Yesterday…I was assigned a new intake…a young girl that mom says has autism…but the team says does not…so I decided to read more again about girls with autism (last time I got really annoyed because the definitions were opposite of boys and also about personality strengths).
I continue to be pissed off and offended by the lists suggesting women who have these strong characteristics are autistic…
1. Highly philosophical so much so the person can be become obsessive
2. Forgiving and caring about others so much so the person may be taken advantage of
3. Loves and an excels at reading and/or writing
4. See patterns frequently
5. Intuitively understand situations
6. Mimics people’s behaviors
7. May change behavior from environment to environment
8. Has difficulty gauging and communicating their own feelings
10. Vivid dreams that may also be precognitive
11. Easily confused
View this website for more ridiculous ideas about what it means to be women with “high functioning autism.”
Here’s what I do not understand…how is it that autism which is classified as a “social-communication disorder” is expressed in women a when they do things like writing well, imatating, and being intuitive… and expressed in boys when they do not understand social cues and have a limited ability express themselves verbally and via the written word?
Sure it’s possible the same thing is expressed differently between gender, or that its’ not the same thing, or that we (society) are the ones who are confused about communication and lack a general understanding about how things work.
It’s starting to piss me off that people are marginalizing and stating that my personality strengths are limitations….I think they are what makes me great. And just because it’s different than another and I’m more “odd” does not mean there is something neurologically wrong with me.
It seems to me during the last ten-fifteen years the word autism has lost its meaning and its’ definition and now encompasses personality traits society just doesn’t like or think are odd….ironically hundreds of years ago those traits were admired and people with those characteristics were actually the leaders fo society.
Of course since I enjoy philosophy so much, and can become obsessive with my thinking, and am a clumsy person with vivid dreams and am also highly intuitive I’m probably just confides and the way everyone else experiences the world is “right” and normal and I am just “wrong.
Here’s what I think…there are a lot of things wrong with me…but that list doesn’t describe those things… it describes what’s great about me and whats’ wrong with the world. Maybe it would be better to focus on changing what’s wrong with the world than forcing people to change what’s great about them…
I don’t know if this young girl meets criteria for “autism” or not…and frankly I don’t care if she does…she’s a girl with strengths and weaknesses and that makes her just like me and you. And all I want to know is who she is as a person, not some stupid label as if that would describe her more than her name and knowing her…I think labels are lazy ways of thinking about people. Easy and sometimes helpful, but not completely accurate or meaningful.