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Autism. The blind pathologizing those .... >>>

Autism. The blind pathologizing those who have sight? Extraordinary insights from my friend. Empathy deficit? Deep empathy overload. Overloaded souls in a sick world.

To my friend who has children with autism I sent this video that you've probably seen, along with the following note. And my friend replied.

Depressed and Then Diagnosed With Autism, Greta Thunberg

I wrote: I so relate to this young person. I've often wondered if I am on the autistic Spectrum though that is supposed to involve profound lack of empathy and that does not seem to be my problem. Hugs

My friend: ahhhhhh well that's the very very common and very very wrong assumption that so many make about those with autism...even folks who are supposedly experienced and trained make this mistake all too often....that those on the spectrum lack empathy. I have never seen this to be the case. Not in my children and certainly not in any of the other autistic folks I've been around of any age. If anything it is more suffering from a profound SURPLUS of empathy and being near paralyzed by it that is far more typical. And I read more and more articles that back up this more radical view.

It is more a lack of empathy on the part of the caregivers and the researchers in my opinion that leads them to this very wrong conclusion. Because they fail so utterly to understand the motivations and reactions of these unique individuals. Because how could they understand? Their brains are not wired at all the same.

Here's an example. When my child was in 2nd grade he got suspended and I was called down to the office to school for a "very serious" incidence of my child apparently "BULLYING" another child. I was shocked, flabbergasted and appalled that his teachers and administrators at the school so utterly failed to see who my child is and what he is capable of. So I went to the school and listened to all the things they accused my child of. Here was the tale: there was another student who was having a hard time, crying, throwing a tantrum, apparently inconsolable. and while the teachers and "responders" were trying their hardest to contain the situation, My child was absolutely incapable of following the instructions all the other students were given to ignore what was going on and get back to work. What /they/ saw was that my child walked over and started laughing in close proximity to the boy. In defiance of their orders. So they interpreted that as malicious, as him laughing AT the boy and trying to make things worse. Which somehow escalated into him being a bully. So I kept quiet and listened as they all scrambled to roll out this story about my son that not a single bone in my body felt was true. When they concluded I said, well, what did my child tell you happened when you asked him? And they all stopped and looked at each other and said, well, we didn't ask him. We just sent your child to the office for disobeying and making everything worse for everyone. Your child was being a BULLY they insisted.

So I said, did my child cause the student to be sad? or upset? No, no your child didn't do that. I said, okay well my child is in the next room, go ask my child. So my child came in and looked red and ashamed and vulnerable and sad and I said, can you tell me why you laughed when that boy was having a hard time? And my child started crying and said through his tears, "I was laughing because the teachers told us that laughter was the best medicine for sadness, so I wanted to go over and cheer him up"

You could have heard a pin drop. I smiled and looked at my child and said, "of course you did honey, thank you, that's what I thought. You need to know that most people didn't understand that's what you were trying to do, and that most people here don't think the way you do, so you may have to occasionally explain to them what you're doing so they understand."

So they let my child go back into the other room. And I stared them down and said, okay, so first you're going to tear up that piece of paper that uses the word BULLY that you want me to sign and put in my child’s permanent record. And then you're going to find a way to apologize to my my child for traumatizing him over my child’s misguided attempts to help a friend in need. And then you're going to let my child get back to class and learn some stuff rather than punish my child for giving a fuck.

ANYWAYS, they did all the things I asked. And my child has been treated and responded to differently ever since. They now understand that my child is NOT even capable of lying and if anything is more likely to get in trouble by confessing to doing things my child thinks maybe shouldn't have even when nobody is looking for someone to blame. They also understand that my child’s heart, even if actions are awkward and confused because of difficulty connecting with and understanding how to interact with neurotypical folks, is in the right place. It's gotta be so frustrating and challenging for my child when I'm not there to help translate for or advocate for him, but my child's getting better at doing that all the time.

James, I'd say, there's a pretty strong chance you are on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum. I know that I very likely am. It's just that being female for some reason makes the symptoms different, less severe, than it can present in males. I suffer greatly at times from an excess of empathy. It's crippling, if you look at it in a way...but in other ways it's enormously liberating, because I can see and understand things at a level so many others seem utterly incapable of. Fascinating, really...

Thank you for sharing this :) I love reading stories of children standing up to asshole adults Heart.

My friend provided some of the research and I found a third piece easily.

The blind Society pathologizing those who can see.

