Swearing and Neurodivergence: Fuck Yeah!

This is my mantra

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you’ve probably noticed that my language can be a little, well, let’s call it “salty”. Hell, even if you’re not, you’ve still probably noticed it. I mean, the queen mother of all dirty words is right there in the title of this post. And, if you know me IRL, you know that my vocabulary leans heavily to the piquant side. Part of that is due to my background. I grew up working class (son/grandson of postal workers, truckers, and lintheads–aka textile mill workers) and spent most of my adult working life as a firefighter. I also served in the military (U.S. Air Force). So, “colorful” language has been present throughout my life. But, I’m coming to realize that swearing is actually part of my neurodivergence. And, I am fucking A-okay with that shit.

Do NDs Curse More Than NTs?

I’m not sure about the answer to that question since I’m having trouble finding sources on it. That said, it certainly feels that way to me. Most of the neurodivergent people I know tend to pepper their speech with words that polite society (those fuckers) has deemed “rude” or “offensive”. But, there is a good bit of material out there about whether NDs in general cuss a lot. And, the answer seems to be “yes”. Google “Do autistics curse more?” and you’ll get multiple hits. Same for a similar search about ADHD. The results are heavily weighted toward how to get kids to stop cursing. But that’s the case with almost every-fucking-thing out there on neurodivergence. Don’t get me started on that shit, though. This is about swearing, goddamn it.

There’s a Connection Between Swearing and Neurodivergence?

There are a lot of reasons why NDs curse so much. Here are a few. There are sources couple of them. Others, however, are from my own or others’ personal experiences. So, here we go:

  • Impulsivity _ NDs’ lack of impulse control is part of why we swear so goddamn much. It’s not something I’m not thrilled about but it’s true. And, there are studies (like this one) that back that up. And, issues with impulse control seem to crop up across all forms of neurodivergence. Basically, cussing is fucking hardwired into us.
  • Issues with emotional regulation _ If you know anything about autism and ADHD, you know our struggles with emotional regulation. The visible form of this is the meltdown. My meltdowns are wildly angry outbursts filled with, wait for it, a shit ton of goddamn curse words. And, I’m not the only ND who does this.
  • We put up with a fuck ton of bullshit every goddamn day _ As evidence for this claim, I point to every post on this goddamn blog. Even in the ones that are more light-hearted and funny, you’ll catch a glimpse of what I deal with as a neurodivergent person navigating this dystopian hellscape neurotypicals call “the world”. Given all that bullshit, stress is an integral part of my life. And, guess what is an excellent stress reliever?
  • A good, hard f-bomb is a very satisfying stress reliever _ If you said “cussing”, you are correct. And it’s scientific, too because, as this article from the Association of Psychological Science points out, swearing can be cathartic. I mean, think about it: is there anything as satisfying as a good hearty “Fuck” when you’re stressed? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
  • It sends a clear, unequivocal message _ This is important for people who sometimes have problems finding the right words. You’ve got to admit that nothing conveys your displeasure with someone’s behavior quite as well as calling them a “fucking shitweasel”.

Get a Fucking Grip, Y’all

There are, of course, people who take offense at my language, even when those words aren’t directed at anyone in particular and are just thrown out in general frustration. I don’t know if you read my essay on meltdowns, but getting angry and screaming cuss words is my love language. And, by “love language” I mean, “how I keep from pulling a William Foster“. So much of the stuff I found about dealing with neurodivergent kids and their fucking little potty mouths was all about stopping the little shits from cussing. I guess that’s fine. I mean, you’re turning your kid into a pressure cooker of rage that will eventually snap and set your ass on fire, but you do you.

The Language Police

I want to dig into this thing about parents wanting to stop their kids from dropping f-bombs all over the fucking place. Look, I get that kids need to learn what language is appropriate where. But most of these parents came off as uptight, controlling doucheknuckles who were more interested in taking a long wet shart on their kid’s personality than teaching them anything. Basically, they seemed like the kind of cockwaffle who solemnly proclaims that cursing is a sign of low intelligence. Which, as science tells us, is wrong. So, instead of being fucking elitist control freaks, maybe they should embrace they could embrace their kids’ cussing as a good thing. You know, like their kids are fucking smart.

So, Swearing and Neurodivergence. What’s Up With That?

What’s the big takeaway here? NDs curse. A lot. It’s pretty much hardwired into us. In my case, I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. Of course, I do when I’m around people I care about and know it makes them uncomfortable. If I don’t like you, though, all bets are off. Honestly, I’ll probably cuss even more. In the end, though, what fucking difference does it make? Seriously, if I drop a few f-bombs now and then, how does that hurt anyone? It doesn’t. And, you damn well know that. So, what should you do if you hear an ND swearing like a drunken goddamn sailor? Well, you could try not being a fucktrumpet and avoid policing other folks’ goddamn language. Hey, it’s just a thought. I mean, it’s not like there aren’t actual problems you could put some of that fucking energy towards.

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