Thursday, June 5, 2008

Autism, Variable Speeds, and Understanding (Please)

My friend Staci forwarded a very interesting article to me that delved into cognitive and learning disabilities, the ADDs, ADHDs, APDs, and PDDNOSs of the world. Coming from a family "on the spectrum" myself, I know that these neat little acronyms really don't define anyone, as much as give those of us who don't have any of them a partial roadmap to understanding the people who do. This article, written by the mother of a girl with an acronym grab bag of her own, explores how to help children with these disabilities without inhibiting or hurting the creativity or unique world view that these same children have as a result of these conditions.

This has been a source of constant debate among the Asperger's community for years now. Why are we considered abnormal when you NTs (neural typicals) seem just as abnormal to us? It's a thought-provoking question -- and one that has baffled me for years. Many Aspie children have memory skills and an ability to focus that some of us would love to bottle and sell. On the other hand, these same people can suffer nearly unbearable pain finding their way through the "playground society," because it is so hard for them to understand all our unspoken, NT social cues. Where does the real problem lie? In the disability or in the society?

After mulling this over for part of the morning, I decided to go to the ultimate research source -- YouTube. Here are some different viewpoints to this question. All of them valid, and each of them an attempt to answer this complicated question.

From Amanda Baggs:

Incredible Brains:

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