Big Idea to Explore

Big Idea to Explore

The concept of the Spectrum to oppose the ideology of normalcy, the bell curve or anything other attempt at averaging of humanness.

The Autism Spectrum

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If you have met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.

"Not only was my mind fully present and understanding everything, but I read fluently. I thought of retorts, jokes and comments all day long in my head. Only no one else knew.

So, I was talked to like a toddler, not given a real education, and kept bored and sad."

-Ido Kedar, Vista del Mar Autism Conference (Lynch,2019)

What does the 'Spectrum' really mean?

CL Lynch breaks down the misunderstanding associated with the spectrum in her article, "Autism is a Spectrum" Doesn't Mean What You Think.

She explains, " But autism isn’t that simple.

 

Autism isn’t a set of defined symptoms that collectively worsen as you move “up” the spectrum.

 

In fact, one of the distinguishing features of autism is what the DSM-V calls an “uneven profile of abilities.” There’s a reason people like to say that “if you have met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Every autistic person presents slightly differently.

 

That’s because autism isn’t one condition. It is a collection of related neurological conditions that are so intertwined and so impossible to pick apart that professionals have stopped trying."

The concepts of bucketing people into 'high' or 'low' functioning come from exactly this variation. But it does autistic people an immense disservice. It dehumanizes them and makes them appear less than."

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A Commentary on the perceived value of 'normal' communication.

Amanda Baggs presenting a scathing commentary on the perceived value of what we consider 'normal' or communication.

 

A time to pause and consider what it means when  'high' or 'low' functioning labels are used by neurotypicals. 

" I want you to know that this has not been intended as a voyeuristic freak show where you get to look at the bizarre inner workings of the autistic mind, it is meant as a strong statement on the existence and value of many different kinds of thinking and interaction in the world."(Amanda Baggs, 6:59)
Baggs, A. (Director). (2017, January 14). In My Language [Video file]. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnylM1hI2jc
Lynch, C., & C.L. LynchC.L. Lynch is an award-winning fiction author and socially awkward autist living in Vancouver. (2019, May 04). "Autism is a Spectrum" Doesn't Mean What You Think " NeuroClastic. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://neuroclastic.com/2019/05/04/its-a-spectrum-doesnt-mean-what-you-think/