Autism myths / some of them in a new light Via Rich Shull, author Autism Pre Rain Man Autism, built upon Temple Grandin's Thinking in Pictures, host of this Blog
::::::::::::Dear Reader; If this your first exposure to my (our) Blog, welcome to a different kind of Autism. In our Autism we have figured out many things autistically and have an experienced Anthropology of People from all over the world that do Autism well everyday. We take the stuff Temple Grandin Wrote about to new heights. We are often times the Autism of times gone by and the Autism the Autism Guru's of today would prefer you DIDN'T know about. They naturally can't explain us and our autism has never been in a text book before. We were doing double-blind experiments in autism right under their noses. If you are reading this online or in print please look at the blog, Http://prerainmanautism.blogspot.com ::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Did you know, autism is NOT an emotional disorder? Autism is a neurologically -based disorder that has diverse biological causes.
The reality of that statement is, we think like no population on earth and our Optic Vision and hearing is often times turned off as we attempt to Think in Pictures. Have you ever tried Thinking with a Day Dream or interoperating a Dream? That is kind of what we do.
Did you know, autism is NOT just limited to childhood? It is a lifelong disorder, but shows changes based upon the positive results of effective Intervention and as individuals grow and mature.
/Perhaps this no more true than and demonstrated by studying our Anthropology. Most of us were Pre Rain Man (missed the curse) or for some other reason missed out on Modern Autism. Most of us grew up in a time and era before common diagnosis and ignorantly we over came autism. No one was there to tell us your Autistic and it can't be done. Our teachers, tutors and parents jumped through hoops IGNORANT Of autism to get us to learn and most of us as we later discovered came into our own via Splinter skills. Today splinter skill learning is Taboo in Autism but, It was our connection to traditional thoughts and our success. If the Guru's of Autism knew what we know or would care to learn from our experience they to would see the benefit of Splinter skill learning for and Aspie. Autism Life CAN rival a traditional life, If one realizes his/her full autism thought potential.
Myth! Children with autism never make eye contact. Many children with autism establish eye contact. It may be less than or different from the typical child, but they do look at people, smile, and express many other wonderful nonverbal communications.
/Well, you "Think" we make eye contact and lord only knows the modern autism folks push that point to death. We might be looking at you but our OPTIC vision is OFF and thus we don't see you our your body language. Our expressions are often an UGH as our picture thoughts might have been figured out by our brain but the conversation moved on too quick for us to be able to convert our thoughts to traditional thoughts. We have to think with your 'daydreams' and convert that to traditional thought. Our Anthropology has done that with trial and error learning-it has never been in a text book before. Our naturally programmed thoughts had to be self taught. Temple's Book was called Thinking In Pictures after all.
Myth! Inside a child with autism is a genius. The myth that a genius is hidden in a child with autism may exist because of the uneven nature of the skills that many children exhibit. Children with autism may have splendid physical skills, but no functional language. A child may remember the birthday of every child in his class at school, yet be unable to determine when to use the pronouns "you" or "me" appropriately. A child may read with perfect articulation and not understand the meaning of what he has read. Children with autism exhibit a full range of IQ scores. Most children with autism will exhibit significant delays in some areas of mental processing. A very small percentage exhibit above normal intelligence; an equally small percentage of children exhibit very low intellectual functioning.
/Actually many of us in our Anthropology seem to have two IQ's one related to our developed Splinter skills in our field, we often shine and excel with our splinter skills. The Computer was fathered by Alan Turing (1912-1954) he was autistic and father of the computer and a W.W.II hero and also a Gay Man. I have invented the Turing Motor a 70% efficient green car motor named for Alan Turing. I wonder If Einstein and George Washington Carver were not autistic as well. We can often come off as smart as a sack of rocks or really smart. Once we figure out many things via our splinter skills that knowledge simply spills over into life at large. Psychology and education professionals have never experienced or believed what we have done and simply attributed our success to happenstance. Splinter skills are our learning hallway and connection to a better life. Properly completed they make the difference often times between the village idiot or Einstein. Many of us drew hope and promise as our (unknown) splinter skills were being absently exploited. We were tricked into learning! To bad we can't trick modern Autism into realizing what we have done.
Myth! Children with autism do not talk. Many children with autism develop good functional language. Most other children can develop some communication skills, such as use of sign language, pictures, computers, or electronic devices.
