Autism & The Question of Reality

The opinion that neurotypical descriptions of autism are worthless may seem extreme or unfair. It’s possible to use instruments to explore the ocean floor without ever having been there, after all, and a competent researcher doesn’t necessarily have to be the thing that he or she is researching. There are empathic and imaginative faculties which many humans possess which allow them to gain a sense of hidden realms of perception without actually going to them. This is a wider question which this blog will address, along with the idea of technology as the primary means by which autists are able to bridge the gulf between themselves and the “outside world” (by which I mean the world of social mores and consensual reality). The word “world” presumes an all-inclusivity and an objectivity which automatically invalidates (“damns”) all experiences, perceptions, and behaviors that do not agree with that picture. And since autism is currently one of the most pressing and challenging disagreements which the “world” of neurotypicals is faced with, then to effectively investigate the question of autism is to investigate—and throw into question—the question of reality.

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3 thoughts on “Autism & The Question of Reality

  1. Our social world will never be harmonious until the reality of neuro-diversity is widely understood and appreciated. This is important becuase our mechanistic society only allows a certain kind of human to succeed and move up ‘in rank’ in most cases. One size does not fit all for sure. It is a sad truth that a lot of kids are drugged down by their ignorant parents/’superiors’.

    I’m wondering now, since Jasun has been expanding on and colouring the definition of Autism in, I guess I will say ‘revolutionary way’, how many readers consider themselves autistic now? Or possibly ‘semi-autistic’?

  2. Hi Lyc. It’s exciting to read your comment(s) because it lets me know that I am getting through to at least one person, and that there are probably more out there who aren’t vocalizing it (yet – i hope that will change as the more feedback i get, the more I can adapt my writing to that feedback so it is dialogue and not monologue). The last few posts are taken from a large and complex work-in-progress about autism and ECP, and if I had to list the primary hopes I harbor in writing it (and in keeping this blog), you zeroed in on one of them. While the NT world (ie society, ie, consensus reality) is other-izing the autist, and demonizing the other, in ever more extreme ways, one counter-measure is to allow for a widening (but also a more precise defining) of the definition of autistic – as something other than (and very different from) a diagnosis. It is an experience and a way of perceiving, and while it may be that not everyone is capable of having such an experience, everyone can at least acknowledge that it exists, just as we acknowledge the experience of a visionary artist, religious mystic, or spiritual teacher (tho we may not agree with it). Autism is akin to a world view – an intense one! That few people share it – or that those people (who may be more than presently thought) aren’t yet able or willing to form a collective culture – makes it seem like less of a worldview than an aberration of or a diversion from a predominant worldview. But this is the perceptual bias of consensus: reality, like history, is defined by the winners.

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