Friday, April 11, 2008

Hans Asperger on the prognosis for autistics.

I stumbled across this on zazzle. It's the first time I've ever seen the quotation and I find it rather inspiring.

Asperger Quote mousepad

"For success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." -Hans Asperger

I'm going to make my own version of that quotation. I'm thinking of putting it into my blog header, too.

But here's another Asperger quotation that is perhaps more to the point of the month:

We are convinced, then, that autistic people have their place in the organism of the social community. They fulfil their role well, perhaps better than anyone else could, and we are talking of people who as children had the greatest difficulties and caused untold worries to their care-givers.[3]
Yeah. What he said. I perhaps might add that one's success may well be inversely proportional to the degree with which worry and difficulty translates into "interventions" designed to minimize autistic distinctions that serve our distinct social purpose.

What is that, you may well ask?

Well, I'd have to say, if I were forced to explain my own role and generalize based on other aspies I know, it would be reality checking and social criticism. (Or systems analysis, looking at all sorts of different systems and rules sets.)

As children, our expectation that rules, strictures and diktats should make sense often gets us into a great deal of trouble, and as adults we tend to look back and try to make sense of it all.
He [Asperger] followed one child, Fritz V., into adulthood. Fritz V. became a professor of astronomy and solved an error in Newton’s work he originally noticed as a child.
I can just imagine how well that went over in a properly Germanic pedagogical context.

Well, I imagine it was received about as well as criticisms of the revealed doctrines of ABA and Chelation Therapy, or the observation that a treatment that improves a co-morbid condition, such as gluten intolerance, is not therefore a "cure" for autism, or indeed, suitable for all persons with AS issues.

I suspect that the sons and daughters of those obsessively searching for ways to impose normalcy upon them will grow up to be an immensely productive disappointment to their parents. I know that my father's form of bigotry made a deep impression on me, and my personal disconnect between internal reaction and facial expression probably saved me many a beating, such as the day he informed me that he was a much more valuable person than Martin Luther King, because he, my father, was a blue eyed white man.

Yeah. To this day, racism strikes me as being indescribably stupid, the refuge of those with no better distinction than being a completely undistinguished member of a visible majority - and generally an example most other members of that majority would do well to exclude.

The tragedy, of course, is that in attempting to suppress what I was and am, my parents spent little or no time considering how to inform and empower my abilities, being focused exclusively on what they saw as my deficits.

Neither seemed able to understand why I was so ungrateful for the benefits of their tender concern, or my lack of interest in continuing in that same vein once I was legally permitted to ignore them.

Even so, I consider myself immensely lucky to have not "benefited" to the extent many persons on the AS spectrum have - and the rates of both suicide and homicide of autistic spectrum persons tends to grimly underline the dark side of "awareness."

For some, "awareness" promotes xenophobia, rather than compassion. When you see that reaction - dissociate yourself. Fear is contagious - and it does more to debase and destroy families and civilization than any degree of autism could. And I factor the cost of care into that equation.

Credit: Asperger Quote by jillgo4th


Anonymous said...

Many thank yous to you my friend, for striving to spread the much needed TRUTH and awareness of this ever growing epidemic! I could not be more greatful knowing that there ARE people like you who understand, despite what sometimes seems to be the contrary. I encourage you with my full, support to continue in this special mission.
Another piece of information as you may or may not already know, the new DSM-5(scheduled for release in 2013), will more than likely be subsumed into the Autistic Disorders category. It would interesting to get your opinion on this. I'll send the link to you.
Yours in faith,
James K.
P.S.- In case you were wondering...yes, I do have Asperger's. And if you don't mind me asking, do you too?

Bob King said...

I am on the spectrum, yes.

I don't consider it an epidemic, not in the slightest. It's a flap, or a panic. It's a great deal of running around in circles, accomplishing nothing at huge expense in terms of time, money and human suffering.

Fear drives out intelligence. And there are quite a few "activists" out there taking shifts on the panic siren.

Well, that's what earplugs are for.

Autistic spectrum kids are just like any other kids. They come to us as they are, not as we would have them, and we have the duty to understand them and help them use the gifts they have, not the abilities we would prefer.

You do not have the right to a child that behaves as you wish, or is naturally attuned to the things you prefer doing. It's lovely when that happens, it's certainly better for everyone, but the fact is, sometimes it doesn't work out that way.

That's WHY "it takes a village."

If someone is frothing about autism like a rabid xenophobe hyperventilating about the "yellow peril" or the "red menace" - consider how taking those yammerheads seriously worked out for all of us.

Fewer cures, more solutions. In a word, compassion. Oh, and "Don't Panic."

Anonymous said...

My apologies Mr. King. Your right! Using the word "epidemic" is not the proper use of vocabulary in describing yours and my situation. Making certain not to forget everyone else, whether it be those who are Aspies or those who have any other condition whom have been mercilessly marginalized because of our world's utter ignorance. You were right on in referring to it as a "flap, or panic".
But just to clarify, I never meant to insinuate, as you said that "[a parent has] the right to a child that behaves as [they] wish, or is naturally attuned to the things [they] prefer doing".
I am a 24 and a half year old college junior, who is not married and has no kids. But if God wills it, I would love to have a wife and children of my own someday and I would never expect such a thing from them. But even then, what exactly did you mean by that?
I have suffered greatly at times(as have you) because of the fact that what makes me so different as an Aspie, makes me more noticeable and an easy target. But on the other hand, I have been blessed because of the mere sliver of a condition that I have unlike those who can't walk or talk.
Because of this very thing, God has given me great compassion as He set into my life a few of these truely special individuals whom I have come to call my 'angels'. Because they've never lost that childlike sense of the world that so many people whom society defines as "normal" grow out of. Thanks again my friend, and many blessings!
Yours in faith,
James K.
P.S.- Could you please elaborate on your stating in quotes: 'it takes a village', and 'don't panic'?

Bob King said...

I didn't say that you felt in any particular way; I was stating my synthesis of a common social misunderstanding; that a child that cannot be trained as a parent wishes is "broken."

"it takes a village" is a saying;
"it takes a village to raise a child" for no two people could possibly know enough or be sure of having the particular needed wisdom.

That, and the whole extra eyes thing. :P

"don't panic" - you are 24 and in college and you have not yet read "The Hitch-hiker's guide to the Galaxy?"


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