Sunday, September 4, 2011

Will You Have Some Complication With Your Autism, Madame?

Everyone comments on how clever our autie kids are, and I smile and agree...
...thinking about how the kid who can google his favourite YouTube clips in four languages has to be forcibly restrained from fishing used toilet paper from the loo and eating it.


I sometimes have to swallow the compliments with a double dose of antacid, as they stick in my throat a bit.

Humans are complicated creatures.  
We are full of contradictions, grey areas and conundrums.  
Shakespeare wrote a play or two exploiting the fact.

But whack in an autism fireball, and the human condition explodes and expands like a brand new universe.

Autism is humanity to the nth degree.

I wonder how Sherlock Holmes would have dealt with autism (aside from locking him in an attic, maybe, which seems to have been the treatment of choice for many years)?  I'm not convinced he could solve the riddle of the boy who could escape Alcatraz but would then almost certainly step out in front of a truck as he has zero sense of road safety (there were trucks and Alcatraz in Sherlock Holmes novels...they just don't mention them much).  
Plus it would be hard to fit that title on a book cover.
Sherlock might have retired after that one, and spent his dotage cuddled up to Watson muttering about inconsistencies and dualities.  Poor Watson.  I often wonder if he got his man in the end.

Maybe the ancient tragedies had a better handle on Autism...I mean, Icarus displayed a trait or two when he single-mindedly continued to fly into the sun with wings that didn't have a great SPF factor. Have you ever tried telling an autie kid that running along the top of an 8ft wall is not the best of ideas??  You get a two fingered salute and a come and get me if you're so worried in response.  
Plus Medusa with that head of  autistic tantrum  if ever I've seen one.

Maybe Autism has always been around.
These days Spock and Dr House fly the flag.
Spock is relentlessly logical, captain, but just won't get anything done about those ears.
And House, well, if you watch House you'll know...disgracefully rude genius with zero social skills.  I should know.  I've got one of my own.

Autism is such a simple, deceitful word.  
It implies independence.  It intends to explain  an inexplicable condition in three syllables.
It says nothing about my gorgeous (sometimes genius) poo-eating child who makes complicated seem easy.
So when a compliment sticks in my throat (even though I love to hear them...yes...I'm a contrary human too apparently), it's just because they haven't seen him nude trampolining or being dragged screaming by two adults from a shopping centre because we're going the wrong way!!!!!!.

Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth,  I remember my English teacher trying to teach us about equivocation (the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning, apparently).
I hadn't a clue what it meant at the time...I may have been more interested in how to make my 80's hair even BIGGER, and how to lure Bruno from Fame to Ireland so he could marry me and unite our giant hair-do's.

All she had to do was say "one day you'll have a really cool autie kid, and then you'll understand"


  1. I reckon Sherlock was autisitc. I was reading about the man who discovered the archaeological site of Skara Brae. Very anti social, utterly single minded, had leant to read hundreds of languages but never spoke any of them, was incredibly thoughtless to his fellow workers, not a big washer...autism has always been around only now we feel the need to give it a name and neat box to pidgeon hole people into. A box that Finian seems to escape from a lot.

  2. Very thought provoking post. I agree with you about the simplicity of the word. Sometimes I hate the words autistic spectrum disorder (my son's diagnosis) because they don't really describe him. In fact my son is so complex that he fools many people (including the professionals) who assume because he can talk well (sometimes) that he is able. In some ways he is but then they don't see the child who plays mud pies in the garden, who pretends he is a dog or who makes concoctions and hides them around the house ...the list goes on. He is such a contradiction that trying to get others to understand him is an ongoing battle.

  3. Yep I recognise the concept of a disgracefully rude genius with zero social skills. But sometimes he's not like that at all. Autism - and aspergers - just makes my brain hurts xx

  4. Yes, Autism has been around for a very long time indeed. The complications, dualities and differences are to confuse us and keep us on our toes I think! And silly you, going the 'wrong way'..what were you thinking?!! Oh, I remember those days well!

    xx Jazzy

  5. It is amazing the dichotomy, isn't it? People always mention how smart A is but the are baffled as to why he always almost gets run over in the parking lot. Gets them every time. I just smile and say thanks!