& the Common Man
"Autistic! My child? No
way, Doc. You're way off base there. No way my
child could be autistic. That's like sayin' I done something wrong or
that it come through my blood. Uhn, uhn. No way."
you say so, Mr. Jones. But since you haven't the money to pay for
treatment, I'm afraid I will not be able to help your son. If he had
autism the government would pay for his treatment, but since you
it, Doc. You say if the kid's got that autism stuff the gover'ment will
pay your bill? Hmmm. Well, he's got it ok, that autism thing. Yep, sure
'nuff. You treat him for that."
isn't that simple, Mr. Jones. The boy must have a full-blown case of
autism. It can't be ASD or a milder form of autism."
my kid's got it bad. You can be sure of that. He's just as full blown
as he can get. You get that gover'ment spending thing for him, and get
to work treaten' him."
after all these years of ignorance, I discover that I am Autistic. I
have lived for nearly seventy years believing I was "different" or
"crazy." Now I discover that I am perfectly normal, but with an
abnormality that is socially acceptable, but only as a sever
my grandparent's time an "Indian" was not the thing to be. If there was
a drop of Indian blood in the family line, it was rejected and denied
posthaste. Even many Indian youth denied their heritage and tried to be
just as non Indian as they possibly could.
came official apologies to the Native American people, and along with
that apology came Government support. The tide then changed. Everyone
clamored to the libraries, the genealogy sites, the Native American
stores and the reservations searching for but a single drop of Indian
they could claim for their own. It was now the "thing" to be Indian.
Should the tide ebb once more, and "Indian" be deemed socially
unacceptable, people will be cutting their wrist to rid themselves of
the Indian blood they sought so hard to find.
much Indian blood does it take to make an Indian? According to
Government funding (Cherokee), it takes about one pint more or less
depending on your size. Seven percent of your body is blood, 1/16 of
that must be authentic Native American, and registered with an Indian
agency to be considered for funding. Perhaps your left arm will do,
unless you are left handed, then you can give up your right arm.
much Autism must you possess to be classified "Autistic?" For
Government funding, more than an arm I'm afraid.
and the degrees of autism changes from year to year, and from study to
study. It's kind of a pick-and-choose as to who (or whom) you wish to
believe. And who you listen to now, may not be the one to listen to
tomorrow. An example of this can be seen in a bill being presented to
our government at this moment where once again our Politicians hope to
break another treaty with the Cherokee Nation and withdraw the funding
Tribal Nation has been dependant on so long. Government dependancy is
like a spider hanging on a long, thin web: fine until the wind blows a
one wants to be a "little" autistic. Autism is a social stigma from
which people try to separate themselves. Now, if you have a big social
problem, and you can not, or will not change in
order to conform to the socially accepted, then autism is a crutch on
which you may lean. If you are autistic, the faults you posses are no
longer your fault, but are the fault of God, your parents or some other
source outside yourself.
am Autistic. I may have told you that already. But since I am autistic
I have a poor memory and may tell you things I have forgotten that I
told you. It's not my fault because I am autistic. See how nicely I
could work that in? It's great having something to blame for my lack.
But of course, to cast the blame for my poor behavior from me, I must
admit to having something, or being something not acceptable to the
society in which I live. But, since society is so directed toward
accepting the unacceptable, admitting that I am, with reason, socially
unacceptable, I then become socially acceptable. Two ends that meet,
while the broad middle is ignored.
I was to ask you if you were Autistic, what would be your reply? If you
know anything about autism (which until last night I did not), the
chances are extreme you will flat-out deny any touch of autism. That is
unless you have a social disorder you wish to be seen as socially
acceptable. Another reason you might admit to being autistic is if you
are receiving government aid for autism, and you fear you might be
talking to an undercover government agent trying to catch you off guard
and take away your funding.
you autistic? Let's take a look at some of the signs of Autism.
by widespread abnormalities of social interactions and communication,"
might a person who has a problem with social interaction and
inabilities fit into society? Let's look at some alternate
method a person with a lack of social skills might find themselves in a
society that accepts them is to join another group (or start one) of
people who have similar social dysfunctions.
the 50's such groups were Beatniks or Artists and gathered in coffee
houses and such places as Haight-Ashbury.
