With an autistic daughter, I spend a bit of time each month, checking out autism blogs, resource sites, and the like, always curious what the most recent lines of thought are.
I’ve noticed something.
There’s not a lot out there about humour by autistic people. Possibly, it’s because the people who might write about how to be humorous when you’re autistic are not themselves autistic.
I came across an article at the Autism Support Network that advised people with ASD on how to be funny.
It was, indeed, ironic:
An autistic person’s sense of humour is often about things which suggest silliness, ridiculousness or which appear slightly insane.
This was the very first recommendation. I’m not sure if the author is advising autistic people to limit their comments to things that are slightly insane, or if the author is is giving a backfill analysis to help an autistic person understand why they are laughing in the first place.
It may be necessary to keep your laughter to yourself when there is something which is funny to you but not as funny to other people. Laughter is one of the best feelings in the world and to have to hold it back is a nuisance but, none the less, to laugh at the wrong times may annoy other people.
So the first bit of advice on how to be humorous is: don’t.
A non-autistic person’s sense of humour is often to do with finding clever ways of pointing out faults in other people and causing them embarrassment. … Everyone is a victim of someone else’s humour at some time or another but some people are made to suffer more than others. … Sometimes, non-autistic people can get quite ruthless with their humour. … This is especially true amongst teenagers and younger adults who are perhaps less likely to care than older people.
Good grief, this is not the Hunger Games. This humour thing sounds an awful lot like the opposite of humour.
In the eyes of many zoologists, humour is a human replacement for the violence which animals use on each other to establish an order of dominance (the pecking order).
So now we’re quoting zoologists?
No-one talks about the pecking order of which they are a part.
The first rule of Pecking Club is “don’t talk about Pecking Club.”
Many gangs or groups of people are not particularly welcoming to outsiders but some are more welcoming than others.
Gangs? We’re talking about making a pun, not getting a prison tattoo!
Often, the reason two or more people gang up on one person is because it gives them a feeling of being united together. For reasons such as this, it is often easier to talk seriously to people if you can find them on their own.
That’s just creepy. In essence, we’re advising readers to stalk someone until they are alone, then confront them. That sounds hilarious.
If you say or do something which can be misinterpreted into a sexual context then it probably will be as a joke, often at your expense.
That’s what she said.
Try not to aim your humour at people wittier or funnier than yourself because they might retaliate and will probably do better than you, causing you to lose face. It is the verbal equivalent of picking a fight with someone bigger than you.
Correct: only make fun of stupid people, because they won’t have good comebacks.
Don’t make jokes about peoples mums or dads unless everyone else is. To make jokes like these at the wrong time can make people violent towards you.
Correct again: if you crack a joke that makes someone want to hit you, only do it when everyone else is doing it, because they’ll likely be too intimidated to do anything about it.
Try to avoid laughing at your own humour.
Nobody likes that. People would rather be confused about whether or not you were serious.
Comedy is not just about playful confrontation, it is also a very clever way in which people can accept the tragedies of life without getting depressed. “If we didn’t laugh then we’d cry”.
Holy crap, this author has a way with words. In less the 500 words, I now hate – and fear – humour.