There was also something quite meta at play, I now realise. In the delightful yet serious game of self-identification with the group, there also exists the teasing possibility of intuiting what autistic culture/s might be collectively speaking. Not wishing to be divisive, or pin down a beautiful butterfly, it matters greatly to know this and to be able to articulate it. Yet it is a very tricky area precisely because of the double empathy problem.
Countless micro transactions take place on a daily basis in which invaluable commodities are exchanged. Good will is perhaps one of the most important commodities of all. In so very many contexts good will can be converted (somewhere along the line) into hard cash. Social fluency (of the dominant kind) creates the conditions for this powerful ‘alchemy’.
Without the means to wield this power autistic people can fall prey to a form of ‘social’ poverty which can create a devastating impact on a person over a lifetime, from infancy onwards, from the point at which a child’s babbling is labelled ‘not functional’.
I am not worried about the survival of our “civilisation”. Our current form of social organisation is a legacy technology that will be viewed as a severe and highly infectious social disease by future generations.Beyond peak human standardisation
Differences in ways of being social
Autistic collaboration involves sharing of knowledge and working towards a shared goal of generating new levels of knowledge and understanding. The individual innate moral compass mediates the tension between the desire to assist others vs the desire learn about the world.
These inclinations are reflected in the cultural transmission of new discoveries from children to parents
Education of parents by the children focuses on teaching about the focus and boundaries of individual areas of interest
Sharing of knowledge and asking probing questions is seen as a “natural” human behaviour
Adolescence is a period of intensive knowledge acquisition, where individual areas of interests are explored in great depth, and where in the absence of autistic peers with compatible interests new knowledge is often shared with parentsTaking ownership of the label
The autism at work initiatives are failing autistics on a variety of fronts, as highlighted in this article: Neurodiversity Hiring Initiatives: Are They Failing Autistics? Despite some good intentions, we remain a marginalized minority that is continually misunderstood and repeatedly compartmentalized. When we aren’t being mistreated, we are being told how to improve ourselves and become more non-autistic. We aren’t broken people. But we live in a broken culture.The Dark Side of Autism in the Workplace