A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Sat Sep 18 05:58:50 BST 2021

Just getting round to a response here:

On Dec 8, 2020, at 11:27 PM, Beatrice Otter via Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:
> When I talk about specific symptoms of autism, or when I talk about how executive dysfunction is common to autism and ADD, there will invariably be someone who says "but that's not a sign that something's wrong, it's just normal, everyone does that." Or someone who dismisses any description of symptoms by minimizing them and claiming that it's just normal. In my experience, all such people fit into one of three categories:
> 1) They're a troll
> 2) They don't understand the distinction between "this is something that most people experience occasionally in a really mild form that has no impact on their life" and "this is something I have to build my entire life around managing because it happens to me multiple times per day in a really intense form that interferes in my ability to perform basic life skills." (Occasionally there is overlap between this category and the first category, when the reason they don't understand this distinction is that they don't want to understand it)
> 3) They themselves have the condition, but they've never been diagnosed, just struggling on their own and assuming they're stupid and lazy for not being able to accomplish what they see other people do, because they think that everyone has the same issues they do and they're just uniquely bad at managing them.

When Arthur was in middle school, about a dozen years ago, he had an assignment to discuss why this fictional student was dx’d on the spectrum.

He asked me for help. Various scenarios were given, and to most—with a dx of juvenile-onset bipolar disorder-he said, “why is that odd?” or “but I do that!” Using the Socratic method, which still works well for him, I led him to seeing the cumulative effect, and the lightbulb went on over his head.

When he was about 3 1/2, a young autist started at the pre-school/daycare. Arthur dragged/drafted him into his play stories. He was also getting early coping-skill therapy. Gradually the young boy became more open to imaginary play, and a bit more outgoing. As he was leaving the place for pre-K, his mother thanked me for helping her son. I told her to thank Arthur, because that was all his doing, and not necessarily consciously. He just wanted a playmate.

These days we can easily spot the neurodiverse and adapt to their communication/social interaction  style or level. It’s not a problem to be solved, but courtesy and an acknowledgment of the person.

As a member of the Religious Education staff at a local UU fellowship, he sees all sorts of younger kids. Sometimes there’s discussion with the parents of challenges or concerns, but he’s comfortable with the differences of needs. Parents, staff, and students love him.

A. Marina Fournier
saffronrose at me.com
Je persisterai quand même, car j’ais survécu d’être née
Valley of Heart’s Delight. CA
Sent from iFionnghuala

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