Welcome back! This week, we will continue to learn more about the misconception: do people on the spectrum get humour. We already know the answer (yes) but there are other factors of the myth that are important for us to learn as to why it came about, why is it still around and just how wrong is it really? Will, that is what we have been learning for the past two weeks now, and this week will be no different. Please welcome back to the stage to help explain the whole debacle, the BBC! (pre-recorded cheering)
Last we left off, we were talking about how last year was a big shock (to the BBC at least) of just how funny people on the spectrum can be, one way of which was having a special on an international streaming/film production/god-knows-what-else company. A lot of humour, in my opinion, is taking the mickey out of patterns of our daily lives, but how does someone with Autistic/Asperger’s view such patterns in our lives? Will, the creator of the aforementioned Netflix show Nanette, has her view on things.
Take this picture for example: is your life pattern one of a series of beautiful coloured glass steps leading ever upward towards success, or a nightmarish glass slide leading ever down towards a circle brightly lit by the ever-burning flames of the home of beelzebub? Could go either way really.
She herself “understands things a lot deeper than a lot of people” (Do autistic people ‘get’ jokes? Paragraph 14), and by “things”, she means feelings. But what is strange is that our good doctor Asperger is not only responsible (according to the article) for kick-starting the no-humour myth, but he is also known to believe that people on the spectrum lack both empathy and social understanding (wonder if he watched as many cartoons as his “little professors” have before coming up with these, um, “interesting” ideas).
However, not only did the no-humour belief have a huge upset last year, but so, it might seem, did the no empathy/social understanding myth. The article states that many of the people who watch Nanette seem to agree with her “analysis of feelings and emotions” (Do people autistic people ‘get’ jokes?), which kinda pokes a giant hole in the foundations of the myth doesn't it? Someone should really have it bulldozed as it’s a health hazard.
This guy's got the right idea. Or is it manure he’s shovelling over? Hard to tell the difference between the two.
Will, that does it for this week, and also (for now at least) my analysis of the myth: people with Autism/Asperger have no sense of humour. Next week we will be moving on to a different topic, as always, of which may (or may not) exclusively deal with Autism/Aspergers. But until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! This week, we continue to look at the myth: people with Autistic/Asperger don’t have a sense of humour. Last week, we found out about an BBC podcast who seeks to discredit various myths, including this one, with sharp-wit and humour, along with how the myth started in the first place. But how do you explain to people that the myth is no less a myth than one about faye people or pixies? (probably the same thing, but you get the idea). Will, let's find out.
Think about it, which sounds more likely: that people on the spectrum don’t get humour? Or little humanoids are flying around, causing all sorts of problems or doing whatever it is they are said to do?
How would you explain it? The article might have a solution: a listener to “1800 Seconds of Autism” once wrote (to whom it does not say) that “once you own autism” (Do autistic people ‘get’ jokes? Paragraph 10), it transforms from “constellation of character defects (Do autistic people ‘get’ jokes? Paragraph 10) to something that can be understood (though the article has added the word “vaguely” in front of “understood”). Apparently, you can explain it much like a colour-blindness of sorts, one that cannot see green, but ultraviolet instead.
It goes on to say that NT’s (a slang for Neurotypicals) make sense of the world in their own ways, and not always in the same way. They don’t have deficits, just that their “acuities don’t fully overlap.” (Do autistic people ‘get’ jokes?). Confused? Makes sense? Probably one of those explanations that you need to think about before you get it. Or need another explanation to explain the explanation. Apparently though, this explanation can work across the entire “plain” (of existence? Elemental? Magical?), which includes humour. But, compare this myth to what has happened over the course of last year, according to the article, and something does not seem to hold up.
Not that the myth really held up much if you actually talked with someone on the spectrum, but the BBC seemed to have had a rude awakening last year concerning us and humour.
In 2018 alone, Autistic/Asperger comedians got their own taste of the limelight (why is it called limelight anyways? What if you hate limes? I like apples, so can I call it the applelight?), either by making shows on Netflix (like Nanette) or by making it to one of the top 3 spots on talent shows (like Britains got talent, where a bloke on the spectrum made it to second place). Proving that not only does the no-humour myth not hold water, but that it has so many holes in it that it’s structural integrity is poor and liable to collapse by the meerest breeze. Thus having debris fall onto the sidewalk and road, cause a road blockage that will hold up traffic for hours on end, than causing people to riot in the streets over having to try to back up and take a detour.
