I'm autistic and tend to sub-consensually stim a lot. Today, while in health class, we did a meditation practice thing. We had the choice to lay or sit down on the blue mats we were given, and just sit still and listen to the audio. Our health teacher turned up the volume on the computer, so it was loud. There is also this really loud fan in the room, which is also relevant to this story. [Side note: at school, I make sure to carry headphones in case I need them for my Chromebook or if I get overstimulated.] It felt like both the fan and audio were fighting for my brain's equal attention, so I put my headphones on. I also started stimming to calm myself down.
Then, on the second audio, the health teacher came up to me as he saw me stimming soundlessly to myself and proceeded to say, "Do you know the whole point of this lesson?"
I nodded my head. "The whole point of this is to listen and sit still. Take off those headphones, and just sit still." He said this in a very harsh tone. Later in class, he said some people need to learn not to fidget. Now, something you need to know is I experience RSD [Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria] which makes me extremely sensitive to criticism. So, I took off my headphones, faced the cabinets, and silently cried to myself for the rest of the class. This teacher also causes me so much anxiety during class, it's not even funny.
Now, I do not completely blame this teacher because he isn't aware that I'm autistic. But just assuming a student is "fidgeting" because of stress when it could be a bunch of other factors is just not okay [in my opinion]. Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I appreciate it!