ASD And The Silicon Valley Dream

Postby davidbanner99@ » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:17 pm

The Silicon Valley Ideal Of Autism Vs Reality

by David Banner. Reprinted.

In modern times, with respect to ASD or Asperger's, a fairly recent social movement based on neurological diversity has created a certain public profile for autistic people. The Autistic Community has claimed certain success in promoting autism as a neurological type of personality, and not an illness. We hear that, in California, there's a whole community of ASD high-tech workers, all gainfully employed at Silicon Valley. The worrying development here, however, is the fact Asperger Syndrome (now ASD) has over time been given a "gloss over". People who genuinely suffer from severe limitations imposed by autism conditions are all constrained to live up to certain stereotypical ideals. Should an individual act in any way as to somehow tarnish the post 1990s image of the "personality type concept", it's not been unknown for community forums to "undiagnose" the individual. One case that springs to mind is that of Gary Mckinnon whose obsessive interest in SETI set him on a collision course with the government. Calls for a former, professional diagnosis to be over-ruled rang loud and clear.

To get to the point: It now seems a divide is gradually starting to take shape. Many people who battle with autism are starting to feel that apathy towards their condition as a psychiatric disorder is worsening perspectives for therapy. These people and their families seek expert therapy and support and essentially distrust the Autism Social Movement.

Personally I do not see all autistic conditions as an "illness" (more a deviation) and I remain convinced Hans Asperger in no way viewed his patients as inferior. Asperger was well aware neurological diversity existed.

So, is there a problem here? Well, yes!

As I see it, the whole concept of the Silicon Valley dream is highly flawed. First and foremost, it assumes all people who are diagnosed with autism spectrum, by default are supposed to be I.T. geeks. More troublesome too is the fact that all society needs to do to demonstrate tolerance and inclusion is simply request corporations to advertise I.T. employment positions to people on the autism spectrum. This likewise assumes those who aren't neurotypical will conveniently drop their own particular, obsessive interests and hastily swat up on I.T. Personally, I have known people with ASD who very seriously devote their time to geology or ancient languages. One was unemployed and the other made money by gardening or child-minding for friends. Neither one was an I.T. geek.

The biggest misconception, however, is summarised by Hans Asperger's clear distinction between "autistic personality traits" and full-blown "Autistic Avoidant Psychopathy" This distinction has been misunderstood in modern psychology. While a far more significant percentage of the population might show pronounced autistic characteristics, my own view is that Asperger's original conception of his diagnosis is much less common. Whereas many of the relatives of his patients were described as "odd and socially awkward", they were, nevertheless, employable or married, with some connection to the real world. The same could not be said for the actual patients. All of these displayed motor impairment, delays in emotional intelligence, inability to work to a schedule and resistance to organised, group activity. They were disconnected from the world around them.
According to in-depth research by Dr.Judith Miller and Dr. Sally Ozonoff, none of Asperger"s original case patients would have been covered by the modern DSM. In modern times, this would have left them undiagnosed.
This leads to the final paradox. Autistic people do not blend into communities. Being autistic means that the patient tends to avoid group identity. Autistic people think differently so individuality and remoteness are part of the autistic mindset. Therefore, in any socially organized group or society, the most popular representatives will always be made up by those who have higher levels of social intelligence. Sadly, this latter is rated far above the logical, analytical intelligence, which some autistic people possess. Therefore, it would be a huge mistake to assume autistic people themselves would rise in the ranks of groups, social media forums or societies. More to the point, many autistic individuals feel unable to adequately express themselves even in written format. The instability caused by their condition may have limited their perspective. In all my years studying ASD, one thing became abundantly clear: 99 per cent of the information published about ASD has little actual imput from those affected by the condition. A great deal of research relied upon observation of children who would have lacked maturity to allow for more in-depth analysis. Thus, analysis was based on observation and inferred conclusion although elite researchers such as Asperger took great pains to communicate with patients.
What then is the solution? I believe what's needed today is solid, scientific research and availability of information. Also far better diagnostic support should be planned with less over-complication of reliable research, which was passed down to our generation by brilliant researchers such as Asperger and Suhareva, Van Krevelin abd V Kagan. Personally, I find the Silicon Valley dream somewhat patronizing as it relies on stereotypes and inadvertently trivialises the realities most patients face.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:18 am

davidbanner99@ wrote:So, is there a problem here? Well, yes!