This is why we as a society need to learn on how to use more stable material, like facts, when it come to building theories. Or at least choose firm, stable ground if your going to start building misconceptions.
Then once all the debris are cleared, all the inconvenienced travellers once again head on their way to wherever it is they were going. And that is why myths are bad for society. But enough about the dangers of poor building methods, next week we will continue to learn more about this no-humour myth. But until then, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! This week, we we’ll focus on a rather, humorous topic, aiming to dispel a myth surrounding the Autistic/Asperger community. Now, we’ve all heard these misconceptions about us before: We’re cold, unfeeling, brilliant mathematicians/computer scientists, and violent (kind of an oxymoron when you think about it. You need to be able to have feelings to be a violent individual, otherwise you’re just a terminator activated by Skynet). But here’s one that you may not have heard of, at least I didn't until now: we don’t understand jokes (mostly because we, and those like us, are often the butt of said jokes). But a British podcast is aiming to change all that.
Finally, a story coming out of UK that’s not about Britxit. A welcome break that should last,ohh, two minutes or so, depending on how long it takes for you to read this post, or even shorter if you turn on the radio.
Have any of you heard of the podcast 1800 Seconds of Autism? It’s a BBC podcast, that seeks to dispel the assumptions surrounding our community. One of them, being the humourless one. But how does one cut through all the shetlands? (get it? Shetlands? It’s a play on words of...never mind) Why, what better tool to use than some nice, razor-sharp wit. But how did the assumption of us not having a funny bone come about? Will, we have our own good doctor, Mr. Hans Asperger’s, to thank for that.
Back in 1944, when Hitler was beginning to understand what the words “homeland invasion” and “war on two fronts” meant, Hans showed his “little professors” some humorous cartoons, probably to avoid thinking about what fate had in store for his dear Third Reich (or to try and get them in the mood to celebrate their impending liberation. Depends on what you thought of the man). Either way, none of the kids laughed (probably didn't help that there was a war going on), and so he concluded that we had not an ounce of humour in us. And it stuck (and sucked).
Fun fact from the article: A Shaun May is holding an Autism arts festival in Canterbury some time next year. Might wanna check it out. Any ways, back to the topic at hand, the same Mr. May has been studying both Autism and comedy for some years, and has come to a crazy conclusion: Just because we don't laugh at everything, doesn't mean we lack any kind of humour! A quote from the article “Just because you or I might find things funny, it doesn’t mean we have more or less of a sense of humour.”. Rather, such a thing has just been inferred by psychology! Radical right!?
No? Common sense? Will maybe you're wrong, it's not like you have a psychology degree! You don’t need one to know that you have to laugh at everything to have a sense of humour? Oh.
Well, that’s it for this weeks post. Next week, we will continue to look at the rather mystifying (or not so much) reason of why the Autistic/Asperger community doesn't laugh at everything: is it truly because we lack a sense of humour, or are we like literally everyone else (in this regard): we only laugh at the stuff that we find funny? The answer to that might be revealed next week, but until then, this continues to be, tthe Audacious Aspie.
Welcome, to the Christmas special! where I find something christmassy to talk about that deals with autism. I thought it would be hard, but here we are. With any luck, while your all busy celebrating with family and friends, opening gifts, playing with your gifts, getting up hours early in excitement or having a family member body slam you until you get up (normally the youngest sibling), I will have remembered to post this. Unless I’m to caught up doing any of the above. Regardless, the title should cover it. Also, this will be an extra long post, combining two posts in one! Crazy right!?
Tiss the season to be jolly, which is appropriate for the times. With all the depressing stuff going on in the world today, we need a whole season to remind us to try and see the light at the end of the tunnel (unless your in Canada, in which case to take advantage of finally being able to light-up inside the tunnel).
What have I found that is both christmassy AND Autistic/Asperger's? Why, a source with numerous links on how to make your christmas more Autism/Aspie friendly, Hooray! (on that note, like almost all the other advice given by links I’ve found, this one will probably work for anyone and everyone, a stress free christmas is the best). What should an autistic christmas look like? Network Autism has some ideas, like: going to a quiet christmas event, to avoid all the hustle and bustle of regular christmas events. Not to mention the noise Noise NOISE! (maybe the Who’s down in Whoville would not have been harassed by the Grinch if they held a quiet festivale for his sake).
