So I recently stumbled across this article that really resonated with me - https://aeon.co/essays/the-autistic-view-of-the-world-is-not-the-neurotypical-cliche
It describes to negative connotations and stereotypes associated with autism and covers controversial areas, such as how autistic people lack empathy, are unable to love etc.
The scope of the article highlights how autistic people are observed and judged by neurotypicals and explains how their perceptions and prejudices are based on their own perspectives and experiences.
This may sound harsh and divisive at first, but there is a valid point throughout that due to our minority status, we rarely have a voice to explains ourselves and although I confess I could never fully understand something from a neurotypical perspective, at the same time I wouldn't expect a neurotypical to fully understand something from a neurodiverse perspective either.
What is depressing for me, is that despite that insight into each other worlds, so to speak, clearly lacking on some parts, it is the autistic person who us at fault and not a problem shared by both parties.
I shared this article with my partner and his response was, when are you going to accept life is unfair and you just have to get on with it. Of course he wants to crack on with things because it doesn't affect him! I gave the example of how it would appear should you swap the autistic person with someone who is homosexual or black - he didn't think the same thing applied and so this is why this article is so relevant for out times.
I don't want a NT and ND division, so how do we come to understand each other better?
Yes, this is a very interesting article, and thankyou for bringing it to our attention. I too was first introduced to the idea of Asperger's autism through reading 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' and although I thought I recognised things in Christopher's behaviour, I still didn't make the connection until much later. Actually, it was when I first took the AQ test and scored 43 that I decided to follow things up. You are right that it is usually the autistic person who is at fault by virtue of minority status. Yet other minorities aren't told they are at fault, unless by bigots. Gay people and people who follow certain minority belief systems seem to get generally respected for their differences in diverse society. I have been told many times, though, the usual things like 'we all have problems'. On another thread, someone else has said about how they are being discriminated against at work and told that all the other staff have their own issues, too. Your partner, if I may say, sounds quite typically dismissive. The example you gave him is completely relevant. The question you pose is difficult to answer, and is the nub of the whole issue. Perhaps we need some kind of 'virtual experience' software for people to use to help them to understand the experience, like wearing a blindfold for a day to understand what it's like to be blind, or being restrained in a wheelchair to understand what it's like not to have the use of legs. Society creates these problems for us because society is designed for the majority of people who can walk and see. In the same way, though, society can still respond with remedial or corrective measures. You could say that lip service is being paid to conditions like ours by things like autism-friendly times in shops or 'not all disabilities are visible' signs, though it all helps. I for one make a huge effort to understand NT life. I always have done really, but more so since diagnosis. Before I was diagnosed, as far as I was concerned I was NT anyway, except with added on personal issues that I couldn't understand. Maybe the favour will never be properly returned. How many people are really interested in finding out by experience what it's like to be autistic? We on the other hand have no choice but to find out what life is like in the non-autistic majority world. Perhaps it's not up to us so much to try to do the persuading, but up to NTs to be willing to find out. I'm really not sure how that can be achieved. In the meantime, people will continue to rely on the stereotypes mentioned in the article, and to think of 'autistic' as a some kind of synonym for 'awful', as that stupid sociologist said.
We can’t - as long as we have this ‘transactional’ culture.
Autistics want - collaborations and transformation etc.
Normal folk want - competition, winning, beating. They want transactions and try to - keep up with the Joneses. It’s not fault - it is programmed into them by thier disgusting school system. Yuk
This paragraph from the articles is quite salient in some of the clues it gives
'When I come across instances of this folk understanding of autism, I am reminded of Edward Said’s 1978 description of the orientalist gaze, in which the exoticised subjects endure a kind of fascinated scrutiny, and are then rendered ‘without depth, in swollen detail’. Never allowed to speak for themselves, their behaviours are itemised, but not actually understood. The observer, meanwhile, is assumed to be neutral, authoritative and wise. This creates a simulacrum of the Orient, packaged for the consumption of the West. If it happened only once, it would barely be a problem; but reproduced endlessly, each skewed representation gives life and context to the next. The literary trope of autism has that same kind of memetic contagion.'
Whenever I tell people I'm autistic they generally find it hard to believe, most likely because I don't conform to the stereotypical ideas they've ingested through popular novels and films. Because I don't conform to those things, or don't seem to because I wear my masks very well, I have sometimes been challenged by people who think they know more than I do. I don't fit their model of autism so therefore my diagnosis must be false. Either that or I must have lied in order to get it.
How about this bit then.....?
“What’s more, autistics routinely report that they are undermedicated or dismissed when they’re in physical pain, possibly because their facial expressions and vocalisations don’t match what doctors expect to see in the general population.”
My mum was told by her doc that she had a pulled shoulder muscle, three weeks later - she was dead. She had aggressive terminal cancer and the docs were utterly clueless. Truly - I wouldn’t trust any one of them. They have neutered senses - at NTs. All they know about is - the past and the future. Both of which DO NOT EXIST. NTs live in a kind of dream world - full of words. They can’t see what is directly in front of them. They only see thier memory or their (wrong) idea about the future. It’s called predictive coding.
those guys - they can’t even see your face if you’re talking to them. Because they have to word everything through in their minds, they’ll only see a memory of how they think you look.
Tbis is what Picasso and other post impressionist artists are conveying in their portraits. Artists = Autists. That’s why NTs can’t draw. Bevasue essentially they are blind. Blinded by words - lolololo
Current research into autism seems to be moving more towards the idea of predictive coding, looking at autism not so much as a deficiency but as a different way of assimilating and processing sensory information and phenomena. I am hopeful that this is a positive direction and will lead to a more rounded understanding of the issues we face. Again though, it very much comes down to the willingness of the NT world to want to accept and understand this, and to make the necessary accommodations.
I am so sorry to read about your mother. That is truly awful, and sadly is all too common. Personally I have very little faith in the mental health side of the health service, having been told many times in the past by highly-qualified psychiatrists and nurses that my problems were all to do with substance misuse or seasonal affective disorder.
So true. So difficult to break through that barrier.
Some nt's do want to learn but get discouraged by fear of offending the autistic person or by being told we can't understand, we are blind, we are sheep
We can all hope for better understanding for all sorts people and abilities
Yeah - it’s a numbers thing. Simply we are outnumbered so unless that changes we will always have the double empathy problem.
Thier entire culture is built on a lie. The lie is - that the future is the answer.
Thier idea if lack of imagination is the exact opposite of actual imagery in your mind.
They imagine a future as words.
Its all provem scientifically - with general relativity. Only autistic scientists can really understand what it is intuitively. Most scientists havn’t got a clue. They know in theory but not intuitively. Same goes for quantum mechanics. Only perhaps 10 people world wide actually get how Quantum theory works.
I have seen it as a strength and thought that I was just a freak who can see how the entire universe works - inside out, infinite dimensions, etc etc.... I can see it right now, The Universal Engine Room. I could see it when I was 9 yr old. So - I suddenly realised - that the most weird and out there science - theoretical physics is just a reflection on the inside of my mind wave patterns.
That’s what Newton’s law is. His autistic mind that he’s shared with the world and it’s given us calculus.
Of course - Newton’s law is now old news. But it’s taken NTs hundreds of years to understand.
Maybe it will be 2/02/2219 when their word thinking brains catch up. By then our brains will have found a new String Theory :)