Then in the 70's art and
poetry became too much of an effort, and coffee too bland, so those who
did not fit in carried flowers and formed communes where they smoked
pot and performed other such socially unacceptable activities under the
name of "Peace and Free Love."
Those people who were not so
inclined to total freedom of expression turned to the cults for
spiritual feeding. For these such cults as the Children of God and the
People's Temple (Guyana) were formed.
And for those who were after
the spiritual, but did not wish to be associated with something called
a "cult," churches were provided, although in them total freedom from
etiquette had to be compromised.
For those who fit into none
of the above there were other institutions created and available. One
such institution is that of Higher learning where they did not learn
about spiritual matters or flowers, but about Monkey Men and Molotov
Then for those who wished to
totally withdraw into their own world, there was the even higher
institution of acceptance called Mental Institutions. But in the 70's
the government decided not to support those with the most sever case of
withdrawal, and blew on the web that supported such institutions and
released these Autistic people into society, many you can see on street
corners of the larger cities today.
And for those who have an
even more antisocial bent, there are the prisons the which are filling
faster than they can be built. This indicates to me that such a form of
autism is by far the most prevalent, and the most popular.
Not everyone fits into any of these established forms of retreat. I am
one of those. I did not fit into the Hippy nor the Beatnik communities
since I was not artistic nor into flowers, coffee made me sick, and
drugs was beyond my comprehension.
Nor did I follow the
Spiritual route since it required even more social skills and
etiquettes than I possessed.
The Schools of Higher
Learning was a flop for me because I have such a faulty memory (my
having such sever autism you know), and besides I could never catch on
to how to mix a proper cocktail. Another problem I was confronted with
was, as hard as I tried, I couldn't find record of a single one of my
ancestors being a monkey. A couple were horse thieves, but that is as
close as I got.
As for Mental Institutions I
fit well with their company. But as I said, the government cast out
those who held on to such threads. Pardon me while I redo my cardboard
One other avenue of escape exists for the autistic who fits into "None
of the Above." That is the road. A road of solitude where the only
rules that must be followed are those one makes for one's self. That is
the road I have taken. It is where I feel the most comfortable. There
is one drawback to such a road, it is a very narrow road that only
allows one person at a time to walk it. Only for short distances does
it allow room for company to walk beside, and then not hand-in hand.
severely restricted interests."
am very restricted in my interests. I am interested in this website, my
writing, certainly the study of the Bible, art, computers, nature,
people, the study of people, teaching, music of all kinds, building
things, fixing things, reading, eating, cars, bicycles, hiking, travel:
but other than that, I'm not much interested in anything. Severely
restricted in my interests. Of course if you are interested in
politics, sports, and anything I didn't list, you would readily agree
with my diagnosis of myself, that I am severely restricted in my
let's see now. Do you know of anyone who is also restricted in their
field of interest? Say a car buff, or a health nut, or a movie fan, or
a computer geek, or a food addict, or a religious fanatic, or fashion
Queen, or a ... But of course that's not the same
thing, is it.
is me all over. When I ride my bike, just watch my feet. It so
repetitive it would bore you to tears. It's the same when I'm walking,
or when I'm typing. It's terrible. I've tried to overcome this
dysfunction, but somehow it is just too much a part of me.
course I'm sure I'm the only one with this problem. Computer gamers,
dish washers and factory workers and mechanics and secretaries and the
like would never be caught in such a situation, nor would puzzle
workers or book worms. No, no, never.
prone to committing social faux pas due to an inability to predict the
reactions of and understand the intent, needs and desires of those
there was ever one who commits social indiscretions because of not
being able to predict what others are thinking or wanting, it is me.