Where do we start? Why, with an Autism/Asperger advent calendar, of course! Based of an advent calendar made for schools by Katherine Learmonth, an independent educational consultant for a company called Axcis Education Recruitment, wrote an article for the Autism Network. It lists some suggestions to “help children on the autistic spectrum manage during the christmas period at school” (National Autistic Society, An Autism Advent calendar for schools, Paragraph 1). Providing interventions in a timeline (read “12 days of christmas”), that are based around their current interests. Neat concept eh?
The article than goes into detail of how you can set up the advent calendar, for schools anyways, though you might be able to replicate it in your own home. Just make it a smaller version of the school one maybe, and don’t invite twenty kids or more to come and celebrate. The instructions for creating such a calendar follow like a step-by-step process, except it’s day-to-day. I.e, on the first of December, the instructions on the article say to print out a calendar that shows all of December, than mark up-coming events that will be happening throughout the month by “Using pictures to link the calendar to their current interest” (National Autistic Society, An Autism Advent calendar for schools, Paragraph 6).
Imagine this, but Mario themed, or Star Wars themed, or Barney the purple dinosaur themed! No? Just me on the last one? (sigh), always is.
Than, on the last day in the instructions (December 20th), comes the hardest task of all: sitting back, relaxing, knowing that your children can now enjoy the holidays without stressing over all the hustle and bustle (or, if they’re already enjoying the holidays, than perhaps this can be another fun activity for them. Either way, this Autistic/Advent calendar might be worth a try, even if your kids aren't Autistic/Aspergers (who doesn't like an advent calendar depicting their current favorite topic? Regular calendars do that literally every year), and you can read the rest of the instructions here, if you want to build an Autistic/Asperger advent calendar yourself.
And now, onto the next part of this post. The chance, to not only use that extremely clever title I thought of, but also to help celebrate this, being a special post. The Christmas post (or a regular post that is longer than usual). Either way, introducing...
How A Perpetrator Perpetuates
Welcome back to part two of the Christmas special! We will take a look at how the dilemma is perpetuated by the perpetrators (see the play on words I did there? Nice isn’t it) as we come to an end of our look at the Autistic/Asperger dilemma. But enough talking for now, let’s get at’er (so I can do some MORE talking. Hey, I love the sound of my own voice, alright? It helps put me to sleep. Or so other people tell me anyways, I always try it, but it never works on me. And it’s not like I can ask them, because they’re already snoring away! It’s like...hey! You listening? ((sigh)), it happened again).
So just how is it perpetuated? Why, by making some statements of course! But what kind of statements? Well, Autistictic has a small list, some of which you might have already heard, or close to it. If you don’t have the “right amount” of Autism/Asperger’s, then you’ll see statements in the discussion like: “You are nothing like my child!”, You don’t look autistic.” (I still wonder how someone is supposed to “look” Autistic/Asperger’s), or finally “Severely autistic people DO want a cure! You wouldn't understand.” (Autistictic, The Autistic Dilemma - Functioning, Paragraph 11). And that’s only a small sample from the list, you can read the rest here if your curious.
But, if you have more than the daily recommended “amount” of Autism/Asperger’s, than you will see statements in the discussion like: “Low functioning autistic people are a burden.”, “Low functioning autistic people belong in institutions.”, or finally “Their autism is to severe, they can’t be included!” (Autistictic, The Autistic Dilemma - Functioning, Paragraph 12) I’m curious as to how the last statement was expected to make sense. “That guy is so autistic, he shouldn't be allowed to take part in the discussion about autism because he is so autistic!”
Makes about as much sense as excluding your political junky friends form discussions about politics. Everyone knows that you only exclude those whose political beliefs differ from yours, silly.
The last section of the article ends on a nice little truth-bomb, though introducing nothing that we already knew beforehand, but is nice and refreshing to hear...or, read, it anyways. The jest of the message is: all people with Autism/Asperger’s are equal, once we are treated as equal will we be accepted and functioning labels are both wrong and hurtful.
Will, that does it for this week's post. Next week, or whenever I post again in the new year, I will be moving on to a new topic. Perhaps school/college/university related, both, to give some info on how to prepare your children, or yourself, for a new year of learning, and to remind you both that soon, the long vacation will be over, and you'll be back on the education-grindstone. Isn't life fun? But until then, this continues to be, The Audacious Aspie.