Personally, I find the Silicon Valley dream somewhat patronizing as it relies on stereotypes and inadvertently trivialises the realities most patients face.


David,

Welcome to the forum. I have read most of your posts and can appreciate your insights.

Here are some things to consider...

Is there a problem? Ummm....okay. We can make a problem out of anything. A stain on the couch is a problem. Is it "really" a problem? Is it such a huge problem that the community needs to...or has the luxury....or has the moral obligation to address the "problem"?

Apparently society is in such a wonderful state that the "Silicon Valley Dream" has become a problem. Would it still be a problem if COVID was the equivalent of the Black Plague? Nope. Nobody would give two sh%%^ts about this "problem" when a disease is wiping out 25% of the population. It only is a problem because the world is not currently facing an actual problem.

It is the nature of humanity. We tend to manufacture problems. Even if everything is running relatively smoothly we tend to seek out issues for improvement. That is not a bad thing. It is simply that we all can use a healthy dose of perspective. Child mortality is no longer 50% like in the mid-1700's, so now we can focus on autism. Death from workplace injuries has been significantly reduced, so now the #1 killer is suicide. It makes sense that in a world so wonderful that the "Silicon Valley Dream" is now a problem.

Second...why did you call them patients? It sounds almost counter to the entire premise. I realize it is a reprint, but patients? If the argument is true that those with ASD are "stereotyped" then let's stop labeling them as patients. That would be a good start, right?

Again, I appreciate your thought process. My post is a bit of "devil's advocate" purely for consumption. It is reframing that offers up an alternative point of view. It is not right or wrong, just different.
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#2

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:46 am

Feel quite free to comment. That indicates some interest and is appreciated.
"Patients"? Well, yes, you were observant here. I tend to sort of "pop out of myself" in the role of a psychologist and will analyse clinically, from a distance. As I read an awful lot of clinical files, I may use the term "patient". It could be used to describe myself sometimes.
Writing about autism research can be kind of hard for me as, for a number of reasons, I'm personally involved. That is, a close friend had major difficulties..Often I have to edit my writing or hopefully smooth over elements of personal involvement. That is, try to remain clinical. Fortunately my area of interest is mostly neurological and not as a psychologist. Psychologists need more sensitivity to feelings of others and an ability to relate.
In time I will explain in more detail.

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
davidbanner99@ wrote:So, is there a problem here? Well, yes!

Personally, I find the Silicon Valley dream somewhat patronizing as it relies on stereotypes and inadvertently trivialises the realities most patients face.


David,

Welcome to the forum. I have read most of your posts and can appreciate your insights.

Here are some things to consider...

Is there a problem? Ummm....okay. We can make a problem out of anything. A stain on the couch is a problem. Is it "really" a problem? Is it such a huge problem that the community needs to...or has the luxury....or has the moral obligation to address the "problem"?

Apparently society is in such a wonderful state that the "Silicon Valley Dream" has become a problem. Would it still be a problem if COVID was the equivalent of the Black Plague? Nope. Nobody would give two sh%%^ts about this "problem" when a disease is wiping out 25% of the population. It only is a problem because the world is not currently facing an actual problem.

It is the nature of humanity. We tend to manufacture problems. Even if everything is running relatively smoothly we tend to seek out issues for improvement. That is not a bad thing. It is simply that we all can use a healthy dose of perspective. Child mortality is no longer 50% like in the mid-1700's, so now we can focus on autism. Death from workplace injuries has been significantly reduced, so now the #1 killer is suicide. It makes sense that in a world so wonderful that the "Silicon Valley Dream" is now a problem.

Second...why did you call them patients? It sounds almost counter to the entire premise. I realize it is a reprint, but patients? If the argument is true that those with ASD are "stereotyped" then let's stop labeling them as patients. That would be a good start, right?

Again, I appreciate your thought process. My post is a bit of "devil's advocate" purely for consumption. It is reframing that offers up an alternative point of view. It is not right or wrong, just different.
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#3

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:06 pm

Use of "patients" is controversial I think. I mean, you have the autism community view that autism spectrum isn't an illness but a neurological type. Yet, now I heard lots of complaints from families (or patients) who feel this is a disabling.condition that should not be accepted as somehow normal. They yearn for a way to live a full, normal life.
My own view is right in between. I try not to idealise autism and can see its flaws when compared to "normality". On the other hand I see many cases of autistic people whom nature compensated in other ways. It's not specifically raw intellect but "association" and different thought processing. So I tend to use the term "deviation" although I view that in itself as natural in genetics Put simply, autism is meant to be part of humanity so should be "managed, understood and supported. That means research into specialised teaching systems which is what Asperger was doing in Vienna. So, really I'm in a centre position.
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#4

Postby Candid » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:30 pm

davidbanner99@ wrote:you have the autism community view that autism spectrum isn't an illness but a neurological type.

