the headband could be a comfort thing and I think it’s best if you leave it alone. If you think his handband would cause issues at some events it’s fair not to invite him.

    That being said I’d take the handband over my autistic friend who doesn’t bathe.

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    • not wanting to bathe is actually a pretty common thing with autistic people - it’s just that most of us grow out of it when we hit our mid teens. not washing as an adult is definitely not normal. hopefully your friend can develop some better hygiene habits soon, both for their sake and the sake of people around them.

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  • It's probs to do with his autism. Maybe it's maybe a comfort thing. Just don't mention it again; some things, even if they are completely rational, are just things other people don't want to hear.

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  • Sounds like it might be a comfort object to him. It was definitely rude of him to drive off without saying anything, even with his autism, but that headband might have a deep emotional importance to him.

    How old is he? Speaking as an autistic person myself if he’s over the age of 24 I’d say him still leaving uncomfortable situations without even attempting a dialogue is pretty childish and something I’d understand you being annoyed at.

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    • He's 25

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      • Yeah, then he was definitely out of line. He could of at least tried explaining to you why he was upset before storming off. If you were actively making fun of him that would be one thing but it seems like you’re mainly just confused.

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        • He won't respond to calls either. The only text I got was "I'm never talking to you again. It's my headband and I will wear it"

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          • That’s not even an autism thing anymore tbh, it’s just him being annoying. I wouldn’t try and reach out to him again, wait for him to reach out to you and see if you can get an explanation/apology.

            Autism can make life difficult at times but it doesn’t make you act like a child. And that’s definitely what your friend is doing right now.

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            • Thanks I hope he comes to his senses because this is too much it was shocking

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  • It's absolutely normal for autism, autistics can behave like everybody else.

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