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Autism and humor

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When Henny Youngman first uttered the immortal one-liner, “Take my wife, please,” thousands of neurotypical people all over the world laughed.

Meanwhile, autistic people everywhere sat waiting to see where she would be taken.

One of the myths surrounding autism is that autistic people have no sense of humor.

It is because most jokes, like the one above, use a literal definition, to create something funny.

As the autistic brain is already in literal mode, most of these jokes go unappreciated.

That doesn’t mean that the humor isn’t there. In fact, once an autistic person gets a general grasp on humor, they are often the ones to come up with the best jokes.

How is this possible? Once the humor/joke pattern is established, they can find the details, puns, visual jokes in everyday situations.

Some of them may be a bit subtle and possibly even go over the neurotypical person’s head, but the jokes are there.

Puns and visual humor are very popular within the autistic community, and science and technology jokes are a hit as well, but each individual has their own take on humor. When you’ve joked with one autistic person, you’ve joked with one autistic person.

So have patience if you need to explain your jokes, or wait an hour to finally “get” one of theirs.

As the autistic world is often filled with stress, a bit of humor, is often just the antidote.

There is no need to turn a funny moment into frustration.

As the bartender said to the horse, “Why the long face?”



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