Written August 2014
DISCLAIMER: This is not my belief anymore! I do not think that what follows is true! I have included this to stimulate discussion and to get people to start thinking and making new ideas. I claim sole responsibility and ownership for the ideas presented below, but to repeat, this is an old belief
that I have discredited 2 months ago. There are still some ideas in the post that I still hold, eg that the current spectrum is outdated, and it is mostly my own ideas that I discredit. Anyways, … By reading the following and/or sharing/spreading the ideas to follow, you agree to the above disclaimer.
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The above is the current autistic spectrum. A straight line of different colours… like the spectrum of colours.
Sometimes, the autistic “spectrum” is not a continuous spectrum at all… it is an umbrella, or a umbrella with the spectrum of colours.
I have included the current Autism “Spectrum” to convey the inconsistencies in describing people with autism.
Foremost, what does the Spectrum even describe? How does a doctor determine which shade of yellow the patient falls on? From my POV, the Spectrum only grades degree of autism by the person’s social skills
, ignoring other crucial information.
Crucial information disregarded by the spectrum includes sheer intelligence. Just because a nonverbal, insensible to pain, aloof, detached 9 year old boy who pays no attention to special ed teachers but enjoys licking his fingers doesn’t appear to think doesn’t mean that there is no intelligence in him. In fact, from my POV, the intelligence of three quarters of the non-verbal (including other syndromes) population exceeds that of the general population at their age, with the other quarter being actually mentally retarded or below age intelligence.
Many consider “Autism Spectrum Disorders” all under an umbrella, classifying Aspies and LFAs under the same umbrella, making it appear as if all people with autism are under the same influence, the same “disease” the same disorder, as if Aspergers syndrome and Kanner’s and PDD-NOS are the same cause. An umbrella divides the human race into 2 cliques, one with autism, and the other without autism as if they were 2 completely different species. The spectrum is a good place to start, grading people with autism with different severities of this “disease”.
The Autism Spectrum, though basic and clear, is too generalized and lacking in detail. For example, the definitions of one’s location the Spectrum depends only on one’s ability to interact with society through means of mainly speaking. This is flawed in the sense that people with the same socialization/interaction or speaking ability but varying degrees of intelligence should not be categorized all as “LFA”s or “HFA”s or posing “Autism Disorder”.
Even Temple Grandin describes autism as a large continuum, with the severe ones (non-verbal) to the left, and the brilliant scientists and engineers on the right. But I think her opinion extends out of the sheer lack of research in this field yet in our world. Side Note: There have been some very large, but few in number Goliath that have influenced the autism scientific community by imputing ideas that have now been universally accepted in the autism community similar to what Le Corbusier did to cities in the 1900’s. These people to give examples are Asperger, Lovaas, who’s ideas and teachings are biblically followed by teachers. One of these ideas is one that “AUTISM IS A SPECTRUM” that is now universally accepted. As young innovators, we must question the roots of these beliefs, question where these ways of mind came about.
But the spectrum and umbrella are both inaccurate in the sense that NTs are excluded
, or badly represented. Under an umbrella, are the NT’s in the rain? On a spectrum, would the NT’s be on the furthest end, but that would contrast the LFA’s on the left side with the NT’s on the polar opposite right side. A spectrum, like a spectrum of colours, is supposed to include every single shade in the universe (except shades of black but that’s beside the point), discriminating no colour. We cannot place all neurotypicals on the top (or left) of the spectrum, because it would really contrast the NTs on top as “good” (or “positive”) and the LFAs on the bottom as “poor” (or “negative”) when in reality both have their own strengths. To clarify my point, to place the “normal” NT’s on one side of a spectrum would make it appear that the LFAs that are on the polar opposite side have a very long way to go to become “normal”, making it appear that LFAs and NTs are a whole spectrum apart when in reality they share the same human traits and similar intelligence.
This makes as little sense as classifying all neurotypicals has having “neurotypical syndrome”, disregarding differences in intelligence while focusing only on social (in)ability (of which NTs classify themselves high in). The Autism Spectrum leaves out people with “autistic traits”, or for that matter, all neurotypicals. If NT’s are so keen to find a “cure” for autism”, to “predict autism
” to prevent it, I wish them luck at finding a cure for extroverted people or to predict if a person will become a synthesizer or emphasizer. It is ridiculous to suggest that because we can (though as I explained is impossible) predict autism, we should eradicate the disease, as you would simultaneously eliminate the genes that have built our society that we live in. But that’s a story for another day.
For NT’s to judge people and give them a number between 1 to 10 or in this case, a colour on a spectrum would make it appear like every one strives to become better by going towards one end of the spectrum, that there is only one dimension to a person. This is downright discriminatory: people shouldn’t be judged solely on social ability.
So to sum up, the autistic spectrum misrepresents autistics, judges them and is simply wrong. I am so curious and determined to find an answer mainly because I consider myself autistic
yet I cannot pinpoint where I would lie on a spectrum. So through curiosity, this is what I came up with: a circle.
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|[Click to Enlarge]
With this circle, all people have hopes; instead of only going “up” like in the Spectrum, in a circle, you can visually see one’s location and adjust to fit their style.
A circle is not a binary (either 1 or 0) meaning one is not Autistic, or non autistic, we can see that neurotypicals do not have the highest intelligence.
With a circle, all can see that no-one is perfect, they are part of the circle rather than on the bottom of a spectrum.
For this reason, this circle attempts to solve the issue of “Where to put the NT’s” in the autism spectrum/ umbrella? This circle represents ALL people, regardless of ability; everyone is on the circle, maybe just in a different location.