The trouble with having an autistic personality and being trained in proportionality is not only do you hear the words people say literally, but it upsets you when you work out the meaning of why they said it! I said to someone today how I asked my support worker if she wanted tea and she said “just milk” and I replied how she expected an autistic person to reply, saying “you want a cup of milk then?”
This other person said “you are only saying that because…” – Before they had a change to finish I was enraged because I knew they were going to suggest I was “playing the part.” I think like an autistic person, are they saying I am some how “putting it on” if I act on those thoughts as opposed to restraining myself?
The Human Rights Act implements the European Convention on Human Rights and this gives me freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the right to manifest and express these.
Criticising me for my autistic personality is therefore a human rights abuse!
From my point of view, today it should be grossly offensive to say being autistic is either a condition or a disorder. Autistic spectrum condition is now used more than autistic spectrum disorder, which even I used 10 years ago, but things need to move on further.
Being autistic is a social orientation that can be accounted for by someone having above average SQ scores and below average EQ scores. In other words it is a bias towards a certain type of personality.
The only time being autistic equates to ‘suffering from autism‘ is when people in society treat an autistic person less favourably for reasons arising out of their autistic personality traits.
I am calling for so-called autism to be taken out of DSM all together – in the same way homosexuality was. Whilst many autistic people have special educational needs, their autistic personality should not be one of them! It is other people that need to better understand the autistic theory of mind, without thinking their theory of mind is somehow superior!
There are these things called ‘Social Stories,’ which are designed to help people with autism understand how they might offend others. I think these social stories should be used to explain to the people who get offended, who I call empathics who suffer from empathism, why they are making themselves disabled by lacking relationship skills – let’s call them ‘Relationship Stories’ in this case.
You did very well – Part 1
Empathic to Autistic: You did every well with your speech.
Autistic: Yes, I know, I thought I was good.
You did not do your best – Part 1
Autistic to Empathic: I didn’t think that was the best speech you’ve ever done.
You did not do your best – Part 2
Empathic to Autistic : I don’t think that was the best speech you’ve ever done.
Autistic: I thought it was the best one ever.
You did very well – Part 2
Autistic to Empathic: I think that was the best speech you’ve ever done.
Empathic: It wasn’t that good.
Autistic: You could be right.
Question: Who is the most disabled?
Is it the autistic person with a ‘physical or mental impairment that has an adverse long term impact on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities‘ or is it the empathic? Should autistic people be ostracised for giving a fair, balanced and accurate account of a situation, rather than be offended at everything anyone says like empathics suffering from empathism do? In all of the situations above, autistic people would not get offended by one another for giving their honest opinion and in fact, the autistic people would be more likely to probe the person giving the feedback empathics find offensive so they know what to do next time.
Many people say having autism is a disablity – They could be right, as being denied opportunities because others cannot easy communicate or appreciate your point of view is disabling.
When Hans Asperger used the term ‘autism’ he was referring to a particular aspect of schizophrenia that causes social impairment. This is why I laughed the other day when so called research claimed a link between autism and schizophrenia – the link is only there because Hans Asperger defined it!
But, being autistic is not a disability – in many cases it is an advantage. I would say being empathic can cause a worse kind of autism – one that damages relationships rather than makes then easier to repair. I would argue that autism therefore can come from either having an empathic personality or an autistic one. The fact that people who claim to have empathy say they cannot understand autistic people proves they have autism – an impairment in ones ability to communicate with others and see their point of view.
Empathics can have some major flaws that autistics don’t have:
They need to “get to know someone” before entering into dialogue with them. Autistics can speak to anyone and treat them equally however short or long their relationship.
They seek out people who have “things in common” with them; such as same race, same interests, same party. Autistics like being individuals and different.
They attack people who are different from them even if they agree with them inside or would do the same thing as them in the same situation, just because they are in a different group or other faction to them. Autistics on the other hand have an internal consistency, they are not afraid to tell others they disapprove of their actions because they are in the same faction, not say they approve of others who are in a different faction if they honestly think so.
They will break rules or codes of ethics because they feel sorry for someone who would face a fair detriment from them, or will ignore them if someone will face an unfair detriment if that means one of their friends or other members of a faction they are in won’t face a fair detriment. Autistic people on the other hand will follow the rules, providing they think they are fair to everyone.
They will find it difficult to understand the theory of mind of those from different cultures or with different beliefs to them. Autistics on the other hand, because they see things from their point of view, can easily “map on” different cultures to their worldview by consciously seeing how others a different to them, both as individuals and a group. Empathics need to be around people similar to them whereas Autistics do not.
So as you can see there is a clear type of ‘empathic spectrum disorder‘ (ESD) in the world today, which can cause ‘autism’ as much as autistic spectrum conditions (ASC). Someone with an ESD might let off a murder if they are on a jury, even if they believe they are guilty, because they feel sorry for them. There was a highly publicised case in UK where a juror, Joanne Fraill, contacted the defendants in drugs trial, causing the £6m case to collapse, the Guardian reports.
A nurse or doctor with an ESD might not expose a colleague’s mal-practice because they will be concerned about betraying them, which would mean one or more members of the public could be harmed. On a number of occasions in the last year where a member of staff at an organisation has done something wrong, the manager, a colleague or someone in an allied profession has stuck up for them, without considering the whole facts. ESDs get in the way of a fair and just society based on objectivity and merit. They are probably a worse impairment than an ASC, as they lead people to divide one another and not unite and tolerate one another.