Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships 11

In The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron, Jennifer McIlwee Myers says the following about her school days, on page 138:

"One set of hidden rules that makes me nuts was the rules for gym clothes. Each year we got a handout that said all female students had to wear a solid colored t-shirt with no writing or logos and shirts with an elastic waist with no pockets, snaps, buttons, or zippers. Each year almost all of the other girls wore logoed shirts, shorts with pockets, etc. The real rule was: you can wear any t-shirt and shorts in gym as long as they provide modest coverage and don't interfere with physical activities."

I have to admit that I share the view that Jennifer had when autism had more of an influence on her reactions: that this is ridiculous! I mean, why list rules if they are not even real rules? Why tell students that they cannot wear shirts with logos and shorts with pockets, when they actually can? It makes no sense to me. If the rules are archaic and you are using a handout from 20 years ago that does not entirely apply anymore, say so, teacher! Say what is applicable, and what is not! Brother. Are there also neuro-typical people who feel that instructions should be explicit and that supervisors or teachers should say what they mean?

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