We all know someone who’s ‘on the spectrum’. Someone a little weird. Not good with social cues, but passionately (perhaps disturbingly) intense in some other part of their lives.
But what do we really know about them and how they see the world?
We’re all a lot more comfortable with the idea of Autism these days, but do we really understand what life is like for these people? Not so much…
Our very own Autiste, as we shall insist on calling Dre, is on hand to share his personal story, from a late diagnosis to using the excessive focus the condition gives him to study human nature and social psychology. For him the obstacle became the way, and now he’s terrifyingly accurate at reading your thoughts even before you know you’re having them.
In this personal but wide-ranging episode, we reflect on our friendship and the ways Autism has affected it; how the closer he feels to someone, the more he comes to forget they’re not actually a part of him and can’t read his mind; and how social norms and ‘common sense’ often shatter against his experience of them.
Dre makes a powerful challenge to anyone who claims that Autistic people just don’t try hard enough to integrate into society. In fact, he argues, it’s you who don’t try and instead simply surround yourself with people who think much the same as you do, shielding yourself from ever needing to grapple with alternative perspectives.
This is a fascinating and deeply personal journey into Dre’s mind, but also an open challenge to reflect on how we all relate to others and to ourselves.
What We Get Into:
- Just how differently do Autistic people see the world?
- What does Autism mean for relationships?
- Are we all somewhat on the spectrum, or is that lazy thinking?
- The dangers of filtering all your life experiences through a single lens, from mental health to sexuality and beyond
- Can Autism become a crutch?
- Where difference ends and loneliness begins
Mentioned in the Episode:
- Understanding the Spectrum – a comic strip explanation | The Art of Autism
- The World Needs All Kinds of Minds – Temple Grandin TED talk