Friday, July 22, 2011

Separation from Reality

A major characteristic in autism that is evident in the people who deal with the condition on a day to day basis is the separation between reality and fantasy in the autistic mind.  You can connect this to a basic marketing principle: the separation between the desired state and actual state, which many marketers try to exploit.  In the mind of someone with autism, the idea state becomes reality, and cannot be easily distinguished from the actual state.

One thing my parents did as I was growing up is that they constantly intruded on my "own little world."  They made me participate in cub scouts, bowling leagues, swimming lessons, and t-ball.  Through these events, I socialized with others my age and participated in group activities.  At that time in my life, I was preoccupied about day dreams consisting of "Star Wars" characters emerging into my reality and taking me to their reality.  I was still able to distinguish these fantasies from my reality, especially after receiving a formal autism diagnosis, and changing my medicines around to work with my other problems I was having at that time.

These days, I am doing alright with my job and school, while keeping my idea reality separate from my actual reality.  When I was younger, I had a number of "Star Wars" toys.  I would use these as characters (I had about fifty of them at one point) in stories that were quite independent from the roles these characters had in the "Star Wars" films.  I started to direct my own little world into these stories acted out by my "Star Wars" characters, until I couldn't really get around the fact that they were made out of plastic and were no longer capable at satisfying my stories.  I was about sixteen then.  At this point, I started to write my stories down.

Six years and a number of rough drafts later, I am using my writing experience in another attempt at making my fantasies into realities by writing the first installment in my fantasy series.  My expectations for my written fiction are high, and I just do not have time or energy to do everything I want to do with my writing, but I hope to have this first fantasy novel finished within five years. Then, my fantasies that have grown with me over the years, can be experienced by others bridging the gap between my desired state and actual state, or my own little world and my life.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post Ryan. You have helped me understand my 13 year old son more than I can say. You said your parents forced you to get out of your "own world" often. I'm just curious if you were resistant to that? My son is, and will often cry if forced to. He is very immature for his age, and I wonder if it's the spectrum, or if it something more. Thanks again! Let us know when your books come out, I know one young man who would love to read them!