Recently I ran across a blog which has truly caught my interest. Its aims is to spread an understanding, acceptance and awareness of autism. No small task, and I believe most of the public does not understand the need.
Part of what caught my interest is not just the subject but the fact that the author is remaining anonymous. It is an interesting tactic which I find effective. One facet is that by remaining anonymous we are left with the subject matter rather than focusing on the person. In this instance that is important because the topic deserves a clear focus. Of course, as the reader comes to understand, she has other personal reasons for remaining anonymous.
Back when I was working on my doctorate in clinical psychology at Duke I heard of autism but never once saw someone with any form of that diagnosis. There is a great deal of speculation about whether we currently have an “epidemic” for one reason or another. There may be an increase but at the same time I find “diagnoses” often suddenly come into vogue as happened with multiple personality disorder which we learned was being created in therapists offices. As to autism, it clearly exists but one of the things this blog shares with us is how variable and multiple it may be. She also shares the difficulty of finding understanding with other people and that includes in education.
What I see in the posts is that there is clearly no one simple entity with fixed characteristics. In fact, as she brings up various issues I find myself observing that I have some of the characteristics. I suspect we all share some of them but they group differently and sometimes gather in larger numbers.
One of the lessons is that we should avoid judgement or pushing aside people who have these characteristics which are then called autism. Too often people so diagnosed are pushed away rather than being included.
It is a complex and challenging subject which reflects the complexity of our humanity. In learning about it we are offered insight into our humanity and, for that matter, insight into ourselves. I strongly recommend anonymouslyautistic.net for your attention. I’m sure you will find your own rewards and interest.
P.S. I couldn’t resist using this graphic picture because it illustrates the dynamism of our brains.