Yes, ASD or 'neurotypical', as if there were just two types.

I heard lots of complaints from families (or patients) who feel this is a disabling.condition that should not be accepted as somehow normal.

The S is for spectrum, right? And it's a wide one, from the person who can barely communicate to the amazing Daniel Tammet, FRSA. Same could be said of we neurotypicals as far as IQ and EQ go.

My husband considers himself normal. It's like he has one or two superpowers (memory being the most obvious) and he's surprised that I can't juggle numbers in seconds the way he does, or know on which day of the week a given date will fall. At the high-functioning end of the spectrum it's not "a disabling condition" so much as awkwardness in communication and empathy.

It's not clear whether labelling has led to more children being diagnosed with ASD, or whether dietary and environmental factors are producing more people with ASD. And why are so many more boys than girls so diagnosed?
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#5

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:27 pm

One way of looking at this is something I refer to in my paper, which I started writing around Christmas. It seems that the original definitions we once had of concrete "disorders" have been pulled apart, dismembered, over complicated and sort of derated. I used the term "disorder" as a convention but prefer "deviation from normality."
I concluded that, when it comes down to the bottom line, so far as Asperger Syndrome was concerned, significant confusion took place over Asperger's references to people who were neurologically diverse, as opposed to the four case studies cited who demonstrated the full disorder. Experience led me to conclude the distinction does matter. We need to consider that symptoms and traits of neurodiversity at some concrete point, tip the scales and then become a pathology. This is personally how I interpreted Asperger's essays. You notice how he frequently mentions family members as being peculiar and neurotic but he's careful to add these relatives are still partly connected with reality. Odd as they may have been they worked and raised a family.
Yet today, these family members would be viewed neurologically as identical to the child patients brought to the Vienna Clinic in Austria. That is, their children. Such was not the case. These children sat alone in some corner, rocking or flapping their hands. In State schools they were unteachable. They were disconnected from the world around them, emotionally unexpressive, physically awkward and obsessive in behaviour. A great many psychiatrists and doctors struggled to distinguish their condition from schizophrenia.
Outlook? Asperger understood exactly how these children ticked but often felt perspectives were bleak. He definitely did link the condition to genius and giftedness but only if the mix of genetic pluses and minuses were in the right balance. And that was rare.
Why then can we describe the Asperger children as genuinely autistic and not a personality type? Well, this kind of autism was rooted in breakdown of connection to the outside world. It was inwardness, withdrawel into self with a very uneven development. However, intelligence levels weren't impaired. The difficulties learning in class were caused by a kind of sensory blockade that blotted out external intrusions into an inner world.
I found a fascinating account by a Soviet physician at the time of the USSR and this describes a young boy diagnosed with Kanner Autism:
“He began to watch his father draw a house and would stand for a long time while one house was drawn, the second, the third, and so on. As soon as his father drew a window in the house, the child ran away. Very quickly he learned how to draw houses without doors and windows. "
Amazing don't you think? Subconsciously the patient is revealing reluctance to open up his world to outsiders. His house will have no doors you can walk through and no windows you can look through.
The key passage I think where Asperger draws a distinction between neurodiversity and full- blown pathology is here:
“There are a great many uniquely special needs children in whom we find typical, undeniable autistic traits with regard to personality." Moreover it is emphasised that "in those children suffering the full spectrum of autism, deviations are manifested more starkly as they have no opposing force that might emerge from normal personality function." ( Asperger)
So, I think the above is highly significant and also a very much needed quotation because it challenges the modern, popular conception that ASD covers a very large spectrum of a general population, when in reality neurodiversity was not the same thing as pathology in Asperger's view.
So, why does it matter? Well, I think it does matter because we clearly place at risk the right to a concrete diagnosis for those who might be less visible.
For some months now, the idea has grown to question the wisdom of dropping Wing and Gould's Asperger Syndrome as a valid diagnosis. I concluded it would have been far better to correct any flaws in Wing's "syndrome" as opposed to simply ignoring valuable research. Of course, I'm well aware most people today are far more worried by the Corona Virus than the controversial details of the DSM. However, possibly we will return to more settled circumstances where psychology gets more attention. Personally I just find all of this stuff fascinating.
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#6

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:42 pm

"It's not clear whether labelling has led to more children being diagnosed with ASD, or whether dietary and environmental factors are producing more people with ASD. And why are so many more boys than girls so diagnosed?"

