Part 1 is here.
Trigger warning for ableism, specifically against people on the autism spectrum.
The article this is critquing can be found here.
Our next part starts with an exciting situation in which a person without Asperger’s applies motives and thought processes to a near stranger based on his having Asperger’s. Let’s watch. Actually, you want to skip this. Put on some music you like, drink something you enjoy, and scroll down to where you see /Serious Trigger Warning letting you know that it’s slightly less dangerous to proceed. Serious Trigger Warning.
When I happened to be on a week-long group backpacking trip with a man with Asperger’s (he only told us about this at the end), it took some time to realize there was something different about him. I recall best that his normal ten-year-old son (they’d been sent out for a male bonding experience) was in agony from trying to carry a pack too heavy for him. His father told him it was because he had packed too much. This was surely the case, but Dad showed no sympathy or even annoyance.
This strikes me as being common. Also, it strikes me as being in need of context. Did the dad spend the time packing reminding his son to pack lighter? Were there arguments about what does and doesn’t need to be brought? Does the dad know his kid’s pack is too heavy because he spent time trying to get his kid to stop packing non-necessities? Did the dad offer to pack some things but his kid refused and insisted that he could do it?
Even just one of these being true and that’s not an unlikely response to the whining. If you warn someone about something and they ignore your warnings, hearing htem complain about it results in annoyance. That’s not a lack of empathy, that’s not a lack of proper social understanding/reaction. That’s the reason “I told you so” exists in the English language.
And it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that all of those happened, which makes it even more understandable.
Severe Trigger Warning (it’s that bad, seriously, consider just skipping this bit, if you are at all low on spoons- do not read this) It was not about teaching his son a lesson—that would have involved some complex social-emotional negotiations.
….Stop talking. Just, ugh, this is disgusting, the smugness. Did he say that? Did he say “No- Iw asn’t teaching him a lesson” or are you saying “this man clearly can’t handle the complex social-emotional negotiations involved in child rearing he’s just a cold-hearted jerk while normal parents who do the same thing are doig it for their kids own good!”
He was clueless about how to resolve this beyond next time seeing his son had a lighter pack.
Maybe this was teaching him a lesson, it was punishment, and making his kid carry the pack was so that he could spend a week having it drilled into him “I need to pack lighter”.
Not the kindest thing- but it happens. Neurotypical parents do this.
Something clearly had to be done, so my husband carried the boy’s pack on steep climbs. The father expressed no surprise or gratitude.
Your husband just interrupted his parenting without first running it by the boy’s father. Let me make it clear that I know full well that parents can be abusive- but how many parents do you know are grateful when someone undermines their authority?
Now, it apparently/allegedly didn’t upset the boy’s father- not enough for his response to be worthy of noting- so it’s hopefully not that bad. But that still doesn’t mean “Look at this man tormenting his poor child by making him carry a heavy backpack”
He was a very nice man, a nurse by profession, and a good one when I was injured on the trip.
So… Possibly someone who’s more aware of his child’s physical limits so would be more aware of wehther or not hte pack is “too heavy” as in “this will do damage to my child if I don’t help” vs. “too heavy” as in “I don’t want to carry this pack so I’m gonna whine but I can do it”, so it’s even more likely than it usually is that the dad would know he wasn’t hurting his kid by making him carry his own pack?
He could talk readily about his problem, and the fact his marriage had ended because his wife could not stand his lack of emotional empathy.
But there was no way that he could be confused with an HSP, except perhaps by his acute awareness that he was different, which made him very sad. He could experience his own emotions, but he could not read the signs of the emotional experiences of others.
But if a lack of empathy is the problem- I’m definitely liable to confuse this person with what they seem to think a person with Asperger’s “disorder” is like (note: this has nothing to do with what people with Asperger’s are necessarily actually like). That’s a serious display of empathy fail there.
/End Severe Trigger Warning
(trigger warning: Anti-Intersex/Dyadism, Binarism, Cissexism) We do know these disorders are genetically based—[…] For example, most but not all of the genes put boys more at risk than girls.
anti-intersex/dyadism and binarism and cissexism. I just love the smell of it in the morning. I will bet you money that she means “That put people with one X chromosome more at risk than people with more than one X chromosome.”
Just say that.
This whole part is just a lot of stuff that may very well be pseudo-science (Autism Spectrum conditions might be caused by “the zillion chemicals we are all ingesting these days”). It might have some basis, but I don’t know. so I’m skipping the rest.
An early diagnosis followed by the right treatment makes a huge difference in the outcome, so you do not want to make any mistakes here.
What the hell is the right treatment? Because often times treatment is incredibly abusive and damaging to people on the autism spectrum. It might make them more “socially acceptable”, but at what cost? When we stop living in a world where PTSD is preferable to being on the autism spectrum (being trans, having an intersex, not being straight, being anything not “normal”)- then I won’t have as much of a problem with it.
But really- depending on the situation, sometimes the right “treatment” is teaching the kid how to handle a world that doesn’t like them. Which isn’t a “treatment” like she’s suggesting.
Severe Trigger Warning (just go read something else, have a nice day) no one who loves a child or their parents would want to think about autism
If you don’t understand why it’s problematic to say no one would want to think someone they love might be autistic, please stop reading this and start reading blogs by people on the autism spectrum who do a much better job of explaining why acknowledging that they’re on it, and loving them for who they are, is far kinder than pretending they’re neurotypical.
or is happy for twenty minutes merely watching a bicycle wheel spinning [part of showing how incredibly "bad" it is to have an ASD]
I am so jealous of that kid. Why is it a disorder to be made happy by little things?
Sometimes sensitivity and ASDs are confused because the child with an ASD may have little or no ability to regulate emotions, and sensitive children, too, are more emotional than other children. But with ASDs, these behaviors are due to incorrectly processing perceptual stimulation all the time, not just when overstimulated.
Whereas HSP are just overstimulated by the world so are always overstimulated so…
Also, people on the autism spectrum very likely could match all the traits of HSP and therefore would be an HSP on the autism spectrum.
[Suggesting an “insiders” book that’s written from the autistic perspective by a man who does not have autism. Also, represents him as an "expert" despite the author saying that he is not]
There’s too many things wrong with this.
Everyone may be relieved to find a biological explanation, an ASD [as opposed to high sensitivity], especially since it absolves the parents of any blame.
Why is high sensitivity not a biological condition? What is it?
Alas, such a diagnosis also reduces the hope of changing, of developing stronger social connections with practice.
I… yeah. Right. Of course.
Is this true? At all? Can people with Asperger’s, if they want to, not look at how they naturally interact with the world vs how most people do and find a way to help the two jive a bit better to improve reactions?
Emphasis on “if they want to”. If the rest of the world wants to jive with them- maybe we should be asking them how they interact with the world and work to change ourselves to fit that better.
(part 3 coming)