Thursday, April 03, 2008

In My Language: An Alternative View of Autism

This is an amazing video. Made by a woman with severe autism, it questions the very foundations of the understanding of this "disease." In fact she questions whether it should be considered a disease at all. She is part of a group of autistic persons who question the standard diagnosis. They are aided by new communication technologies, new media and the internet, and it is doubtful whether, before these innovations were available, anyone would have had any clue that they were able to communicate intelligently (that is intelligently according to our interpretation) at all. Amanda would probably say, and I hesitate to put words in her mouth because she's fully capable of saying what she means, no one would have known she could communicate in our language or mode of communication.

She is at the center of a controversy over how intelligence should be measured in autistic persons, and in that way, possibly just what it means to be intelligent. An article in Wired magazine discusses the competing methodologies and theories for measuring intelligence in people with autism. I find two aspects of Amanda's story intriguing. First as mentioned briefly above, that this technology has made it possible for her to express something people like her have been unable to express. And as importantly that new media has become the vehicle for a nascent liberation movement among people like Amanda. A way for them to express the idea that their way of communicating and interacting with the world is as legitimate as ours and not an aberration to be cured.

Also I find intriguing an aspect that I have not yet seen discussed in relation to her in my half an hours worth of googling the topic, that is whether it has significance in regard to other modes of human perception. Whether you want to refer to those modes as mystic, altered states of consciousness, or alternative means of perception. Could it have any relationship to states of consciousness reported in mystics, medicine men, and shaman around the world? Could it have any significance in regard to psychedelic drug states? It is certainly another way of seeing the world. Autism may not have any relation to those states at all, and I may be talking out my keister here. But I think at least the question is a valid one and something to be explored. Perhaps. Maybe.

Anyway, Amanda has a "non-site" here, expressing her frustration with the number and types of inquiries she's been getting since she became famous. And she became famous via Youtube. She was also interviewed by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN.


RealAnswers said...

Autism has been flourishing since 2000. Cell phones have been flourishing since 2000. Cell phones emit microwaves. Microwaves affect the brain and the fetus. Put down your phone and don't stick it next to your brain again. Take that phone off your waist if you're pregnant. Take it off if you're not. We cook food, not people with microwaves. I think there are some new questions to ask for Autism Month.

Try putting cell phones and microwaves and health into google. Try putting microwaves and autism in. Try cell phones, microwaves and cancer. Search on YouTube. It will make you sick.

Microwaves are not only emitted by cell phones, but also by cell towers. They make our wireless internet possible. We are all paying.

arevolutionofone said...

Thanks for your comment. I ran across something and I will look it up, that said that EMF radiation is the cigarette smoke of our generation. Back in the day people smoked in the house, around babies and children. In the car with the kids in back. They are saying this radiation is doing much more damage than that smoke, and no one is aware of it yet. And it's everywhere. Definitely worth being educated about.