Sunday, May 6, 2007

Eight more things I like about being autistic

1) Toys. I like yo-yo's, super hi-bounce balls, spinning tops, crayons, wind-ups, bobble heads and play-doh. I have a bird that repeats what you say to it. Oh, all right...I have two of them.

2) Stored scripts. It's amazing how they come to the surface as needed, bits from TV shows and advertising. Sometimes I don't figure out until later why it was relevant, but most often, it was.

3) Understanding that there is much more to people, all people, than is readily apparent. This is what makes no sense about the Theory of Mind concept. It seems to me that NTs are the ones making the wrong assumptions so much of the time. The autistic people I know are much more willing to accept that we don't know the motive behind every action and word, and to not assume malice without reason.

4) Logic. I took a course in it this semester and found out there's a lot I don't know about logic. I enjoyed it thoroughly, though. Credit for arguing and playing games!

5) Abstract art. Autistics are sometimes said to be bad at abstract thought. This is a myth due to neurotypical tendencies to constrict the definition to the types of abstract concepts they prefer to talk about, emotional words like love and hate. I prefer the kinds of symbols for which there is no direct translation into words. When I see (or draw) a square it means exactly what I see it to mean.

6) Humor. Finding a common sense of humor with others has been one of the greatest gifts of diagnosis. NTs are forever asking me if I am joking or serious. I finally figured out that for most of them, it's either one or the other. What's the point of that, I wonder?

7) Visual imagination. I don't think in pictures generally, but I do get a lot of cool visual images, many of them based on another trait sometimes described in the mainstream literature as a deficit: taking things literally. These are not only a source of amusement, but many times offer an alternate and richer perspective than would have been available without the dual meanings of the words merging into one.

8) Routines. Deciding what to wear, for example, is easy. A t-shirt, usually black, and jeans. A soft long sleeve shirt over that if it's cool. And shoes, black skateboard style shoes. For dressier occasions, I'll add a blazer from the thrift shop. I do have a suit for special occasions. I thank Ellen every time I wear it for showing the world that it's okay to wear sneakers with a suit.


  1. Toys, yeah. At the company where I work, the managers sometimes give stimmy toys like that to the people in my workgroup. They have these little surprises boxed up nicely and sent to our homes, every once in a while, as a way of trying to keep us happy with our jobs. Ya think they might have figured out that some of us are autistic? LOL.

  2. Love your list! Bobble heads too :)


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