What is Autism: Introduction
My dear friend, David Shantz, brought it to my attention that perhaps my readers don’t know so much about autism; perhaps that is something I should fix. When I address the issue of autism in the outside world, at school for example, I put my experiences in context. When I gave my first speech about autism, I knew I would have to explain what autism is. There’s so much about blogging that I’ve come to take for granted, there are so many relationships I’ve developed where the short-hand of a conversation works just fine, that perhaps I took it for granted that my readers would see the context of autism in my life. That was inappropriate.
However, one of the greatest difficulties when putting autism into context is that autism is complexicated. Yes, this does mean that autism is complex and complicated. However, I choose the “word” complexicated to imply something else as well. Like autism, complexicated is a word that will only be recognized and understood if you put a little effort into it. If you just shut your mind off, because complexicated isn’t a real word, then you’re shutting off a possible avenue of communication. However, if you’re open enough, you’ll recognize that it may very well be an attempt at “complicated” or it may be something else, perhaps a little more even.
It is very much the same with autism. You can cling to the notion that autism is a developmental disability, i.e. bad, or you can open yourself up to the myriad of possibilities. When putting autism into context, a person such as myself has the responsibility to acknowledge its complexicated nature. It’s not the subject matter of a single post. Therefore, I’m going to present a series of post about autism. I’m going to address autism from a variety of angles, while using many real-world, personal examples to bring it all into context.
Before anyone gets jumpy, and by this I’m referring the my neurodiversity-friendly readers, I’m going to explain autism both as a disability, and as a difference…so please don’t tune me out because I repeat what the doctors say.