I've just discovered it is autism awareness month. Many are aware that more children that ever are being diagnosed with autism, and modern society and medicines are being blamed. No, the behaviour is not more common today. Children were just left alone to play with their inanimate objects when I was a child in the late 1940s. It was considered advantageous to adults if children chose to avoid them back then. Little children who did not want to socialise were not dragged off to psychiatrists to get an autistic label slapped on them. They were treated as normal within a wide range of healthy behaviours.
Thank goodness for that.
This blog's sponsors is author Ryn Shell.
I spent hours playing with pennies and avoiding people. But, the people I avoided, were best avoided. How much does environment play in the development of high-functioning autism? Many children do block out toxic influences, and sometimes those influences they block are people. Does that make them autistic?
The outer world would not have recognised the adults in my life as the potential danger that I as a child perceived them the be. So, who had the problem?
The child, protecting themselves from the influences of adults they see as threatening? The adults who can hide from all other that the perceptive child that they are a threat to that child, or the society, too fast to label a child autistic without investigating why that child may distrust people?
It seems to me that the autism diagnosis is given far too hastily these days. What stigma would I have carried into adulthood if I had thought I was autistic, instead of scared of adults?
I have overcome my fear of people but not my loathing of authoritarian figures. Is that normal or a high functioning form of autism? Frankly, I don't care what other people would call it.
Personally, I hate those labels' autistic or whatever; we give people.
I preferred the make patterns with pennies on a carpet when I was four, and avoid people because they were not kind to me. Today, I still make designs with words as an author and with paid as an artist and I prefer that to spending them with people I don't relate. Because more people admire those patterns I make now than admired those patterns I made when I was four because it is acceptable to block people you don't like from your Facebook feed, but it's not considered acceptable for a child to block out an adult, I'm considered normal now.
If I were that child of four now, would they now label me autistic? I am glad that I was born in 146 and left alone, away from people I did not want to see, to create penny pictures on the carpet.
Well, at age fourteen some stupid psychiatrist, without ever having seen my artwork, told my mother that I had no artistic talent and that my wanting to go to art school was attention seeking behaviour by a child with an inferiority complex. That cost me the opportunity of studying art until I was an adult. I have been a major award winning artist in multi mediums and earned my living from the fine arts for more than fifty years. I've written twenty-five books. One has been in constant print for forty years. I'd say that I had artistic talent.
I wonder how the psychiatrist mho crushed my teenage artistic opportunities faired for the remainder of his life. I'll bet he wasn't half as happy as I've been, fulfilling all my dreams and continuing to be selective of what people I allow to be close friends. I'm not bitter about him. I do laugh about how stupid he was though. Being a psychiatrist does not make you some God-like figure to be respected as knowing what is right or wrong with a person, or what is best for a person. They only make educated assessments like the rest of us, and, not knowing all about a person, they do frequently get it wrong.
When an artist gets it wrong, we just change the pattern in our inanimate environment' (a so-called autistic trait,) we don't risk messing up someone's life.
It is no surprise to me that psychiatrists have one of the highest rates of mental illness, based on suicide rates, or any profession. They are so fast to put people into boxes and label them, rather than accepting a wide variation as normal and believing what the child or adult tells them—as in—I wished to be an artist and pennies on a carpet were my only art supplies.
I am so happy that I was in my late sixties, having led a happy adult life before I realised that children like I was, are now called autistic. So glad no one called me that. You get called enough names when you are a little different to others as a child.