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View Diary: Living With Autism/Aspergers w/FAQ (174 comments)

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  •  And that's why I think the current approach... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    codeman38

    ... to understanding both ASDs and NTs is precisely the wrong way.

    The objective is to have more satisfying relationships, right? The objective is to better understand each other, right?

    Classifying people as different down to their neurologicals is off the mark. Besides pathologizing differences, it doesn't even focus enough on the real issue: our individual communication styles, conflicting needs, and different definitions of the same actions and qualities.

    A wife may feel she's being supportive because she hugs, makes love to, and is a confidante for her husband; but he may have a different definition of supportive. He may not feel his wife is truly supportive unless she quits her job and has children (if she doesn't have any).

    Just like the Gates arrest: Gates and Crowley had different definitions of "tumultuous". Which one is right? And too often, in our everyday interactions, the one that turns out "right" is the one belonging to the person with more power and authority. Which isn't right.

    This NT and ASD classifying business doesn't even come close to addressing power imbalances, which account for the majority of human conflict. And it certainly doesn't teach us to have satisfying relationships through our human differences.

    Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

    by Lucy Montrose on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 10:03:44 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Or similarly... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, Lucy Montrose
      A wife may feel she's being supportive because she hugs, makes love to, and is a confidante for her husband; but he may have a different definition of supportive. He may not feel his wife is truly supportive unless she quits her job and has children (if she doesn't have any).

      Or an aspie may think she's being perfectly supportive by talking things through, but her significant other may expect physical contact. Or the aspie may be physically cuddly, while the NT expects the words "I love you" to go with it.

      I've seen this sort of dynamic repeatedly in interactions between NT parents and autistic kids: the child clearly trying to show affection, while the parent doesn't notice the affection because it's not in the form they expect.

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        These are different definitions of what's important to each of us-- NOT indications of one's neurological state.

        We have pathologized differences in communication style, for the sake of simplicity and quick decision making, which our society keeps telling us is good for our neurological happiness.

        Sounds like the NT parent in your scenario is pretty tone-deaf themselves! They can conceive of only one way, or a narrow repertoire of ways, of showing affection. And I thought that lack of range of emotional expression was something only auties/aspies did... [/sarcasm]

        The whole thing is a crock, designed to prevent normal engagement of human differences, and prevent questioning of our increasingly coercive and intrusive society. Those with AS kids are going to get mad at me here, but I don't think they'd argue that attempting to put a stamp on a person's neurology is going to do nothing to address our real problems, or address the glitches and bumps inherent in ALL relationships.

        Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

        by Lucy Montrose on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 11:20:56 AM PDT

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        •  Have you heard of the social theory of disability (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wmc418, codeman38, Lucy Montrose

          ....it sort of explains why some of us are talking in the terms we are.  I think several of us would refuse the terms "disease" or "treatment" and would say that many "neurotypical" people have things they are unable to do (they can't hyperfocus?  they can't concentrate well enough to go through a complex math proof or accounting problem perfectly?  they can't write computer code accurately first time?  they can't say exactly what they mean or draft contracts or legislation carefully?) which in the right social context would become real disabilities.

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 04:58:36 PM PDT

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    •  And on power imbalances... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, Lucy Montrose
      And too often, in our everyday interactions, the one that turns out "right" is the one belonging to the person with more power and authority. Which isn't  right.

      One of my aspie blog-friends has started a wonderful post about that issue with respect to autistics and NTs:

      Neurotypical Privilege: A Working Document

      This should be interesting food for thought for everyone in this thread...

      •  this really jumped out at me: (0+ / 0-)

        My deficits are not considered deficits at all. Instead, they are considered universal faults in human cognition (even if they are not universal). And a good deal of effort is undertaken by my entire society to compensate for those deficits.

        That entire link made me cry.
        Especially where it invalidates the entire emotional experience of those unlucky enough to be diagnosed ASD. The OP said you never grow out of it? Well, with attitudes like those prevailing, of course not. It's a real black mark on your soul.

        It's a cultural construct, a lot more than a neurological one.

        This seals it for me that this isn't about being an aspie or an NT. It's something that ALL of us would do well to remember.

        Making the human condition something pathological does not make you socially "all right". On the contrary: it makes you a mind-fucking asshole.

        Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

        by Lucy Montrose on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 11:30:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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