Welcome back! This week, we will tackle a problem concerning labels (and no, it's not that they exist), but rather two certain types of labels. One fellow blogger has called it the “Autistic Dilemma”, though it affects both people diagnosed with either Autism or Aspergers. What is the “Autistic Dilemma”? Put simply, society either declares you to be A) too Autsitic/Aspie, or B) not Autistic or Aspie enough. But wait, there's more! (there’s always more. No one ever says “but wait, there’s less!”).
Un”less” it’s one of those commercials that tries to shoehorn the saying “less is more” and trying to turn it into some kind of lame joke. (sigh), commercialists, don’t quit your day jobs.
Now according to Autistictic, the negative effects of the dilemma are thus: people can be “more” or “less” Autistic/Aspie, much the same way as telemarketers can be “more” or “less” annoying, and I know what I’m talking about: I’m the son of an insurance salesman. Being either/or means that society can justify itself treating you differently compared to someone else, who is also Autistic/Aspie. And last but not least (you'll love this one), society has more of a right to “designate how impaired the person is rather than the people themselves” (Autsitictic, THE AUTISTIC DILEMMA-FUNCTIONING).
What does this mean? Will, from what I understand, it’s a tactic used by our detractors to try and silence us in the discussions about Autism/Aspergers, to ignore whatever we have to say on the subject. As will, I believe that it is an attempt to cause a rift within the Autistic/Asperger’s community, an imaginary conflict over who is “better”, people who are “more” or “less” on the spectrum. In either case, by taking a look at the dilemma, we can begin to see not only how wrong and disenfranchising it is within the Autistic/Asperger discourse, but also come up with replies to individuals who might attempt to use such a tactic. But first, let us understand some of the aspects about the dilemma.
Knowing if only half the battle. And after all, research is fun right!? Right?
First off, according to the dilemma, if you are “not Autistic/Aspie “enough, you are: supposed to be silenced in discussions around A/A (Autism/Asperger) spectrum because you can’t understand what “real” Autism/Asperger’s is like. You're not diagnosed because you don’t seem A/A enough (not sure if this diagnosis is, in this context, coming from the internet troll or a psychiatrist or such). Denied support because you are able to do some stuff that, stereotypically, people with A/A are not supposed to be able to do (this is also the reason, according to the article, that you could be denied adequate healthcare). Or finally: be talked over in online (or, assuming, live) discussions by someone who is “voicing their own opinion” (Autistictic, THE AUTISTIC DILEMMA-FUNCTIONING).
However, if you are “too” A/A, than: you are to be silenced because you supposedly don’t have the capacity to understand the topic of discussion, or to communicate what you want. Automatically assumed incompetent because you can’t speak or perform some daily tasks without assistance. Denied the opportunity to partake in, or perform an, activity because you are supposedly unable to do it. Denied adequate healthcare because, will it’s just your A/A showing. And finally: you need someone to speak for you, without even considering your own views about the topic being discussed.
Well, that does it for this week's post. Next week, we will continue to discover more and more about this dilemma of ours, and how we can solve it (much like solving a 1000-piece puzzle: all the frustration and consternation, twice the fun!). Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
Darius McCollum, who has Asperger's, has impersonated NYC transit authority workers more than 100 times and has been arrested 32 times.
Welcome back to the Audacious Aspie! This week, we continue to discover how Spectrum masking effects women with Autism/Aspergers, time diving in to the next section of this rather thought provoking (and long) article, appropriately named Girls blend in. What does it mean? Are they able to camouflage themselves into any environment at will, like urban, forest and desert? Is this really a cannibalistic cook book in disguise all along? Sadly, no, as the topic is more serious, far more important, and not based on grotesque cooking practices.
Cooking practices like: how to serve a human-thigh roast, which is illegal, unethical, and unfairly criticised by those who have not even tried one.
One reason that girls are less likely than boys to get diagnosed with Autism/Aspergers, is because many more boys are being identified as on the spectrum. Because of this, the idea of boys being on the spectrum become far more accepted, almost to the point of becoming a norm (if such a word can even be used when describing something along the lines of Autism or Aspergers). Even when clear signs are visible of the girl to be on the spectrum. Were as far less girls are diagnosed to be on the spectrum than boys, and therefore a girl on the spectrum is, sadly, seen as a more outlandish idea compared the same being said of boys.
Instead, they are more often than not just shuffled around, agency to agency, doctor to doctor, misdiagnosed with one thing or another. Eventually, however, professionals like doctors and psychologists, started to wonder if autism looks different in girls as opposed to boys. Upon some interviews of both girls and women who are officially on the spectrum, they “couldn't always see signs of autism” (SPECTRUM!, second section, second paragraph), but instead, like intrepid media miners looking for the next big thing, they saw “glimmers” of a “phenomenon” called camouflaging (get it? Miners, glimmers of gold, and phenomenon the next...big...never mind).
Where as regular miners mined for minerals like coal or diamonds, media miners mine for quips or good ideas (or sometimes controversy or drama to help sell copies).
There might also be some gender differences, so the article says, that could help explain why girls with autism/aspergers often escape the gaze of the clinician (they really used the word notice, but I chose gaze because it sounds more sinister): it’s a ying-yang thing. Boys on the spectrum “might be overactive or appear to misbehave” (SPECTRUM!, second section, second paragraph), where as girls are, more often than not, anxious or depressed. You think the clinicians mind explodes when he/she is faced with a boy or a girl who reacts opposite to their normal gender Autistic/Aspie reactions? I hope not, it would scar the child for life and make a really big mess in that tiny little office.
That is it for this week’s post, we’ll continue to look at the rest of the section in the coming posts still to come, making cannibal and Power-Puff girls (yes, I watched them as a kid, dont judge) along the way. Perhaps even persuade some little informational videos to tag along with us (like the one attached to this little post here). Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie. And now, to the cinemas!