This is especially true around women. I am always mistaking their
intents and their desires. But then, I'm sure that is only me. Surely you
never experience such "Social Faux Pas's."
negligent of social niceties, like knocking on doors before entering or
returning a greeting."
is where I fail the test. I am supersensitive to the acceptance and the
comfort of others. I will go far out of my way to not step on toes and
to "knock on doors" before entering. But the experts see the lack of
such as a sign of autism. Interesting: because I see my being overly
conscious of pleasing people as being a sign of autism, that is of
living in my own little world of reality (which although nor mentioned,
seems to be a sign of autism): My reality being that of making sure their realities do not
become unrealities by my negligent observance of them.
may be overly trusting or paranoid of strangers"
here I've really got to give it to the experts. They have their
posterior covered from every direction. Must have been written by a
politician. If you are afraid of strangers, you are autistic. If you
are not afraid of strangers, you are autistic. I
got to admit, this is definite evidence that I am autistic.
want to develop social relationships and are actually able to build
relationships with peers through social skills training."
again they have their rumble seat locked tight and camouflaged. They
are: "Able to build
relationships with peers through social skills training." Can you
imagine that. The socially unacceptable who have learned to be socially
acceptable. Now, considering this, how can one tell the difference? And
since it is a learned trait, and since every child is taught "social
skills training," how can I tell if my social skillfulness has come
about from my training or by being other than autistic? Once again, I
must claim a seat on the Autism bus.
taught how society works by using virtual reality simulations to learn
about the complex rules of society."
Good ol' computer games. What would we do without them? Here I've been
thinking all this time those games were a problem
of today's youth. But now the experts say they are teaching the
children (as well as the many adults who use them) social skills. Of
course all the games I have seen advertised are
teaching how to steal cars and get away with it, to kill and to maim,
and to throw Molotov cocktails. But then, I guess that's cheaper than
going to college to learn those things. And again, I suppose that is
what "normal" society is about nowadays seeing what is in the movies
and on the news. But then, I'm autistic. What do I
stereotypes by observing their parents' actions, such as locking car
doors when in certain neighborhoods."
I have to say: Wow! How do these brilliant minds come up
with this stuff? I'm sorry to say the information I have doesn't tell
us how "normal" people learn to lock car doors in rough neighborhoods
(my being a paranoid autistic I even lock my car doors in safe
neighborhoods. But what do I know? I'm autistic,
or did I already tell you that?) I thought everyone
learned from their parents and others around them. It seems to me that
kids left on their own, even the finest of them, will likely grow up
like Sabu in Jungle book, or the kids in Lord
of the Flies. But then, I'm not educated so I don't know any
dictates our thoughts and behavior. If you are a typical American you
eat beef. Beef comes from cows.
(traditionally) do not eat beef. Beef comes from cows. To a Hindu that
cow is his ancestor. Should the traditional American convert to
Traditional Hinduism, suddenly that slab of beef on the plate before
him becomes his ancestor.
because of your new social outlook, you will stand right next to that
skin and bones cow and starve to death, both you and your family. Yet,
as far as you know, in your next life you will be
that skin and bones cow.
to ourselves, we have no society to which to conform. When we are in a
society, we learn to conform to that society. Should we decide not
to conform, or are unable to conform, we are not admitted into that
society in which we find ourselves. An example of this is anyone who
travels from country to country. Little mistakes in judgment, or habits
that are totally acceptable and even expected in one part of the world
can get you ostracized, or even killed in another. One traditional
example of this is the "ugly American" who feels he is above conforming
to the norms of societies other than his own. We have had Presidents as
well who have not heeded the advise of their advisors and have suffered
diplomatic difficulties from the lack thereof.
is an archaic term for those people who are autistic, but are also
highly skilled in one or more specific areas. Usually this term applies
to people who's IQ is below 20. The largest majority of people hold an
in German developed in 1912) of between 80 to 120, with the median
being 100. Some of the factors that are used to judge a person's IQ are
the parent's IQ, and heredity. I for one would hate to be judged in
such a vital area by my parent's rather than on my own abilities or
lack thereof. But then, I'm Autistic or have I told you that already?
As with Autism this quotient
has varied over time, and is different from one study to the next. Like
in so many other areas, the "experts" are always changing their minds,
and arguing against one another, yet they expect you and me to take on
faith all they spoon-feed to us. This can also be seen in politics, the
media, and weather reporting.
There is a group around called "Mensa" for the exceptionally high IQ's
of this world. To join Mensa you must have an IQ in the top 2
percentile. This is about 132. The originator of this organization (a
British lawyer by the way) had an IQ of 148, putting him quite well up
there amongst the top. I wonder what score he would have allowed in
Mensa had his IQ been 122 or below?
