“autism: […] the future of our society depends on our understanding it.”


Over a lifetime spent with mostly futile attempts to drift with the flow, I’ve discovered a mostly disturbing quality of my mind, namely the “finding the needle before seeing the haystack” capability, which made me a persona non-grata at meetings where those having an interest in hiding matters, oftentimes forbade me of taking notes, or even a notebook and pencil, because even though I am unable to see any “bigger (especially false) picture”, I can identify key words/concepts which my mind uses to profile the real picture with its oftentimes dreadful consequences.

A couple of hours ago, I’ve been delivered via St. Amazon a copy of Silberman’s “Neurotribes”. As my “religious” routine is to read first the title, copyrights, ISBN, etc page followed by the back cover, I have found the following, most distressing statement:

“What is autism: a devastating developmental condition, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more – and the future of our society depends on our understanding it.

Now, one of the advantages of a(n oftentimes identified as mainly) male Asperger’s binary thinking (yes/no, black/white), is an eerie capability of identifying absolutes, ultimate type of words or statements, axiomatic effects of a perceived completion of premises necessary in order to postulate them. And while these could be frightening for example to the clearly disadvantaged counterpart of a debate, from a purely contemplative perspective of judging deductive reasoning, its pure perfection becomes compelling.

Nevertheless, as undesirable as it would be contemplating a nuclear explosion from within, the same must be said about the above highlighted statement. Why? Because from here and now, the future looks and resonates nothing less than an Armageddon riding the Apocalypse for a socio-globality which still considers autism a “historical anomaly”, clarifying on a quod erat demonstrandum level, that there’s virtually no reasonable understanding of autism. Should there be any, searching for illusory “cures” in order “to stop the autism epidemic” would have become long ago shamefully obsolete.

Why have I written this post? Because I have become genuinely frightened at the idea of a future dominated by a neurotypical majority which is about to unleash through its deliberate ignorance, a chain reaction of wrong decisions about me, without having at least spoken in a meaningful way with me first. But even worse, the same majority seems even further ignorant that its wrong decisions shall have an effect not only on me and those alike, but as the quote’s author suggests, on society and ultimately the world as we know it.

Has the author of the quote gone mad writing such belligerent statements disturbing our state of -the art- denial?

I’ll leave it to your further inquiries, reminding you only that Silberman’s book has won “The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015”, with someone writing the aforementioned quote in bold, on the back cover.

And the Prize’s motto seems to be “All the best stories are true”…

3 thoughts on ““autism: […] the future of our society depends on our understanding it.”

  1. Although I have found myself amazed at how easily some people seem to perceive things others miss, I have also found myself being a persona non-grata at meetings or within organizations led by controlling heads. I am generally considered by the masses to be somewhat quiet and sweet, and even though I strive to be respectful even when others wonder about my graciousness, I tend to speak up on behalf of others when I sense discouragement, frustration, or injustice. For that reason recently, someone for whom I used to have the highest regards, publicly posted a scathing and even threatening post on social media. Although it did not name me or another person involved, all the evidence, including being unfriended, led me and this other person to believe the post was meant for our eyes. If only I’d seen the ‘needle’ before the ‘haystack’, or even upon seeing glimmers of it, I wish I hadn’t dismissed it.

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, having become friends with four people with Asperger’s, I really appreciate the insight your posts are providing, not only as it relates to them, but also as I find parts relating to me as well. Thank you again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Rene, you are most welcome!
      I was actually shocked by the statement, since it looks like a lot depends on how society relates to autism, but I realise now, that what’s at stake is actually two-ways…
      One, society’s future will be determined by its valuation of those who may not fit any arbitrarily set standards, because they are the actual game-changers, as you remember well, the uniquely and especially endowed, like the Tabernacle’s constructors.
      But second, and I don’t really like deepening on this one, a society which will deliberately ignore it’s ‘nerds’ will end-up setting up concentration camps for them…


  2. Not entirely sure this is on topic but reading post reminded me of how I watch neurotypical societies burn themselves out and, when questioned, tell me this is part of life. So many NTs have told me things like: “marriage isn’t worth it,” “I can’t wait until I retire,” etc. Don’t think this was Silberman’s intention, but I think an understanding and acceptance of autism, etc. is desperately needed so we can have another way of doing things and learn how to better sort out all the input we’re getting, especially from the Internet.

    Liked by 1 person

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