I may puzzle some people. Some people puzzle me. Some people are just designed to be puzzled. Sometimes neither person is inherently puzzling, but the combination makes it so.
It’s fairly one-sided and short-sighted to say that autistic people are puzzling. It assumes the idea that non-autistic are exempt from misjudgment, and ignores the fact that they’re not.
People are infinite. Infinite amalgamations of genetics, experiences, memories, interactions, thoughts, dreams, activities, personality traits, physiological functions, pathological conditions, environmental surroundings, personal challenges, stressors, pushing and pulling forces, astrological birth charts…
Since autistic people are people, too, that means that this Capability of Infinity also applies to us.
Our infinity often overlaps with that of non-autistic people. That’s part of the human experience, after all, and I don’t think that anyone loses sight of the fact that we’re people, too (despite how some of the world might treat us sometimes).
And in other ways, our infinity is different. We share the same framework with the non-autistic segments of humanity, but our infinite combinations may include characteristics and features not usually found in the non-autistic population.
It’s still infinity. It’s just a different kind.
But then, if there are indeed different palates from which we draw and different canvases on which we paint, can either side of the Neuro-divide still claim infinity? After all, when designing the operating systems for each, a few features were simply not available for each. If those functions and features appeared on a grand list of possibilities, certain options might have been “grayed out”, predetermined to be unavailable for either one.
So are any segments of humanity actually infinite, in terms of their possible combinations and individual makeup?
Whoa, Brain Pretzel!
Should I be talking in terms of variation/variety instead?
It’s been said that there’s actually more variation among those on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum than there is in the non-spectrum population.
Do I agree with that or not? I honestly don’t know. I’m not sure anyone does. If that makes me come across as a smooth side-stepping fence-sitter, that’s fine. It won’t make me change my answer. Why change your answer when you’re stating the truth as you see it?
I think the idea might have some merit. After all, just consider our ranges of interest: music (especially from specific decades or genres), machines (especially specific types or manufacturing time frames), art (specific styles and time periods), etc. Having more “limited” “special interests” as opposed to a general affinity for a subject could actually result in greater variations among a group.
Consider gender identity and sexual orientation. People on the spectrum are seven times more likely to be classified as something other than cis-gender heterosexual; contrast this with a comparatively much more heterogeneous non-autistic population.
Now consider the way in which Aspergian/autistic people perceive other people. We seem to have much less of a “hang-up” about obvious physical characteristics like ethnic makeup or anatomical gender. That doesn’t mean we don’t see them or that we overlook them entirely, because to do that would deny a significant portion of the person’s identity. But we’re generally a far less discriminatory lot. We tend not to make big productions out of these traits; they tend not to preoccupy us as much. (I know full well that not all non-autistic people are preoccupied with such traits, either; however, when I see mentions of these characteristics as one of the first traits that one sees, these mentions almost always originate from non-autistic people.)
Not allowing these characteristics to distract us as much removes many of the confines and barriers to making connections. This deepens the pool of people with whom one can make a more open and liberated connection with…
…allowing for more combinations and another opportunity for greater variety.
The same holds true for other topics like political persuasion, religious or spiritual alignment, or even “stimming” (self-soothing or mental/emotional focus) activities. There does seem to be more of a variety overall; there seems to be not much of a clear-cut majority, with pockets of minority groups and affiliations dotting the landscape.
(Sidenote: it’s really challenging to talk about this without stepping on a PC land mine on either “side”, so please bear with me as I try to express myself as clearly as I can. The words don’t come easily since I don’t think in words, and words are crude, cumbersome tools that are loaded with potential proverbial gun powder, and although they have their uses, they can’t carve out my thoughts very finely. Just know that my intentions are 100% pure.) 🙂
There’s infinity on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum.
There’s infinity in human beings in general, but I often witness it more abundantly and obviously among those on the spectrum.
Just look at personal bio/descriptions underneath peoples’ handles (names) on Twitter. I won’t “out” or single anyone out in particular here. But if you seek, ye shall find.
So maybe there’s a rainbow bubble of infinity within general infinity?
Or, how much of the general infinity are people on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum responsible for contributing to?
I ask superb questions, I know, but I have no equally-superb secret information with which to answer them. Such is the irony of life.
All I know is that we’re not as simple as puzzle pieces. We’re also not the only ones capable of mystifying others.
The only other tidbit I know is that there’s a metric ton of variety and variation within the Asperger’s/autism spectrum community, even more so than that which I’ve seen in the non-autistic world. There are always outliers, so I’m once again painting with an obscenely broad brush.
But regardless, I think that by now, you probably get my point. 🙂