Monday, April 13, 2015

Special VS Intimate Friends and Autism Part 2

So, I'm going to touch on another bit of comments on this video clip. Please watch the video before reading. 
Start watching this video at minute 5:40 through the end of the video, around 4 minutes of content.

So far, I think that I have kinda covered the fact that I was indeed interested in intellect, and not physique. It made me feel so good to be connected to these people who just increased my love for learning and the enthusiasm they had just inspired and attracted me to them (and the subject, to be honest).

So this time, I will speak on the next thing the video mentioned, and that is projection.

First of all, I think that this is very true for ALL children, but we project our adult understanding of life onto them far too early and far too often. What I mean by that is it seems like as soon as kids start interacting with other children, we seem to pressure them into this whole "is she your ____friend?" kind of teasing! These kids are still discovering friendship, and we are already pressing adult situations on them? And this only gets worse as they get older, we tease and we poke fun and we have to start having "dates", or something. I don't know what age this really starts in this country, and a part of me doesn't want to know because I would probably be horrified at it being the age my son is or something.
But the fact is that we are pushing our adult relationship understanding onto children who are just barely making friends and working that whole social situation out.

Now, we have to go back to our focus on aspies or autistics. First, we have a rough social life. We have a hard time with the way that the world works, socially, so we likely don't have huge social circles or friendships. It's likely we are already being teased for this difference, or that difference. I believe that kids who are teased by their own parents will tease other kids in likewise, so those kids who's parents are teasing about ____friends will likely also put that teasing pressure on each other, autistic or not, even those people who are not friends.

Second, I feel that autistics have a huge amount of naivety in life. We "don't get it" when we are picked on sometimes because we think that they must not mean it that way, no one would mean to do that, right? We tend to believe people when they say things, we don't "get" the idea of sarcasm most of the time (unless we know the person really well, sometimes not even then). So when someone tells you that the sky is pink, you might start believing them because others, especially adults, must know better than we do, so they must know what they're saying, right? Why would they lie about things? What would they stand to gain?

So when someone tells you that you're in love with someone, you believe they must know what they're talking about. Especially for someone of 12-13 years old, you've lived a while and realized that you have certain weaknesses when it comes to social or friendship relating, so you do tend to trust others, especially if they're your (so called) friends. You don't spend a lot of time telling yourself that they must be wrong - you're the one with the social weakness, they must know what they are talking about because they don't seem to have that problem. After all, you've never experienced love like this before, so you don't really have an idea of what to compare it to. They've had ____friends, so they must know what they're saying right? 

So, people project their opinions, or assumptions, on others. They do it to NT kids, and they do it to autistic kids. Though all kids are likely to believe what is being projected onto them, I think that autistics are especially prone to this because they are already socially vulnerable. Even when it's coming from people who are not kind to us, and who are being mean, we still might believe it because they must know what they're talking about, they don't seem to struggle socially!

I think we have to be careful what we project on our kids. I think kids are far more innocent in their intentions than we think they are. I think kids get pushed into things far before they are ready. I think that this makes them uncomfortable and insecure, and can cause a lot of problems as they grow up. Kids need to just be kids! And kids with autism, diagnosed or not, need to not have to feel pressured into a box of "this is how you feel" - let them define their own experience. 

I have been thinking back about this quite a bit and I think that it all started with me saying that I really liked him a lot. Though that may be NT language for a crush, romantic love or whatever, I don't think that was what I meant. The more I try to redefine what I felt into this kind of intense intellectual interest, the more things just click. 

Someone who knows me from that time might think that I'm just trying to "excuse" my behavior, or deny the past. That isn't it at all. All through this blog and this journey, I'm trying to understand myself through what I am: autistic. I'm trying to make sense of my world, past present and future. Sometimes that means that I redefine what I felt, or experienced, through the autistic lens. All the things that I couldn't make sense of from my childhood makes sense now through the lens of aspergers. This topic is one of the biggest revelations I have made about myself to date. I'm sure there are many other things I have yet to discover, and I am finding this quite fun to see myself in a new light. 

Here comes my echolalia: "I'm not Josie Grossy anymore!"
Because that's kinda how I feel. I wasn't a freak! There is a reason for this or that, and it isn't what it seemed to be!

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