Monday, May 3, 2010

Aspergian sub-culture

Last night on the Alone in a Crowded Room doco there were comments and observations passed that I've noted myself but kept to myself as so many 'specialists' prattle the same mantra contrary to basic logic.
The fact that those on the Spectrum are forced into behaving like neurotypicals; we're torturing square pegs to fit into round holes that they will NEVER fit comfortably in.
Dr Wendy Lawson stated that it would be far easier and better for neurotypicals to make the effort to understand and accept the neuro-diversity offered by Auties/Aspies than it was for Auties/Aspies being made to conform to a false ideal of "normal".
And this other ideal, to separate those on the Spectrum from each other and to push them into socialising with neurotypicals to learn to mimic their 'socially acceptable' behaviour, is bizarre and cruel.
I was  listening to an interview on ABC radio recently where journo Paul Raffaele described how the African chimps and gorillas had different sub-cultures inside groups in the wild; how orphans were being saved from poachers but brought up in a vacuum without their family/tribe culture and knowing only the fear/terror and angry behaviour from witnessing their mothers being slaughtered in front of them.
Our Auties/Aspies aren't witnessing murders but they are growing up in a vacuum where they're frightened and scared, made to feel like the outsider, that they are the oddball in a group of neurotypicals when they are in fact part of one of the fastest growing groups in the Western world.
The odds have changed so quickly many media outlets aren't keeping up with the ratios anymore as Valerie pointed out in her post HERE; it's 1 in 90 in USA, here in Oz it's 1 in 100.
When Aspie teen was first diagnosed it was reported as being closer to 1 in 250+ only 11 years ago.
Either the kids are getting in on the fad early or it's no longer the last thing specialists consider.
So, if our ASD kids are in such numbers and they know the funding isn't there for early intervention/integration aide funding and they know the mainstream systems don't always work ...why isn't the whole thing turned on it's head and neurotypicals made to just accept someone as being different?
And embrace the neurodiversity on offer?
Cos without the Spectrum we'd all still be gnawing on a raw hunk of meat in a cave somewhere.


Lisa said...

I can't just say 'I agree', but I do.

OK, how about the sterotypes of the Absent-Minded Professor? the Eccentric Englishman? The village Witch?

These historical stereotypes are remembered fondly by society in general.

And if you'd like to see some modern day Aspergian sub-culture, try Supernova, GenConOz, the Mana Bar.

I mean really - a regular-style inner-city bar, and they announce Suit-Up Sunday, and people dress up as Jim Carrey in the Mask, and spend the evening drinking cocktails, while playing Xbox.

(my boys can't wait to turn 18)

Nikki aka Widdle Shamrock said...

Love it and whole heartedly agree.

I remember when Celtic lad was first diagnosed and I was all about letting him BE autistic and Early Intervention were all saying it's about giving them options, but I don't think it is. I find some of EI is about forcing them to be something they are not.

Ro said...

But it's such a shame they have to conform when young only to 'rebel' with the whole lot of their peers when they're old enough to act differently, Lisa.

Yep, Nikki, I know what you mean, they tell we parents we have to be cruel to be kind but sometimes it just doesn't cut the mustard.

Lisa said...

I don't like the edu-ma-cation system much.
I've spent far too much time having to teach the children that conforming is something you may need to do in certain situations to get a certain desired result.
I really didn't want them to believe that their failures to conform made them failures.

I wish they hadn't had to learn that lesson so young, but it does stand them in good stead for the teen/adult years.