Some of the members of Mensa
might surprise you. Here are but a few:
Scott Adams - cartoonist, creator of Dilbert
Isaac Asimov, - author of I,
Derek Keith Barbosa - rapper
(under pseudonym Chino XL)
Bobby Czyz - boxer, former
two-time World Boxing Association Cruiserweight Champion
Jodie Foster, actress.
Charles Ingram - Quiz show
Mell Lazarus - cartoonist,
creator of comic strips Miss Peach and Momma
Scott Levy - professional
Nicky Piper - boxer
James Woods - Emmy Award
Marilyn Vos Savant - listed
in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Highest IQ".
Now you might very well ask me why I would include a list of "Geniuses"
under the heading "Idiot-Savant." And it would be a very good question,
and one I am certainly willing to answer. Did you check out the
occupations of the world geniuses? A Rapper, boxers, wrestlers, actors,
And did you notice the name
of the last on the list: "Savant"?
"Idiot" I don't have to tell you what that means, but I will anyway
since I love to show off. It is someone with an IQ under 20, which
would place them on the opposite extreme of
Below is another list. Check out the occupations of these.
Jedediah Buxton, UK savant calculator
Tony DeBlois, U.S. blind and
Temple Grandin, U.S.
designer of humane livestock facilities
Leslie Lemke, U.S. blind
musician with brain damage
Hikari Oe, Japanese
Kim Peek, U.S. savant with a
photographic or eidetic memory, developmental disabilities and the
inspiration for the movie Rain Man
James Henry Pullen, British
deaf "Genius of Earlswood Asylum"
Matt Savage, U.S. autistic
Orlando Serrell, U.S. savant
who can recall the day of the week (as well as what the weather was
like) for any day since the day a baseball hit his head.
Henriett Seth F., Hungarian
autistic savant with multiple autoimmune disorders, poet, writer and
Daniel Tammet, UK synesthete
mathematics and language savant
Gilles Trehin, French
autistic artist and creator of the fictitious city of Urville
George Widener, U.S.
autistic savant, artist with calculator and calendar skills
Blind Tom Wiggins, U.S.
blind and mentally handicapped pianist in 1860s
As you can see, this last list consists of what is now called
"Autistic-Savant" rather than the archaic "Idiot-Savant" (Savant
meaning "Learning" in French.")
We have geniuses who are boxers, cartoonists, wrestlers and rappers. We
have "idiots" who are pianists, mathematicians, memory experts,
writers, composers and designers. Does this perhaps give you food for
Both lists are far from intensive, but I believe you can see that it is
highly suspect when we place labels on people, especially when those
labels are given by those in high and respected, therefore listened to
positions. What is even worse is when we judge ourselves
by the labels placed on us by these so-called experts and limit
ourselves accordingly. The greatest advances in all areas have been
made by those people who refused to listen to experts. Let us not judge
ourselves, nor others, nor what is right and wrong by the dictates of
society, nor by the experts.
purpose in this study is not to discredit those who have legitimate
forms of autism. It is clear that there are those who have, to one
degree or another, an actual dysfunction or even damage to the brain
outside their own ability to control. My purpose is to show that we all
have problems in this area that we hide from while castigating those
with real problems. Each and every one of us is only capable to
function in the society we live because of training and conditioning,
not by our own superior abilities.
second reason for this study is to show how we tend to accept the
arbitrary dictates handed to us, from sources we know nothing of, in
order to understand what we are told. Because of the vast array of
information modern man is confronted with daily we can not be expected
to search out the "truth" of every matter. However, because we can not
investigate all we are presented with, we tend to
investigate none that is before us. We only check
out in detail that which slaps us in the face. For instance, if we are
presented first-hand such illnesses as stroke, Alzheimer or cancer,
that issue becomes foremost in our mind. And this is as it should be.
But there are many things acting on us day-by-day like an unknown
cancer that is killing us which is being ignored. These issues are what
I try to investigate and present an upsetting view to those who will
listen. I say: "Upsetting" because I do not want what I say to be taken
as "Truth," but as a possibility that requires further consideration.
this same regard, I have only presented here a very superficial view of
Autism. In fact it could well be called a "distorted" view. I have used
this view to present my purpose, which is to look deeper and more
honestly at ourselves and less critical at others; and to reexamine all
you think you already know.
seeking information on Autism should totally disregard all they have
read here, and look to reliable sources, of which there are many.