Lessons We Can Learn from Autism

Autism research reveals so much to us about human connectivity. Though the autistic spectrum disorders (asd) is a classification for people who have problems with connection, recent findings reveal that these individuals merely have a different way of connecting. Though their way of “connecting” appears very limiting, it reveals volumes about the tenuous cultural contrivances that we have invented to give us our group identity.

There is recent article in the journal “Frontiers” which argues that those with “ASD” do have the capacity to connect but largely with others on the same “ASD” spectrum. The author also argues that those with “TD” (typically development) likewise have a proclivity to bond with those like themselves and find those who are dissimilar more difficult to relate to if not down right objectionable. This principle of connection with the like-minded reveals a key dimension of what makes us human and capable for forming into a social body. (http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00124/full)

And I find that I’m guilty of this myself of preferring the “like-minded” and often realizing that the classification of people that I label “bad” appears to be growing by leaps and bounds. I have noted before, there is a frightening one-to-one correspondence with those who I see as “bad” and those who perceive and understand the world differently than I do. Hmm.

The critical issue in life is “difference.” How can I face difference and respect the phenomena without having my own identity threatened. And, yes, I see that the world is filled with people who don’t understand this and I want to tell ‘em, “Hey, just read “Literarylew” and get your head out!” But, alas and alack, “they” are staying away from “Literarylew” in droves and perhaps that is a valid stance in life???? Of course, we need to have people who look at life differently and it often takes more humility than we can muster up to respect them and at the same time make our own presence known in the dialogue of human concourse as we continue to, “We wage the war we are.” (W.H. Auden)

 

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