I have had mothers contact me occasionally but sometimes I'm not sure how to tie in the huge use of social media by the child in question. My guess is increase in diagnosis may be connected to prolonged use of I.T. and lack of social contact we see today. Having said that, I don't think it's the same as autism so for a practising psychologist, there's a need to dig deep. In cases I read, symptoms can appear very early so that might help.




Candid wrote:
davidbanner99@ wrote:you have the autism community view that autism spectrum isn't an illness but a neurological type.

Yes, ASD or 'neurotypical', as if there were just two types.

I heard lots of complaints from families (or patients) who feel this is a disabling.condition that should not be accepted as somehow normal.

The S is for spectrum, right? And it's a wide one, from the person who can barely communicate to the amazing Daniel Tammet, FRSA. Same could be said of we neurotypicals as far as IQ and EQ go.

My husband considers himself normal. It's like he has one or two superpowers (memory being the most obvious) and he's surprised that I can't juggle numbers in seconds the way he does, or know on which day of the week a given date will fall. At the high-functioning end of the spectrum it's not "a disabling condition" so much as awkwardness in communication and empathy.

It's not clear whether labelling has led to more children being diagnosed with ASD, or whether dietary and environmental factors are producing more people with ASD. And why are so many more boys than girls so diagnosed?
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#7

Postby Tyto » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:10 am

Going to slot in here with some purely anecdotal dribble, as this discussion hits fairly close to home, and decent points are being brought up all around the table. Essentially I'm using your post as an optic to project my own stories and opinions, as a person with Autism (or at least, thought of to have Autism).

As Candid has put with the example of her husband, I too consider myself normal. I go to school, learn the things I learn, and try to understand the world around me as best I can. I've only just recently been given the diagnosis, but it's been long suspected of me to have ASD. My family has not been exactly caring with the condition. My mother describes very very talented and hard-working individuals (the most recent example being musician Jacob Collier) as 'a little bit aspergers'. I think she said it to cheer me up, or something. I'm not sure.

Before the Autism diagnosis, I was always seen as the kid who stuck out, or didn't fit in, as most kids of that type would be seen as. Now, though; I have expectations thrust on me. As a person with autism, I need to have a cold and logical exterior. As an autistic person, I need to be good at one particular thing, obsessively. As an autistic person, I need to perform extremely well, or extremely poor in a given subject.

Expectations that, unsurprisingly, I have failed to live up to. I am a very emotional perosn, both positive and negative. I have many hobbies that I enjoy, and I work hard at what i do. I try to be the best I can be at something, and sometimes my best isn't considered the group's idea of good.

I think we can all share a common disliking of being spoken for? Having something say something on your behalf, have your opinion or your identity summed up into one neat bow? That's what autism does for me. It speaks for me. When I speak to others that know of my "condition", I do not speak as a person, I speak as an autistic person. I move my lips, but to them my "autistic mindset" chooses the words.

Some believe that autism is the next step in human evolution. Some believe that autism is a sign of our species dying off. Some people that believe it heightens your status, and some that believe it lowers such.
For example; I had someone who found out I was autistic, and told all their friends I was their "autistic friend" :?
In that very same week. Someone tried helping me cross the road because of that!

Personally? I think terms such as 'atypical' or 'special' or 'gifted' are quite dehumanising. Of course, there are some who need that support with ASD, some who need that title in order to put forward that connotation that yes they do need support in some areas. But the Autism Spectrum is such a wide and deep ocean to swim in, so researchers and (from experience) teachers stick to the shallows. Using terms like atypical to sum up and compartmentalize someone down to their condition.

In short, I am human. I am not Autism Spectrum Disorder. And neither are my fellow humans who share this condition. Some of us need help, all of us need understanding. Both of which are severely lacking when someone calls us the 'autistic friend' or the 'gifted one' and pats themself on the back. If you want to ask questions feel free, do keep in mind i have very scrambled thoughts in the way I write, so i might not be able to answer properly, but I'll try for ya; if it fuels your curiosity.

