Saturday, March 22, 2014

Best Explanation Of Autism

Nick Walker, Neurocosmopolitanism - March 1, 2014

Since I am neither autistic myself, nor educated on all of the various views and facts about autism, I call this the “Best” only in the sense that Walker’s piece is the explanation of autism that is the most consistent with my general sense of what autism might be, and which I believe helps to answer some of the lingering questions I have about autism … questions that I rarely see addressed by advocates of the “neurodiversity” movement. Above all, it goes a long way towards answering one question:

What do autistic people experience that is different from non-autistics?

Walker writes:
“ … the central distinction is that autistic brains are characterized by particularly high levels of synaptic connectivity and responsiveness. This tends to make the autistic individual’s subjective experience more intense and chaotic than that of non-autistic individuals: on both the sensorimotor and cognitive levels, the autistic mind tends to register more information, and the impact of each bit of information tends to be both stronger and less predictable.”
Of course, I can't say from experience whether this is correct. However, it is a direct, coherent, grounded answer to the question, and it sounds like a very plausible explanation for the various things that autistic people do that are different from what most non-autistic people do. Autistic “behavior” is a rational response to a significantly different sensory experience. That is far less sinister and mysterious-sounding thing how autism is described by even well-meaning autism “experts”. It also suggests that autism really is like other disabilities, which involve doing things differently in order to adapt to different physical or mental input or settings. When you are disabled, it is irrational and maladjusted to NOT do things differently. It seems like the same can be said of autism.

Do read the whole explanation. I have yet to see a better one.

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