TED | 患有自闭症是一种怎样的感觉
Another common stereotype that is often associated with autism is that autistic people lack empathy. And again, this is not true. I actually have lots of empathy. I’m just not really good at showing it. Whenever a friend is trying to tell me some of the struggles that they’re going through, I often don’t know how to express my reply. And that is why I don’t show as much empathy as my non autistic friends do.
Emotional expression, however much or however little, is difficult for me. And that is because I am bursting inside with every single emotion one feels at all times. Though of course, I cannot express it that way. Otherwise, let’s say, happiness, for example, would come out as a huge burst of gleeful wheezing, hand flapping and loud vocal “woohoos.”
Whereas you may just smile.
Whether it be receiving an awesome birthday gift or listening to a tragic story on the news, I cannot really express my reply without bursting, so once again, I have to mask it in order to appear normal. My inner feelings are unlimited, but my mind only lets me express extremes or nothing.
So my ... I am not great with my emotions, and I communicate differently, and because of that, I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This diagnosis helps me and my friends and family to know how my mind works. And in the world, approximately one percent of the population is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. And this number is growing. However, we are still a big minority. And there’s still lots of people that do not see us as equals to other people.
This is my family. And in my family, there is one other person who is also autistic. My mother. Yes, adult women can also be autistic. My dad and my brother are both non autistic. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult for us to communicate with each other, however. Sometimes I’ll say something like, “Oh, Toronto’s Union Station, right?” thinking that I can help them to remember certain aspects of it.
When they get confused, I often have to elaborate myself on that. And we often have to say things in a number of different ways so that everyone understands. However, despite all that, we all love each other and respect each other as equals.
In his book “Neuro Tribes,” author Steve Silberman states that autism and other mental conditions should be seen as naturally human, naturally part of a human spectrum and not as defects. And this is something that I agree to completely. If autism was seen as part of an natural human spectrum, then the world could be designed to work better for autistic people. I am not ashamed of my autism. And I may not think like you, or act like you, but I am still human and I am not diseased.