Autism Spectrum Disorder. That word, disorder, stings me. Despite much evidence to the contrary, people have unprofessionally diagnosed me, based on specific behaviors as “being on the spectrum” (so problematic). While I would be the first to admit that my social skills and abilities to pick up on cues lack sufficiently, I am not by any means afflicted with Asperger Syndrome or anything similar. I mostly just don’t like much social interaction. I’m not a huge fan of the human race.
What I don’t like about the word Disorder in said Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis is that it centralizes human interaction as the normal state. It supposes we must be social creatures and that any other means of existence is abnormal. Not being engaged in the world around you, but focused on that which draws your attention is somehow a bad thing.
I’m by no means proposing that those with Autism live some kind of fantasy life. They are trapped in a world that expects them to give a fuck about what is external to their concern and when they are denied by outside forces from doing their work (because it is not work that can be qualified and capitalized on) they reach a level of intense animosity and express it outwardly. We don’t approach people with autism on their level, we expect them to meet ours.
I considered this in the case of judgement. We here in the west have this absurd saying “Only God can judge me” which is a foolish notion considering we have a job in our government that is called Judge whose literal function is to cast judgement. And make no mistake it is not just legal matters but those of social and ethical matters to. We, Americans, are nothing if not judgmental. We are taught not to revel in this, at least not publicly, and yet we do.
If there is a norm, and constructs we navigate have informed me at least that there are, then everything outside that is abnormal. But who makes up normal and how did they get this right? This right which is a judgement is in opposition to what we express and yet casting judgement individually is hypocrisy.
I want to know if this so called disorder is labeled as such because the behavior of the people who exhibit it’s patterns because it is not “productive”? What makes something a disorder? There are certain unethical and immoral behaviors that are ignored because they do not encroach on productivity of whatever system the individual is engaged in. Concessions are made for acts and actions that are actually harmful to others on quantifiable scales.
As the kids say, “what the actual fuck is that all about”?