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How To Give Criticism To Autistic People

I am a content creator. You're going to get feedback from people on how they feel you can do a certain thing better. I am tired of arguing. I am tired of taking their feedback the wrong and they think I can't take criticism. It's common for people on the autism spectrum do not handle certain types of criticism. It could be a low self-esteem thing as well. With us, we need a different approach to getting feedback. Another thing I have noticed is if I am not understanding what the person wants me to do because there are no visuals I can refer to, they will think I don't want their feedback if I try to explain why it will not work for me. This person told me they didn't like it when I read what the game is saying when I play games like Undertale, I will attach a link to one of my lets plays so you know what I am talking about. where you can make your own voice for the character. I explain I read what the screen is saying because if I don't, the viewers will get bored fast and leave the video. I even told the commenter that my audience retention was horrible when I didn't read the lines. One admin claimed I was 'getting offended' when I merely explained how this person's feedback will hurt my channel. If I was a no commentary channel then yeah I can understand their feedback. I decided to make this video on how I will be able to take your feedback.

I understand you may not be aware the person is autistic, you should act as though they are. Therefore if the person you're critiquing is actually autistic, they have a better understanding. You remember when your parents tell you it's not what you say but how you say it? I want you to apply that here. In a different context. Like one time, I had a channel trailer, I was going to make a new one. I had gotten a new phone with better audio and picture quality and wanted to make a trailer with my new equipment. I was thinking about how I wanna do it. Before I had a chance to reshoot my trailer, a viewer watched the old one. This guy said the start of the video wasn't engaging and he clicked away fast. He said I can't take criticism when what he said was not feedback in any form to me. 1. He didn't tell me what about the beginning wasn't engaging 2. He didn't tell me how I should open my trailers. 3. Didn't give me tips on how I can make the trailer engaging.

First, avoid coming off as harsh, the person may take it wrong if you use this approach.

The guy who was not pleased with my trailer should have instead given me tips on how I should open my trailer. I started it with 'hi, my name is Jazz and welcome to my channel.' I had no understanding of how that did not engage the commenter. Instead of saying you couldn't stay on the video for X amount of time, tell the person what to avoid and specify it. Say they did something that could put off a viewer. Say 'avoid X because it will bore the viewer like what you did at the so and so mark.' They can replay the video and see what you're saying. Tell them what they should do instead.  Make sure to get a better understanding of the editor they use for their videos to give the right feedback. Get a better understanding of their workflow. 

Avoid words that may come off as hurtful or mean.

This is also common with autistic people ( or even anyone). Like the word 'annoying' is my trigger word because kids at school always called me annoying/found my presence annoying when all I wanted to do was be their friend. I do reaction videos to game trailers. I see people getting denied from being in the YouTube Partner Program due to reused content. YouTube does not make it clear what was used. ( eg a song) I feel my reaction videos could be seen as reused to YouTube. I paused the video to add something original ( my commentary, criticism on the trailer.) A commenter was not so pleased with me doing this and complained in the comments that they found it annoying. Here is the video in question. Remember, annoying is my 'trigger word' because when I was in school, neurotypicals found the things I did annoying.
They saw it as feedback and I saw it as hurtful due to their use of the word 'annoying.' I would have taken it better if they first asked me why I paused the video and addressed my reasons for doing the video how I did it. First find out why they make the video, picture whatever the way they do it first. Then offer your feedback. For us, we pick methods that are easy for us to learn. Your suggestion could be too difficult for us to understand unless you provide a video.

Make sure you are direct in your feedback

As to leaving out details, this also doesn't help me. On my first or second reaction video. A YouTube EXPERT said the camera angle was 'dodgy.' I think this is a video where the guy commented. It's like hiring someone to build you a house but not leave the blueprints on what you want your house to look like. I had literally ZERO clues as what the guy was talking about. If he said the camera angle is dodgy and linked a video and said 'the so and so the mark is what I saw in your video and the X mark is what it needs to look like,' I would have understood. I am saying if there are no visual examples because I learn visually, I will not understand what you want me to do, fix etc. When in doubt, if I can't see it, I don't understand.
Another instance is I struggle to get engagement on my Facebook page. This person looked at my page and messaged me their 'feedback.' They told me my graphics did not tell them about my niche yet provided no examples like linking me someone else's page and something like ' I can tell this person is an influencer because their graphics have this that. Their bio says this, their posts say that etc.'
I would have understood if they had linked me someone else's page as a guild so I can fix mine.

Don't use one-liners with no context/visuals/guilds the person can refer to

I needed help keeping people engaged in my videos. One guy said 'add b-roll' and provided no context as to what that is and how to use it. If they said 'add b-roll, this is where you do XYZ' and they linked a video or blog to guild me, that would have been helpful because I was able to see it. Think of it when you watch the weather when the weatherman/women are explaining the weather conditions, there is a graphic behind them where you can see what they're predicting. Think of it like that when you give feedback to us. We have to be able to see it in order to understand.

Get a better understanding of their learning style. Accept their learning difference. If your method is too hard for them, accept that. 

Don't expect the person to implement your feedback right away

Depending on what you want the person to fix, don't expect them to immediately implement your feedback in the next video. It's going to take us time to understand and learn what you're suggesting. Make sure you keep your feedback within the way they know how to do X, just with a method that is easier. 

I feel this is an extremely important article not just for me but anyone on the autism spectrum. I can't speak for everyone though. 

We learn differently. We do things differently. Which is why it's important you understand that maybe the person does whatever a certain because that's the best/only way they can do it or because it's better for them. Respect our differences. 

To recap
  • Make sure you provide a visual for the person to refer to ( a video or a blog covering your feedback) 
  • Get a taste of their editing style
  • Make sure to keep your feedback within their skill level with a better way something can be done
  • Avoid coming off harsh, they may not understand why you're being harsh.
  • Don't use one-liners ( eg the picture is dark)
  • when in doubt, provide a solution to the problem
  • Give them time to use your feedback, don't expect them to have your feedback right away. 
  • Sometimes autistic people use their way because it's easier for them to learn.
  • Avoid words that they may see as hurtful or rude, like the word 'annoying.' 
  • If they have to get an understanding of what you want them to do, DO NOT assume they are being mean. They just need more details from you to better understand your feedback.
  • Keep your feedback helpful ( eg, may I suggest doing X it's the same as what you're doing but it will save you time) vs this video is boring, leaving. 


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