Walking Backwards

I was having breakfast at our local diner (or is it a cafe? What is the difference? Okay, I’ll look it up later) when I noticed one family at a large table nearby had brought their son, a grown man with headphones on who was nonvocal and repeatedly stamped his feet on the floor in random bursts of nervous energy. Seeing this made me realize I had forgotten to put the emphasis on “high functioning” in regards to my Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.

It’s a wide spectrum, folks. On one end are people like me who have spent their lives making adaptations so they can be successful round pegs in a world of square holes. That young man is at the other end. Which is why I try not to say, “I’m autistic.” I don’t think that communicates the situation correctly. “I’m on the spectrum with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs” is better.

But there’s also a bit of survivor bias in that (as there is with most things). I don’t know what the success rate is for people on the spectrum. That may not even be a known value even if you define “success” as being able to maintain relationships and support yourself because we’re just now starting to see more diagnoses like this as the stigma recedes to just that one part of the population that never yields their ignorance.

I’m writing this because I want to make it clear I’m not claiming a disability. The way this syndrome (I hate calling it a disorder in my case) manifests itself in me is with creativity, problem solving, an exacting sense of correctness, and a need to be doing three things at once to use up all of my attention so I’m not distracted. There were more downsides early on. Narcissism, intense self-interest, lack of object permanence where other people were concerned, depression, self-medication, destructive behavior. But it would be stretch to blame all of that entirely on the spectrum. Teenagers and twenty-somethings are all pretty much self-destructive narcissists to some degree. Or they’re not doing it right.

Anyway, now that I’ve cleared that up, this is the last I plan to talk about this subject as I would prefer to discuss the books and movies I’m enjoying lately. After all, we are living in a golden age of horror stories (although sometimes it feels like normies are invading my niche).

P.S. – It’s a diner even though they call it a cafe. Diners have full meals and waitstaff, cafes have light meals and no waitstaff. Since a server will bring me a chicken fried steak with an over easy egg on it, my place is a diner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.