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Showing posts from March, 2017

Understanding the "unusual gait" part of asperger's syndrome

One of the more bizarre questions on the Asperger's diagnostic forms concepts whether the person has an “unusual gait”.  I remember reading that and thinking that I certainly didn't fit the profile in that instance. I think that the first image that popped into my head at that point was John Cleese doing the “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch. Of course, the reality of the unusual gait is “completely different”. Then and Now It was only later that I remembered that my wife, whom I met at age 14, used to tell everyone to watch out for my “funny running style”; something that clearly amused my schoolmates. Could this be the famed “unusual gait”. Fast forward about 33 years and I find that my work colleagues pick up on my “unusual gait” as I pass them on the street. Clearly there's something really different about how I walk. Not “wrong”, just different. In fact, it's clearly not wrong because I walk more than most people and done random walks of up to 50km

Sometimes Autism and/or Aspergers is very Detectable

Throughout my life, I've had people reacting to me in a fairly protective manner. If I was a different type of person, I'd probably find it quite patronising but in my case, I don't mind it and I even find it helpful at times. I know a lot of people on the spectrum who react quite differently, greeting this type of treatment with anger. Getting frustrated with this treatment is more or less the same as being a feminist and being frustrated with men who open doors for you. You may find it offensive but the people who are doing these things for you generally mean positive things.  How are we detectable? When I was younger, I used to assume that people knew about my hearing loss and were simply helping out. I remember having to say to my teachers at school, “I'm deaf, I'm not dumb”. Recently it's begun to dawn on me that this isn't deafness, it's not even knowledge of my place on the autism spectrum. It's simply the “vibes” that I put out. T

He doesn't look autistic to me...

He doesn't look autistic to me...  It's a phrase that every parent of a child on the autism spectrum dreads. Apparently it's meant as a compliment but in reality it's a fairly impressive bit of “multiple insulting“. Disclaimer: Nick Cage doesn't necessarily have autism but I used this photo because it has the right kind of "weird face" required to match the offending phrase. Why is this so insulting? On the one hand,  it's insulting to all people with autism because it suggests that all children with autism can be identified by presumably defective physical traits making them “inferior” to their neurotypical counterparts in yet another way. On the other hand, it's insulting to the person who has autism and their carers because it belittles their struggle and challenges the idea that they have anything to complain about. People often use the offending phrase to suggest that a child or adult doesn't need special treatment or support