I'm autistic. (BUT I AM NOT A SPOKESPERSON FOR AUTISTICS! I just assume they don't want me as such. I'm just a leeeetle bit much much much too zany and annoying for spokesperson-type positions.) I'm just curious about how many people have given much thought to the possibility that autism is not a horrible disease, and that difficulties faced by autistics and those around can be addressed by each side understanding the other better. Joyce wrote Finnegan's Wake. Wittgenstein wrote the tractatus logico-philosophicus. Einstein made huge advances in physics. Disease? I don't want to sound arrogant, but all that sounds more like X-Men mutant superpowers to me. (Yes, I assumed for the sake of argument that Joyce, Wittgenstein and Einstein were all autistic.) Temple Grandin completely revolutionized the design of slaughterhouses, there's not much doubt that she's autistic, and she says she was able to conceive of those new designs BECAUSE she was autistic.
We're like the mutants in the X-Men stories in the way that many of us strongly oppose the idea that we need to be "cured."
I can't yet bend metal or lift nuclear submarines with my mind, but I am an excellent driver!
I don't feel diseased. I feel that I'm different in a very significant way from 99% of the general population, and very similar to the other 1% in that same specific way.
I know that very many very intelligent people who have devoted a lot of time and study to this subject disagree with me and are sure that autism is a disorder. And I don't dismiss that, I consider it, I weigh it. I hope people will weigh what autistics are saying when they're saying what I'm saying now. (Saying it often in a much more dignified, less zany, more spokesperson-like way than I am capable of doing.)
All the "thank you verr much pleez, yr verr nice person" stuff -- that's autism too. (Was Gertrude Stain autistic?) I knew an autistic woman who, when she was in a good mood, liked to say things like "Lay down lay down lay down" and "Very well-paved" and "Kiss my Play-Do head!" and then she would bow her head so you could kiss her on the top of her head if you were so inclined. It was very sweet. At the moment I don't really know how to explain why some of us sometimes do things like that, and spinning and rocking wringing our hands and so forth and so on. Yes, it's all called "self-stimming" and you can look up the standard descriptions and explanations of it. But do those explanations explain anything? I don't really know. I can't point to objective benefits of this sort of thing, whether you choose to call it self-stimming or not, comparable to those of Einstein's and Grandin's work. But on the other hand it certainly does no one any harm, and if it comes along with extraordinary abilities, why should we hide it? (Thinking of the mutants from the X-Men stories again, sometimes hiding things like blue skin and hair, and sometimes refusing to hide.) The point I'm struggling here to express is something along the lines of: do we even need to explain unusual behavior which stems from our autism, if it makes sense to us and if it's harmless?
Consider this: lots and lots of things which the neurologically-typical majority of people do on an everyday basis, without thinking of it as bizarre, seems bizarre to us, and generally speaking, we just accept it. We don't bother you about it or shun you for it.
Over and over in this blog I have pled for people to consider that just possibly there's not a thing wrong with us. So please, please consider that possibility. Thank yu verr much pleez, yr verr nice person!