A friend of mine reminded me the other day of the animated film, “Home” and the great phrase it had, that sometimes people are “Mad Sad.” In other words, they act mad, because they are really sad about something else. While that is true for “normal” people, unfortunately, people with autism often “overreact” to situations for no other reason than that their body chemistry is different.
So friends, family and counselors, don’t put all your effort into trying to discover the deep, dark hurt that is “coming out sideways,” in your person with autism. Generally there isn’t one. Our body chemistry is simply a little too tightly wound, so every little discomfort, be it physical or psychological, is felt a bit too keenly.
Help people with autism come to terms with the fact that their reactions are part of their chemical makeup but that their reactions are perceived as overreactions by others, which hurts others. Help people with autism learn how to manage their reactions by mindfulness – what Christians would call prayer and meditation on God and his teachings.
Yes, sometimes people with autism are mad sad, but usually, they really are just mad.