• Neurotypical

    http://www.pbs.org/pov/neurotypical/

    I had the pleasure to view a screening of “Neurotypical”, PBS’ groundbreaking documentary filmed from the perspective of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Director Adam Larsen interviews and documents the lives of several individuals with the diagnosis across several generations.  I smiled the whole way through, not sure if it is because I just enjoy the cinematography or if I just like being around Autistic people.

    Neurotypical is the word used to describe the rest of us, the non-Autistics if you will.  Our neurology is typical, whatever that is.  Wolf, one of the adults interviewed for the documentary talks about how scary the neurotypical world is and how happy he is to be in his own.  He relates to the end of the Jungle Bookstory when Mowgli can decide to head off to the human world.  Most of us likely cheered at the end of this movie when Mowgli reunited with his human kin.  Wolf cried.  He was so sad for Mowgli as he entered the scary world of the neurotypical human.  He yelled “Go Back”!! A comical part of the interview but so telling about how those with Autism view the rest of us.  

    Having now worked with a good spectrum of the spectrum, I may agree.  Why are the neurotypicals in the right?  Why is reacting out of emotion the way to go? Autistic individuals are described as information processors, systematizers.  They tend to see the world in a black and white, lock and step fashion.  Neurotypicals often call it rigid; I am starting to see it as the way to go.  My heart tends to be wrong more than my head.  Can I get a whoot whoot??

    OK, so maybe I don’t want to abandon emotion for all brain.  Maybe a balance is ok.  My point is that Autistics are not “faulty” or “broken”.  They just reside at one end of the thinking feeling spectrum.  Different.  Not bad.  Peace.