Like many Autistic people, I learned to language via scripts. I also learned that you answer an adult’s questions, because the consequences for not doing so really very much suck.

There is no script for “that is none of your business; I cannot believe you are asking me this question. This is rude. What the hell is wrong with you??” apart from what I just said. That works on equal footing. Sometimes. Ish. Some of us were taught the “none of your business” script. Most of us have learned that it doesn’t work, because of the other thing we learned:

You answer an adult’s questions-no matter what. And we are not treated as adults. Autism is infantilized in society, and Autistics are treated as children. We are taught, over and over and over, that we are the child in the interaction, and the invasive questioner-that they can and will punish us, just as an adult punishes a child, if we do not answer their question-no matter how inappropriate.

We have not been given the tools to say ‘no’. We have been taught that our boundaries don’t matter.


— Neurodivergent K, Rude questions & power dynamics