A View of the World from the Autism Spectrum
View of the World from the Autism Spectrum
By Eva Angvert Harren, Somatic Coach and Educator
There is something about autism that has made me suspicious about the diagnoses we are given. These diagnoses are made by non-autistic people – “normal, regular people” who appear to know how “normal, regular people” are supposed to behave and function.
There are social rules, I know, but the road seems to get narrower, and less and less diversity is allowed or considered within the range of normal social behavior.
These rules put me on the outside looking in, trying to figure out how to be, to be welcomed, invited, or even how to belong to society.
Or is it that my focus is misdirected, a little skewed? Because…when we are truly settled in the belief that there is something wrong with us, we start behaving based on that belief. And the world becomes a scary place. We become more and more scared and isolated. And we may try to belong anywhere, just to belong somewhere.
That’s the danger for people like me, like us. We settle for less, just so as not to end up dis-connected, dis-engaged, and dismissed. I just love the “D” words!
It is such a “spectrum,” such a wide range of “behavioral disorders”, and no one really knows the cause of these “behavioral disorders”. Now, we can recognize learning difficulties and the fact that we all have different ways of processing information. That could be a “pure brain hardware issue”. But…is it, though? Is it truly an issue, a disorder?
Is the world of psychology really helping the world of autism by putting us in boxes of acronyms, to be sorted by the nature of our disorders – defective, damaged, and destitute? Again, I just love those “D” words.
How many times have we heard about the wonderful, but “odd”, scientists whose work has pushed the human race to evolve? How many incredible artists have taught us about beauty, love, and compassion through their music, writings, and other arts?
Some of them would be diagnosed with autism by today’s standards. Scary. How many incredibly intelligent and gifted people are, today, put in a box with their wings clipped due to diagnoses and the subsequent prescribing of medications that dull their senses?
As Temple Grandin says, “Without us autistic people, we would still live in caves and sit around the campfire telling stories.”