Sunday, June 3, 2007

"spotting"

A phrasing that particularly angers me:

(From someone posting as "V." on I Blame the Patriarchy)
"And though I am neurotypical, I can spot a person with an autistic spectrum disorder a mile off–in other words, broadening the category hasn’t lessened my ability to distinguish ASD from nerotypical."

Well, gee, where were you the first seventeen years of my life to tell me the reason my grades sucked was ASD?

Backing off from my particular take on this instance of the "I can always just tell" (and the comment doesn't seem to be particularly egregious in any other way), this kind of othering really irks me. "I can always spot those queers/trannies/crips/auties/ferriners/what-have-you because they're not Real People like me." This establishes a fundamental difference between the speaker and these other folks and in my experience once you have a fundamental difference, a value judgement is not far behind.

To be fair, there are some categories that have defining and un-hideable features, be they physical or non. But there are very, very few of them that have nary an exception, nary a variation that might give an onlooker pause. Sure, there are people with ASD who can't "pass" to save their lives (and for many of them, this is very literally what they're trying to do). And then there's me, who despite intensive IQ testing at the age of eight (showing the exact same pattern that would later be the key to my diagnosis) went Stealth NT for almost two decades, figuring there was something wrong with me all along. There's enormous numbers of people just like me, who eventually figure out that maybe they're Asperger's or NLD or ASDNOS or in some other way not NT after a lifetime of almost fitting in. But if they'd just talked to the right people, those ones who can Always Just Tell, they'd've been spared all that because it was so obvious!

Hindsight bias is a wonderful thing. Give a bunch of people two opposite conclusions and the same data and they'll both find incontrovertible support for their conclusion. It's easy to look back and say "oh, it's so obvious, of course s/he is X, this and this and this happened". But somehow it never seems as obvious before you find out the answer.

Maybe I need a tag for "things that piss me off". Seems like everything would get it though, making it less than useful.

The funeral was very nice. I'm still across the country, but less depressed by Serious Blogs than I had feared.

2 comments:

am i a bodyfascist? said...

spot on (hawhaw), especially "I can always spot those queers/trannies/crips/auties/ferriners/what-have-you because they're not Real People like me."

Anonymous said...

:)
My son 5 yr old has just been diagnosed ASDNOS. Not a huge shock though. During his first year of school, people had started to call him naughty now they are calling him sick.

Can't win can you.
K