Kia Ora
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#8

Postby davidbanner99@ » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:39 pm

"As a person with autism, I need to have a cold and logical exterior. As an autistic person, I need to be good at one particular thing, obsessively. As an autistic person, I need to perform extremely well, or extremely poor in a given subject".

Cold and logical exterior would only have applied to some of the Asperger children. More accurate would be lack of emotional reaction or lack of appropriate emotional response. Lack of empathy I think has been misunderstood today but seemingly not by Asperger who wrote:

"One area of insubordination is their characteristic, unsurpassed lack of respect, although it soon becomes clear this isn't a conscious or intended manifestation of rudeness but simply lack of awareness of other people. " (Asperger)

Obsession has been noted by Asperger but obsessions are first noticed in stereotypical, repetitive patterns. To my mind the obsessions tie in with lack of emotional connection to others. Someone who doesn't connect to others is more likely to fill that void by obsessive interests.

Performing well or badly in a subject? You raised a question of much debate. Most autistic kids have dominance in linguistic intelligence at the expense of maths. I found scores of anamneses of autistic children who tested very poorly in maths. Yet one of the Asperger kids Fritz F was a maths genius of sorts. Why I would like to find out.

"They have a difficulties with maths. There is a sharp discrepancy between non-verbal intelligence, showing a pronounced decrease in non-verbal intelligence in the face of far greater verbal -communicative intellect." (E. S. Ivanov)

The standard I adhere to always is to counter the idea that the Asperger children were super smart swats and always flew through exams. It was the opposite.

"He went to school at the age of 7.5, but could not study there because of excessive restlessness and distraction." S.Munkhin

The essence of this disorder is an absolute inability to study in a normal school.

“The psychological profile of the autistic psychopath exhibits three characteristics: Mainly in relation to his environment, he is unable to receive knowledge from others. This becomes quite clear due to poor results in the first grade. The child follows his inclinations because he cannot pay attention to the teacher's requirements. " (Van Krevelen).

To this Van Krevelen adds that "mental giftedness can contribute to original problem solving."
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#9

Postby davidbanner99@ » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:03 pm

Nadezhda Morgun, Moscow Centre for Remedial Education

"Nadezhda Morgun, a CRE member of staff working at the college, says that they have been trying for several years to open a craft centre so that each student can develop his or her particular talent. “I've noticed that practically all autistic children are highly gifted in one or two areas,” she says. “Autism is a mysterious phenomenon; you can't really call it a disease, it's more as though the personality develops along its own path, and very unequally. Completely healthy parents can have an autistic child, who by the age of 7, is doing mental arithmetic, multiplying triple figures, but doesn't know how to wash himself.”

I agree with this totally. I use the horse analogy. Imagine 10 horses all breaking into a trot and all steadily making it to the finishing post at the same time = normal person. Balanced development.

Then imagine the same 10 horses. N1 hardly budges. N2 lies down. N3 darts at breakneck speed and sets a record. = Asperger person. Uneven development
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#10

Postby davidbanner99@ » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:17 pm

I might as well add some personal context and background. There's a good reason for all of this research and career or money isn't one of them.

I've suffered from this disorder since early childhood and in real life I'm quite different to how I appear when I post. My motor impairment is fairly pronounced and poor co-ordination stopped me learning to drive a car. I'm very unemotional and in a way struggle to understand emotions.

I have a degree of facial agnosia, extreme sensitivity to noise and, worst of all, a huge disconnect. It's like watching people through a t.v.screen and not actually being there. Disconnection is the most challenging symptom. Monotone voice and weak facial expression connect to that.

Asperger stated repeatedly children with this condition can't usually be taught in regular classes and that was how school was for me. I was close to the bottom class range and couldn't concentrate or connect. I left school without a single qualification. A few times I was examined by doctors and my blood tested since overall slowness was evident.
After school, it got worse since I couldn't hold down a job. Basic maths was sometimes an issue in my first job (retail delivery).

At some point I discovered I wasn't genuinely stupid at all in the area of information processing. It took many years to realise it's possible to assimilate information and process it by yourself. Later on, it started to puzzle me why marches and protests sometimes took place over tuition fees or educational funding. Why do people feel authority figures are required to take control of their learning processes?

What do you think? Does it all stem from parenting?