/Well, WE DO and if we have somehow made it to the proficient picture thinkers stages of autism beyond what Temple Grandin wrote about we do typical conversations. We are able to translate our Picture in Picture thoughts, our projection thoughts, our 3 and 4 dimension thoughts into words or actions. If we were Not learning to this by trial an error on our own we might have been doing good conversation by 6th grade. Often times it took us years to absently to figure out what to do next and even realize that picture thought we had was only part of a step toward a more complete thought. Proper autism class once the Guru's figure out our basic thought process will consist of translation courses on how to convert Autism thoughts to traditional ones, Autism (picture based) could be taught by 6th grade!
Those of us honored to have grown up Gay and Lesbian (GLBT) and AUTISTIC often were able to attend the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Autism Finishing School." Growing up gay give one a totally different set of social standards and normals to adhere to. It just so happens many of us had friends would never had otherwise. Those friends unknowingly helped us connect to the traditional world. Of Course, some element of psychology still thinks gay is taboo but it is the same group that can't see how much of a benefit it was to grow up GLBT and autistic. Of Course, that is one major reason Modern Autism feels it can ignore us as we can't possibly be good role models for autistic people. It might even empower them to work even harder to keep us hidden. It doesn't help matters much that we un intentionally deflate a lot of the Rain Man era ideals either. Our real life success is not only NOT welcome news in autism circles it is bad for the modern version of autism. I don't think the Father of the Computer is a bad role model for any one.
Myth! Children with autism cannot show affection. Probably one of the most devastating myths for families is the misconception that children with autism cannot give and receive affection and love. We know that sensory stimulation is processed differently by some children with autism, causing them to have difficulty expressing affection in conventional ways. Giving and receiving love from a child with autism may require a willingness to accept and give love on the child's terms. Sometimes the challenge for parents is waiting until the child can risk a greater connection. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends may not understand a child's aloofness, but can learn to appreciate and respect his/her capacity for connection with others.
/Many in our Anthropology have had life long partners and more of us have had loving hugging relationships through out our lives. Many of us had the best of practice doing the gay social hug. If we really figure out our thoughts and learn how to communicate them Love flows as easy for us as it does for a traditional person. Granted many aspie have trouble with that aspect of life and we are not perfect at it and experience proves love and affection or acting upon it need a bit of practice but many of us had the finishing school to help us overcome.
More Myths and Misunderstandings about Autism
Progress means that the child doesn't have autism.
/Progress for us was often, when we silently figured out a social situation or a new type of picture thought or perhaps how to translate a thought or pre think a conversation. The improvement we displayed to the real world was well earned. Our traditional world just chalked it up to something they had done, (naturally).
Behavior change from maladaptive to adaptive isn't autistic.
/Those of us in the real world and the autistic one are noted for our being adaptive on the surface at least, Deep down we stick our old habits but don't show that in public. Some of that is the result of our completed social autism experience.
Children with autism do not smile at you.
/I can see where they would not have much to smile about 95% of their day is spent not being able to keep up or figure things out fast enough. When we do figure things out (autistically) it is a private victory as we just figured out a milestone of our development all on our own without any encouragement or fanfare or even a gold star. No One knows what hoops we just jumped threw.
Children with autism do not give or receive physical affection.
/We are not thrilled with it but can do it. If you have tried to hold a wild animal like a rabbit the tension is much the same as we fell giving and getting hugs. We prefer to be alone.
People with autism do not notice others and don't pick up cues from peers/adults.
/No Kidding, perhaps since we are pre occupied looking at our brain generated images and our optic vision and at times our hearing is OFF, every now and again we just didn't see you?
People with autism do not want friends.
/Sometimes that is true we prefer to be alone. Many of us in our anthropology do have Friends and want friends and they are often easy to make and our friends tend to mirror us to a large degree. Perhaps we are somewhat nerdy. Most Autism folks in our group have very liberal non based views and often the people around us our parents our CO workers don't like that too much. We often wonder why Diversity training ever has to be taught it should be natural and a natural state of being.
Individuals with autism do not relate to peers/adults.
