Dyspraxia is a form of developmental coordination disorder which usually goes hand in hand with an autism diagnosis that affects someone's ability to perform movements in a smooth, coordinated manner. The condition exists in varying degrees and may impact speech, perception, and thinking patterns (piecing words and ideas together). This is what I believe prevented me from articulating properly as a child. My sentences used to be very cut-and-dried; I've come a long way since then. Now I'm an excellent public speaker and I can have spontaneous conversations with banter and all.
Communication is 90% nonverbal: tone of voice, body, language, and facial expressions. Matching facial expressions with emotions, displaying proper reactions to various situations, and maintaining a natural gait/ posture are all elements autistics struggle with. These are more reasons why autistics are often labeled as lacking empathy. I've smiled and even laughed after receiving bad news before. I think I do it out of anxiety and a part of me wants to cheer the other person up.
Friend: Why are you smiling? It's sad.
Me: I don't know. Why are you smiling?
Friend: Because you're smiling.
Responding "normally" to situations isn't something that comes naturally to those on the spectrum. This can give others the wrong impression which can go beyond social awkwardness and make us seem like insensitive sociopaths. As a kid, I used to spend hours upon hours in front of a mirror practicing different facial expressions and hand gestures. I became an expert in appearing neurotypical. Like most aspie females, I was hiding in plain sight. When a friend found out I was autistic he equated it to finding out I was a spy. A very blunt spy.
Him: I just thought you were a bada**.
Well, I'd still like to think of myself as a bada**, but not as bad. Autistic people can struggle to wear a natural smile that may come off as "creepy", odd, or even rude. I always opted for the soft smile as it was a safer bet than attempting a big teethe grin. Now I'm very comfortable expressing the entire spectrum of emotion: the good and bad ones.
I'm very familiar with angry emotions. >:|
Kiddinggg... I'm made entirely of rainbows and butterflies! :)
Dark butterflies. >:)
No wait, a social butterfly. :D
My social learning curve has had a butterfly effect on my interpersonal motivation and interactions. Mimicking other people's behaviour helped me wing it for most of my life. I'm happy I broke free from my insecure cucoon. Now that I've morphed into an expressive person, I'm hoping I can still maintain a poker face when I get butterflies in my stomach.
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."
- Muhammad Ali
I want to maintain a delicate exterior and a strong interior.