Today, I live in an area where my friends (not close friends) all do really well with pretty regular jobs because they are fast -moving with normal communication skills. I don't feel sorry for myself but try to not waste time allowing my negative traits to obscure perspective. These days I self-study exclusively, mostly in amateur radio science (the old Ham aspect of it). As in neurology and psychology, I'm a solo researcher, free to take different approaches and not be boxed in by convention with approved reading material.

It would be incredibly difficult to explain why the disorder Asperger described is so challenging but I can state accurate knowledge and awareness makes a huge difference. Years ago it was all a confused blur of low self esteem and impotence. Yes, I had psychiatric consultations and pharmaceutical prescriptions. These days, when things get tough, I just sort of view myself like a patient fom afar and Asperger's papers helped explain matters.

Along the way, I got much better at observing normal people and interpreting behaviour. The biggest barrier to all who suffer from this neurological deviation is inability to see themselves as normal people see them. For years I just thought other people thought the way I did and perceived their interactions with the world in the same way. What I found is normal people share much more of their inner self with others. For most, experience is the pivot of life. As a result of that, sharing experiences. With Asperger's autism, such is not the case. Asperger children were described as not wanting to share their inner world or share in the feelings of others. Perception of life is internalised with far less regulation by external influence.

“They do not perceive impulses from the outside” (Asperger)

In my own view, goals are more important than experience which may help explain why Asperger people have obsessive interests.

Another view I arrived at is people with this condition can't imagine that others process information so differently. Even if intellectually you can understand how emotions drive 95 per cent of people, it takes off a lot of pressure. A very small percentage of people with the pathology attain huge success in one field. And yet, despite their knowledge they may never think deeply about perspective - how and why their overall behaviour is incomprehensible to others. This might explain why 99.9 per cent of all autism research has no direct imput from those with the condition. Not research based imput.

Here I think is the fundamental core of this pathology. Asperger autism I think is emotional delay as opposed to cognitive. Neurotypical people depend upon emotional feedback during all information processing. Therefore, they assume it will be the same for those with neurological deviation. As a result, the latter develop delays in school, which later affects employment and stability.
How much does your acquirement of knowledge depend upon approval and imput of others? How does emotional feedback stimulate or hinder taking in of information? Have you ever thought how emotion, approval, acceptance, status of others regulates and controls your processing of information?
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#11

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:14 pm

I found someone who tends to share my view on the Silicon Valley Dream.

Jill Escher is an autism philanthropist based in Silicon Valley, specializing in research examining factors

She writes

"In defining “autism,” it appears that Silberman and I cannot possibly be talking about the same disorder. I read that

'Autistic people are now taking control of their own destinies' while my nonverbal children, with their 30-40ish IQ levels, were shredding my bedsheets, destroying their iPods, shrieking, and jumping around naked. Am I just stupid for somehow missing their hidden ability to control their own destinies and invent modern networking technology? I know hundreds of people with autism, and as much as I adore and value them, almost none of them stand any chance of true independence or controlling their own destinies, let alone attaining stunning achievement in the sciences, or any other discipline for the matter.

Yes, I will agree there are some on the mild end who can function fairly independently, but as a hallmark of their disorder often can’t hold a normal conversation, make normal eye contact, make friends, execute solid judgment, negotiate public transportation, fend off abuse, read subtle social cues, vary a routine, and/or hold a job. Even this form of so-called “high-functioning” autism is debilitating, with most individuals needing at least some form of lifelong supervision and support. But for the most part, people with autism are even more incapacitated, such as my friend’s 12 year-old son who regularly attacks his parents and siblings and typically spends his days flicking pieces of string in front of his face. Or my friend’s 18 year-old son who can have a brief conversation but is now 6’ 4” and easily slips into rages involving things like hurling televisions across a room. "
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#12

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:24 pm

This below describes me pretty accurately:

"Yes, I will agree there are some on the mild end who can function fairly independently, but as a hallmark of their disorder often can’t hold a normal conversation, make normal eye contact, make friends, execute solid judgment, negotiate public transportation, fend off abuse, read subtle social cues, vary a routine, and/or hold a job. Even this form of so-called “high-functioning” autism is debilitating, with most individuals needing at least some form of lifelong supervision and support. "

It's also maybe worth dropping the term "autism" where we refer to those of us who have no mental delay. It tends to offend parents whose children may stand little chance of independence or normality. It's good, however, she does recognise the higher functioning end is still no easy path to Silicon Valley.
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