/We often do, but to be blunt only a few of us have had the chance to learn enough of our autism thoughts and the insight of the "99 conversations" traditional people have. Traditional speech and communication is often very superficial and it seems it take 20 conversations with a traditional thinker to get one point across. Aspies tend to think in complete well reasoned thoughts (hard to believe I'm sure). We have to learn to water down our thoughts to communicate them. Those of us doing that do pretty well in all conversations.
People with autism could talk if they wanted to.
/Perhaps they NEVER had the chance! We do TWO separate things when we think and we have to take the completed Autism Thought and convert It to speech or actions. Traditional thoughts and speech FLY by and move TOO quick for untrained autism thoughts to keep up with. Many in the Anthropology have learned the" 99 conversations" and fill in the blanks with current information and in essence have the same conversation over and over again, just like the traditional people have .( People don't realize how predictable they are.) Proper autism If it is ever admitted to or figured out will spend many hours of class time working on 'making speech'. The basis for speech is there and it is the lucky few of us that have figured it out that actually talk easily. Have you ever tried to explain a Dream? It is kind of like that.
When a child with autism does not respond to a question/direction to which he has previously given a correct response, he is being stubborn/non-compliant/obnoxious.
/Every once in a while we actually have the right answer at the right time if by some chance our thought process was properly misaligned we came up with the right answer. Doing it twice might be just plain frustration. I remember learning picture thought by trail and error and being able to do something once but, not a second time. If the teacher would have said and we would have known to use "a picture in Picture thought" for that type of answer we would have been more able to be consistent. I can see where an Aspie would get very pissed off possibly have some glimpse of doing it right and not being able to complete the idea twice.
Autism can be outgrown.
/Indeed It can become better tolerated and some 80 year olds that have contacted me no longer picture think in daily thought or conversation as they have adapted to traditional thought. They continue to think with pictures for the bigger thoughts.
Autism is an emotional disability.
/It can be, unintentionally be helped too much or cursed by the establishment is not fun. Learning your thought process on your own via trial and error 'in the dark' basically doesn't make for the happiest campers. Those of us in the GLBT autism spectrum are ether the happiest autistics or the most miserable if we have to live in the closet with homophobic people in our midst.
Children with autism cannot learn.
/Indeed we can, I am talking older autism mostly and many of us DID learn by accident via our now taboo splinter skills. Once we figure out our splinter skills, etc., that knowledge generally flow and filter to all aspect of our life. I learned to do Division via splinter skills I figure MPG on a car, I had picture thoughts figured out for that, I had tried and tried division in the traditional way and it never worked. My Dad seen I could figure MPG on a car and it turned out to be the same thing. We tend to learn it in relation to our strong point and move backwards and forwards from there. Once could take Rain Man's Phone book skills and work them backwards into real life skills. Many of us in the anthropology did just that!
Children with autism will show no imagination.
/We have Laughed at that one for years and the statement should read Imagination traditional people would realize. When two proficient thinkers meet in person our imaginations seem perfectly normal. We have such a hard time even figuring out our communication type thoughts communicating a vivd dream type of thing are nearly impossible. Again Our Thoughts seem to need watered down to be understood.
Bad parenting causes autism.
/Hardly, bad parenting might make autism worse but in general autism's biggest problem is all the "help" that has turned out to be work than help. At one time autism was picture thinking, keen senses, splinter skills, pain tolerance and the preference to be alone. Those ideals were nearly figured out before Rain Man introduced a curse upon autism. I wonder if today's drug and diets don't make things worse. Modern Autism is well aware we all came out pretty good without ANY of those aids, admitting to that in a study of any type could leave the Autism NASCAR race car in the pits with an empty tank.
Autism is rare.
/Well, it used to be, The modern Epidemic and the lowering of the diagnosis standards has mixed autism and non autism populations. As people write to me from this blog It is obvious SOME of them clearly fit the old definitions of autism and the majority don't have a clue to our older Autism traits. YET some of the modern Autism folks despite ABA and the curse of Rain Man also identify with us and their older autism mates in our autism anthropology. via this blog We have identified populations of Image Streamers, CAPD suffers (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) people that also closely fit the definitions of older autism, Perhaps we should forget Autism and just call ourselves "Picture Thinkers" and get busy explaining a thought process that has never been in print before and quit dreaming autism will ever admit to its not so far away past. Mankind needs our insight and if your a parent of a low functioning quiet and shy Aspie we might very well be the answers you need.