Time perception or lack thereof!

I’m currently sat reflecting on my autism and how it all looks different now that I accept it. All the things I used to hate and fight against, I now love and embrace and I can see the benefits of them. 

I was thinking of time perception and my lack of it and how it’s truly a gift and how I once thought it a curse. I decided to look it up, read some information about it as I’ve never read anything about it before. 

I googled it and this article came up. It was written (I think) in 2014, (https://autism.lovetoknow.com/Time_Perception_in_Autism_Spectrum_Disorder) so hopefully things have improved since then but I was horrified to read what I read. 

The article starts off well (in my opinion of course) but goes on to make some huge underlying assumptions, in my humble opinion.

It says, many people with autism experience fragmented or delayed time perception which can present challenges to social interaction and learning. 

Apart from others, this assumes that their perception of time is the correct one and the only one and that autistic people must therefore be compared against them because they are the epitome of the perfect human being. And when they compare autistic people to them, because we don’t share the same perception of time, they are assuming that we are somehow defective and that we cause problems. What they really mean is that we cause ‘them’ problems. We don’t fit with their way of teaching and communicating so they must find ways to make us communicate like them and learn like them and that’s a bit of a problem to them, they would rather we were like everybody else and behaved and learned like everybody else. In their pursuit to ‘help’ us, they are also assuming that we want the same things as them. That what makes them happy will make us happy. Even though they clearly admit that we’re different, they still assume that we want the same kind of life that they have. Tied, like a ball and change, to their beloved perception of time, how to communicate and how to learn. 

It goes on to explain what time perception is. It says ~ ‘Time perception is an essential part of the way people make sense of the world around them’ ~ this is simply not true. It is not an essential part of the way that ‘I’ make sense of the world around me and I’m a person, so why am I not included in this statement? Even if it were to say, this is true for ‘some’ people .....

It goes immediately on to say, ‘in autism, effected people have trouble processing the passage of time and may experience a delayed reaction to certain stimuli’. They are clearly assuming here that their perception of time, is the ‘correct’ and only valid perception and they are assuming that they are the ‘correct’ people, and furthermore, they’re comparing autistic people to non autistic people for the purpose of trying to make us like them or at least find ways to be able to communicate with us, based on ‘their’ version of what is correct. They’re assuming there’s a fixed and correct passage of time that one should stick to when responding to certain stimuli. I could write a similar article stating that nt’s are defective, that they have difficulty understanding the concept of now. That they’re so tied in with the idea of time that they live their lives according to the time on a clock. I could say their perception is faulty. But how would I know. I’m not an nt. 

They go on to say that time perception is the way the human brain interprets the passage of time and that a ‘healthy’ brain can check incoming information and measure the passage of time. In autism, however, they say the concept of time is somehow ‘distorted’, although they say they don’t know why this is. But clearly they’re certain that our way of thinking is distorted and not healthy and that their way is the right way. 

It goes on to give ‘four’ ways in which teachers and parents can ‘deal with’ autism time perception. Not one of the four ways mentions anything about the child other than to give it clear, short and concise instructions so they can follow along with everybody else. 

What baffles me about this, is the assumptions that it makes. That autistic people are somehow defective and they’re (nt’s) are the perfect model of a human being. Their lives are ruled by time. Time is a constant threat to me but I don’t see it (my perception of it) as a ‘problem’ but rather a gift. They assume that it’s a problem. It’s only a problem when I try to fit into their world. But I no longer do that. I’m creating my own world, in my own ‘time’ and in my own way. So it’s not a problem. 

I don’t have any answers. I’m not judging the advice given in this article, just the assumptions it makes. Is a lot of the information out there written from the assumption that autistic people are defective and that we don’t have a healthy brain?