Being A Content Creator Blog Uncategorized

How To Give Criticism To Autistic People (Or At Least Me)

March 17, 2020

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Whether you like it or not, folks with autism or ADHD are sensitive to feedback. We can’t help it. Outsiders do not understand this. Your momma always told you it’s not what you say but how you say it. My theory about the feedback could apply here (somewhat). This comes from a content creator standpoint since most of us create content of some sort.

I think it comes from rejection sensitivity. Growing up being bullied and mentally and emotionally abused.

I also make a video regarding this topic. 

I like having video versions and blog versions in case I forget some key info. It can help. That is if the person actually reads/watches instead of questioning me based on the people they know.

I like having a video and written version so if I left out some information you have another source to refer to.

Our brains are different from other people. Plain and simple. It does make me angry when people don’t want to see your end of the stick. People make note of my sensitivity to feedback and think it’s easy for us to simply ‘get a thick skin.’

I am revising this a bit. Like I said I think it stems from rejection sensitivity so feedback can seem like an attack. However, I feel if you know how to work it, the person will most likely not take it as an attack. Every situation is different 

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 wrong and they think I can’t take criticism. In some cases, I merely misread whatever they’re saying. 

For example, I got a comment on a vlog I did when I first started my Aaliyah Holt Channel on YouTube. I took it as hate and posted it in a group. I took it as people defending the commenter. He said he had to skip the video where I showed my face. I’ve been called ugly my entire time in school so you see how I took it as bullying. I easily took it as I am ugly and he couldn’t bear to look at my face. If he said something like ‘I got bored only seeing your face. In future videos can you please show something else. Do a speed lapse, show your surroundings, show your activities. If you saw a movie and only saw people talking and no action would you get bored?’

I would have seen it as ‘he’s right I need to show more than just my face. I got bored editing the video.’

Look at my examples vs ‘I had to skip your face scene, oh yeah, your face!’

Sometimes my anxiety puts me on the radar that people are against me. When you grow up where a lot of people hate you for being different, it does that to you.

It’s common for people on the autism spectrum who do not handle certain types of criticism. Just because YOU may have no issues doesn’t mean you can speak for everyone.

I should have added this in a blog entitled ‘Ways you are misunderstanding the autistic in your life’  Since there can be a disconnect with criticism just as much as anything else.

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. In other words, depending on how you said it, I will think you’re against me rather than helping me. Autistic folks are sensitive.  Stop guilting us because of it. This brings me to that article I told you about.

He could have just told me what I did wrong since he claimed to be giving ‘feedback.’ 

The autistic  brain is different from the NT brain. That is how it is.

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. Hence why I took it as hate. 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. So if I sounded bored he should have said ‘you sounded like you had no interest in this video. Which is what put me off. Pretend you’re excited about a movie coming out and channel that energy into your trailer.’ Or something alike.

This is why I prefer non-face videos because it seems like acting enthusiastic on camera is a challenge for me

If you think their editing needs work first to an idea regarding what editor they use.

Not all editors have the same features. What your editor may have mine may not have.

Trigger Words

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.)

Also because the viewer can’t hear me and the video talking.

A commenter was not so pleased with me doing this and complained in the comments that they found it annoying. 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. Case and point, because I’ve been called annoying by NTs all because I wanted to be their friend, that caused me to see their feedback as an attack.

 For us or at least me, 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. If they had asked me I would have told them because when I have something to say the viewer can’t hear me and the 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.’ 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 to 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. I had no money for a tripod at the time and had to use a Pringle’s can. Maybe that’s why he got this impression. 

I tend to look up other YouTuber’s videos for a guild so I can learn how to fix the problem. If  I cannot understand. I cannot search for a fix. And your feedback won’t get implemented.

Another instance is I struggle to get engagement on my Facebook page. This person looked at my page and messaged me with 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 to someone else’s page as a guild so I can fix mine.

I am not trying to fully blame others. I am saying if they provided more information for me to understand I could have easily added their feedback. Like the one who told me my Facebook page doesn’t tell them I am a gamer. Then what should I add to tell you I am a gamer? I made my YouTube Facebook page neutral since I did gaming, tutorials, speed art at the time.

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.  It’s like trying on shoes. It doesn’t make sense to buy a shoe you can’t wear.

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 and/or a method that would increase their quality.

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

We learn differently. We do things differently. This 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. That is all we ask. We don’t need you getting us for having a different brain. Or in some cases, you don’t have money for good equipment to make your videos better.

autism graphic

Remember this lovely graphic. Replace it with ‘get a tougher skin’ or whatever remark.

I can’t make out the watermark so please comment whatever the creator’s name.

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.

This was from a content creator side but it can work for other instances. If it’s a painting apply the same principals. If it’s music same idea. Show them what will make X better.

Folks on the spectrum make content which is why I made this blog.


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1 Comment

  • Reply I rebranded My Blog, And Why You Should, Too - Gaming With Jazz March 19, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    […] question my side of the stick. I made a blog post about autism and criticism and this guy questions me because autistics he knows handle criticism well. Me being different than […]

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