Friday, June 24, 2011

Thinking with Autism

One thing that I have discovered over the years is that people with autism have great difficulty relating the part of the mind that is different than those who don't have autism.  We have trouble explaining the reasoning behind autistic behaviors because it is difficult to put those feelings and reasoning into words.  In my opinion, the reason for this is because people with autism think using those feelings and the meaning of such thoughts bypass the use of language.

I have been searching the web a lot lately, looking for first person accounts about autism, and I found this video that a psychology student used in a college project about autism.  In the video, she was interviewing her younger brother, who has aspergers.  I am going to include a link to this video just in case anyone is interested in viewing it.

During this video, eleven year old Zach who has aspergers tries to explain why he quotes videos he has seen before as a form of communication.  This is a widely publicized trait of aspergers.  It has been used in books and in the movie "Rain Man."   Zach has great difficulty explaining his mindset behind this trait and instead resorts to the trait and quotes what he has heard about the autism. 

I think that this is because while that action is taking place, Zach, or any autistic child, is in a mindset where there is no reasoning to achieve meaning.  I am finding it difficult myself to explain this mindset and instead find a quote from "Star Trek" coming to mind.  I am going to include this quote and see if any meaning can be derived.  It is highly relevant to what I am trying to say: In "Star Trek, Episode Four, The Voyage Home", Dr. McCoy is trying to gain insight from Spock about his views on death.  Spock answers:  "It would be impossible to discuss the subject without a common frame or reverent."  This seems to be the answer to my question. I think this means that it is impossible to relate an autistic mind to a non-autistic mind without a reverent, or something to compare it to.  That is why video quotes come to mind to not only myself, but others with autism.

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