A cure has been found for autism… no, not really, but from the headlines in the heath sites, you would think that they have. All it takes is a little rewiring of neurons in the brain. This scares me. Being someone diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a supposed mild form of autism, I have to wonder when they will force this “cure” on me. The communities I am part of are up in arms and it is just time before this happens. There isn’t even a cure right now.
You may be saying, “Wait a minute, this isn’t what they are saying.” But, there is already a separation between those who have autism (aspies and auties) and those who don’t (NT’s or neurotypicals). There are only 2-3 per 1000 people who have autism. From our perspective, we are normal people but are different. From the people who describe us, we are the ones who aren’t functional, and are the ones with something wrong. We are the ones who need behavior modification, special education, and therapies. We are often put on medications to sedate us. Just because you are different doesn’t make it bad or wrong. Many of the people who also have Asperger’s syndrome are some of the most intelligent people you will meet. We are people who live our lives just like you.
The next time you run into one of us, try to make allowances and be flexible. Things that you would find normal and fun may be infuriating. Words often are taken out of context because our experiences are different. We don’t see the world as you do. Some of the things to keep in mind are mentioned here.
Probably the biggest difference is that some of us have noticeable problems dealing with people in social situations. This is noticeable in children more than adults. They have difficulty initiating conversations, and even maintaining them. We often say things honestly and truthful, but don’t belong in the conversations. We are sensitive to lies, and tend to be honest to a fault (although some of us have learned we must lie in your world to survive). There may be things that are just not right – like not looking at who they talk or making eye contact or the reverse where they are locked on a person’s eyes who is talking. We often can’t read facial expressions or a person’s body language. This leads into another situation – repetitive behaviors.
Another thing that we have or do is repetitive behaviors that are often eclectic. For instance, we may eat our food in a specific order, put our clothes on, or do certain activities. Some of these may seem unusual for others, but to us, this is something normal. With this, as children, we may seem uncoordinated (although some adults have this problem, too). It is one of the reasons we see patterns around us before others notice them. Again, to us, this is normal. For us, it isn’t unusual to say the exact same thing to the same person when we are locked into a thought pattern.
You will also see that we tend to focus on a very narrow set of interests. There aren’t many things we do – we enjoy only a few things. When we do things, we are usually very focused on one thing. It encompasses our lives – we eat, live, and breath what we do. This leads us to being experts in that specific area. Outside these areas, we are like fish out of water.
Finally, we are often sensitive to loud noises and yelling. Don’t ever yell at us, or anyone else, for that matter. It just isn’t something that isn’t polite.
I hope this post makes you understand that there are two classes of people already, and that many of us are just people like you. We may be different, but it isn’t any different than race, colour, creed, sex, or any other way that people separate one another. With this cure, many of us who like who we are, and don’t want to be forced to change. We don’t think there is anything wrong with ourselves and we don’t pose a threat to anyone by not being “cured”. Keep this in mind when you run into one of us.