So, since reading Jalen and Nido’s posts mentioning the autism spectrum (called a disorder in DSM-5, though some are reclaiming it as condition), I’d been thinking about posting something (important to note that none of this is about either of them, just that mention of autism made me go ), as I’ve been collecting probably too much information that should be shared instead of hoarded. There’s an unlimited number of directions this could take, so I’m just going to settle with whatever happens to this stream of consciousness
(Note that I’m absolutely not a health care professional, and that none of this is advice, just someone with a personal interest in the subject. )
Even before getting into more of the specific details, though, there are a some things:
- For the most part, people just want to be able to exist as themselves. Everyone’s different. However, this doesn’t mean unlimited tolerance either.
- That’s already well-explained in paradox of tolerance, so I won’t go into it too much further, though it also has potential issues with dismissing people too soon but properly used
- Consider intent, though repeated issues once someone has been made aware of them is a big too.
- Even then, feelings are always valid; it’s how those impact our actions that matter.
Onto the info dump, I won’t really cover what’s easily searchable but will provide different bits to keep in mind instead.
I’ll actually hide some of this next bit for people already pretty familiar with the spectrum.
Click to show
Sometimes, peoples’ first impression of autism is something along the lines of savant syndrome (due to Rain Man) or someone in full-blown physical meltdown states. It’s called a spectrum for a reason, though calling it a spectrum is also oversimplifying it too. Continuing on, though, those interested in the less “severe” side of things will likely find it easier to search on Asperger’s (problematic due to Nazi ties and no longer in DSM-5) or high-functioning autism (problematic due to ignoring the middle, putting down “low-functioning”, suggesting that it isn’t as impactful, etc.).
Also, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) may come up; I’d suggest using DuckDuckGo, as Google results for it are highly skewed towards the positive, but adults who went through it as children point out numerous issues. Among these are that it’s teaching kids to listen to whatever strangers ask them to do, rewarding specific behaviors (as if training a dog) without focusing on intrinsic motivation, huge time sinks, and generally that something is wrong with the kid.
Another item that’ll come up is that people love to associate those in the minority with something in the media. One of the more recent ones has been The Good Doctor. “Is the doctor an accurate representation of autistic people?” Refer back to everyone is different. Is “Does this white male doctor represent all white males?” a question that’d be asked? Probably not.
Moving on from there, there’s often writing on how autistic people can be emotionless, but it’d be more accurate to say that it may be harder to express/relate to them or isn’t one of the first things thought of.
There are countless more items that could be covered here, though it’s easy enough to search debunking x myths. One more of these is that every once in a while, there’ll be news on how a new medication is showing promise for “curing” autism. It’s more likely that these show promise for one of numerous comorbidities (other conditions that often occur with it) that autism has.
Aforementioned comorbidities are also fairly easy to find, though some of the subtypes may not be. These include cyclothymia (bipolar), dysthymia (now combined into persistent depressive disorder, depression), and selective mutism (anxiety, which isn’t just panic attacks).
Another one is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This isn’t just outwards hyperactivity, which could also be internalized as racing thoughts vs “bouncing off the walls”, but it also includes inattentiveness and combination. Things that inspire interest/passion, pose a challenge, or provide a sense of novelty and/or urgency may help focus, which is one reason gaming fits so easily . The combination of ADHD and autism can often be conflicting, which this thread covers well.
Ultimately, to fit in, people will try to conform by masking and behaving in more expected ways, particularly bad at workplaces that don’t seem to think that different mental health conditions exist . It takes extraordinary effort and can be extremely taxing, particularly if further complicated by physical issues, which all leaves less energy for other seemingly easy activities.
One way to help people think of this is the spoon theory, or people will refer to Dungeons & Dragons spell slots, though I personally much prefer the comparing it something like the Guild Wars energy (or mana in some games) bar and spell casting (tasks). Some people just inherently start with less energy to begin with. Energy regenerates with time, but various events may cause it to increase or decrease, even into degeneration. Tasks consume energy, and some tasks may even temporarily decrease the maximum energy potential, which then also needs to regenerate. In a simpler format, I suppose that WD’s rage bar also works. At 0, people just hit that “I’d just like to exist and do nothing” state.
whee late night rambles, was thinking about just deleting this, but it’s long enough that it might as well get posted. Maybe something in there is useful, though it’s so absurdly long, oops ~ guess it was more like a river than a stream.
P.S. I lied. There’s more but just going to drop in resources that may be relatable/helpful for someone. I haven’t read or watched all of the content from these, and they’re not listed in any particular order, but each one had something relatable in it.
- Autism, Autie-biographical Comics
- ADHD, though some possible autism crossover (some have trigger warnings for sensitive topics), Schnumn, various series - Sensory & Staying Afloat primarily
- ADHD, though there are more than in this thread, ADHD Alien Comics
- ADHD, ADHD Dani Donovan
- And then this one is more an advice thing, though I’ve only watched a couple, How to ADHD
Oh yeah, there are also a ridiculous amount that could be written on social norms. This often makes it difficult for “neurotypicals” in foreign countries with different ones vs “neurodivergent” people