PS. What a tremendous contribution from my friend, and personally I find it extremely Illuminating on my own life. A shallow empathy cripple am I, but deep empathy, not so much. For much of my years I yearned for the reverse. But for decades now I have understood it as my wealth. My soul. My life. Thank goodness it was never the reverse.



Ravens snacking

Who can imagine being like Jesus, or Buddha, or Confucius, or Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr? Who would want to? Such.....

Who can imagine being like Jesus, or Buddha, or Confucius, or Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr? Who would want to? Such lives are so admirable, most people do admire them, but be like them? I happen to know someone who does want to be like them, me. They are the folks I have envied from my earliest recollection, such an extraordinary quality of life. To love the world that much. I suspect this is what has been missing in all the religions. So close and yet so far. The most admirable enviable Quality of life ever achieved is by such individuals. And some, many, most, all of us are born to be capable of such quality of life.


Gladly living in the winter time without external heat

Living without external heat in the cold. Reflections.

Twice in the last 3 years this healthy but 67 year old male body has existed for extended periods in cold weather without external heat sources for the body, except for the occasional cup of hot liquid.

This by choice, options were available. Going to warmer climates. Moving into a heated structure. Not by way of some idealistic force of will but rather by choice of greed for optimal experience greedy choice for joy is my reason for choosing to live in the uheated cold.

This was entirely unforeseen by me. I would have thought it impossible, living in and unheated tent by choice at Standing Rock North Dakota December through February. More recently living in the excruciatingly beautiful Hills around Lone Pine at the base of Mount Whitney. Warmer Joshua Tree 250 miles south was where I expected to be 6 weeks ago.

Is my body completely happy with this choice? Almost completely but not at the beginning of each.

Unexpected lessons being learned.

A heat source is always available, exercise, movement, walking, running, ..... all medical doctors with compassion reading this are filled with Gladness. This means periodic exercise rather than the otherwise sitting in a recliner for 3 or 4 hours at a time. Instead, brief periods Of the affore mentioned movement introduced, very happily.

2. Clothing, sleeping bags, both in layers. Does my body prefer sleeping in an external heated room or appropriate sleeping bags? The former was my guess. The letter in actual fact. It is just as comfortable. The thermostat is as easily available as opening the hood or folding back the bag. And my soul loves the simplicity of it all. The sustainability. The greedlessness of it.

My body and cerebral cortex, flesh and head respectively as opposed to my soul, are a bit frustrated to say the least at the beginning of these junkets. James, this is requiring so much effort putting on or removing layers of clothing, so much time. Sadly it takes days or weeks for these two parts of my nervous system to get in the habit of this routine. But they do. And then just my soul is left to be really glad at the sustainability of, and greedlesness, of this approach.

Cycling is the sole mode of Transportation and primary means of exercise and heat for this old guy. Cycling generally for me results in profuse sweating. In the days or weeks at the beginning of such. The body and flesh do nothing but whine about this. But finally my soul says, get over it guys. And figures out that peddling at 115 watts per hour output instead of 135 heats the body nicely, moves the vehicle satisfactory,  at little or no sweat!

Joy is the answer. See recent posts and video logs on my log. The pursuit of happiness and pleasure says that these writings above and experience are idiocy, mistaken ideas, insanity. But the pursuit of joy, the optimal human experience says quite the opposite.

Oh, several other things.

And then there is this amazing thing the human body. The mystery of its adaptation too cold and hot has not yet been fully solved by me. The duration, most effective triggers, are things yet to be mastered by me. But it is quite amazing. Awakening this morning at 28 degrees Fahrenheit and then sitting and working, writing and researching, at 33 degrees my hands and body were behaving like they did in 50 degree weather 4 weeks ago. Some of that is the confidence comes from that recent experience. James, yes your toes are cold, but as soon as you decide to get up and walk for 15 minutes or run for 8, they'll be warm again. Don't worry.

Some of it is learning curve regarding sleeping bags and garments. What works best for me under what circumstances? Tonight will it be too $30 sleeping bags or one? Today will it be no upper body base layer, a medium-weight one, heavyweight, or 2?

On a different but related note, solar thermal, solar thermal, solar thermal, solar thermal, solar thermal, Did I mention solar thermal? For the heating of water, the heating of a dwelling, pre-heating of all cooking water.

And, persistence paying off, $60 boots with 800 grams of thinsulate insulation for the feet


Very long ears has my neighbor.