It’s the parochial archetype. Crisp white linens absorb the gentle breeze and filtered sunshine as they flutter lazily from a clothesline, the starkness a deep contrast against the idyllic backdrop of a lush green forest.
No, we don’t take everything literally.
In prevailing literature, people on the autism spectrum have all of their traits, their behaviors, and even their very existence pathologized. They are considered to have “mind blindness,” or the opposite of empathy, which means that they are unable to predict the feelings or thoughts of others.
For people on the spectrum, how well someone fares in the general public or on the job often depends on someone’s ability to hide his or her autistic traits and mannerisms. This survival mechanism is known most commonly as masking, though some call it passing, armoring, or camouflaging.
One of the dominant characterizations of people on the autism spectrum is that they lack empathy or are empathy-disrupted. This is based on the paradigm that autistic people aren’t able to intuit the emotions and needs of others, or that people on the spectrum aren’t willing to respond to the emotional needs of others.
How does one make it into adulthood without knowing they are autistic? Or that an autistic community even exists? What if that person is an expert on autism?
It was hard to come out as an aspie (a person with Asperger’s syndrome). I started with some people I thought would be the most safe, but I read that situation poorly. It’s a strong suit, really, almost like a superpower. I can misjudge a social situation with remarkable precision. That will likely be the […]
For someone on the spectrum, navigating relationships with neurotypical (non-autistic) people is the social equivalent of assembling an Ikea shelf with missing parts and directions that are out of order, mirror-image, and written in a different language.
They’re out there, in the brushstrokes of the original, museum-quality painting hanging in your favorite hole-in-the-wall pub, or the Louvre, or the kaleidoscopic mural painted on the shuttered, colorless foundry.
Function labels are used to describe how well a person can do daily activities and appear normal. They’re degrading and misleading.