Hmm. Interesting! I would like it if it was a full movie, instead of a commercial~
Ah! Thank you~~~
I think they definitely can be related (not for all people, but for some people), but I also think it’s definitely much more complicated than “autism causes non-human identity”. Often, I feel the opposite: I am non-human, and, the way that my mind copes with being non-human in a human body shows as autism. I feel like the autistic feelings and behaviors are a natural reaction to having a kind of mind that doesn’t match with the body and society you are born in, and, being non-human could be one thing that triggers that.
But, I also think it’s really complicated. If you were autistic and non-human but these things were not related, how could you tell? That was the point of my post, in a way. So I think that these things can be connected, but, in a way that’s so difficult to try to find a “cause” or a “beginning”.
And, I don’t have an interest in doing so. I am autistic, and, I am nonhuman. These two things exist, they are important, they are affecting each other and they are both parts of me. They are both real, and I don’t think that feeling one can completely “explain” the other as if it was an excuse. “Oh, she’s not X, she just has Y.” Nothing is ever “just” anything, and I won’t let any part of my identity be pushed away like that. The fact is that I experience both of these things and they matter to me, and anyone who tries to tell me it’s “just” Y is going to get an angry look.
I am autistic.
I am bird.
Society tries to say this is two things. Often, I think, it is one. Where do the lines begin and the lines end, between bird-flight and autism-flap, between bird-panic and autistic-meltdown, between bird-song-of-joy and autistic-babbling?
I don’t know. I don’t want to draw lines. I am bird and I am autistic. I can’t separate these things.
Bird is movement. I have said this in previous writings about bird. Bird is movement, and rhythm, wind under wings, scooping motion pulling you forward through the sky, repeating, one-two, one-two. upstroke. downstroke. Changing speed, when the wind around you changes. I don’t have wind, I don’t have wings, so I use music, I use rocking in my seat, I use the movement of a car, I use a word or a song repeated in my head. Sometimes I use all of these together, rocking as the car moves as the music sings as the heart swells in my ribs as I make mouth movements to the song, as I sing it over over over in my head, one-two, one-two, now faster now slower now falling now rising, up up up up d o w n.
I can’t fly, so this is my flying.
Movement and rhythm, these things are soothing, familiar. We rock a baby in a cradle and the autistic person rocks and flaps and the bird soars on the wind, all the same movements, all the same rhythm. It is soothing, familiar, for a bird to fly: I don’t doubt this. It is soothing to run, to feel the ground under your feet, thump, thump, one, two, or to listen to a horse running, hooves on the road, onetwo, threefour, onetwo, threefour. If this is soothing to our ears, if a horse or a dog who are left alone will run for the joy of running, then I think that flying must be comforting, to birds. It must be the joy of coming home, to a familiar movement, the upstroke, the downstroke.
(Autistic people are criticised for rocking, for flapping. For wanting this familiar movement. For wanting to fly. For wanting to feel rhythm. For understanding the joy of rhythm, perhaps more than most humans, who only like it in very particular situations. Music. Dance. Poetry. Listening to the ocean drum on the shore. Imagine if every time you moved, you moved with dance and felt the pleasure of rhythm. That is an animal’s life, an autistic person’s life. Like animals, we dance all the time, we run, we fly.
And sometimes, we run, we fly, because we are animals. Because the running-need the flying-need the dancing-need is inside us, the call of our ancestors who are not our ancestors who are our ancestors more than science can show.)
Humans make noise only when it is expected. Isn’t it strange? When a human makes noise suddenly, it is treated as a mental illness. Unless it is singing or humming, and even then, this is only okay in particular places. You can’t sing if you are waiting in line at the bank. But birds sing constantly. Birds sing to find mates, they sing to say “here’s food”, they sing to say “I am here”. And sometimes, it seems, they sing just because they wish to sing. They sing because singing feels good, like a dog barks when she is bored, like a cat walks around the house meowing because he has eaten catnip and he wants to make sound. There is not always a reason. It is just good to make noise. Birds know this. Autistic people know this. It is okay to make sound.
I make sound for the joy of it. I run because the rhythm comforts me. I imagine wind under me, pushing me forward. I imagine my wings beating heavy when I flap my arms.
I am autistic.
I am bird.
They are not very far apart.
I don’t know what you mean by “this whole entire group”, but, transhumanist means that you support the use of technology or other methods to move the human species past a place where it would be recognised as “human”. For example, using implants to give people better senses, uploading people into computers, etc.
Wikipedia has a better explanation than I can. A good way to explain it is, what it’s not. It’s the opposite of the idea that “humans are meant to be human so anything that would transform them into something else is bad, even if it made them more skilled, more smart, etc.”
These are some of the things that I have difficulties with. If you know me offline, this might be relevant to your interactions with me, I guess.
- Distinguishing sounds - I have trouble distinguishing rhyming words, even when they’re spoken in isolation. Bat, hat, that…I have trouble hearing the difference. So when listening to people, I end up hearing something like this “What xxxx you xxxx tonight? I wanted xxxx with xxxx so we’re xxxx downtown.” I have to try and fill in the blanks. Sometimes I’m able to. Often I’m not - when that happens, sometimes I ask for repetition, but sometimes I try to just get it from context, which can cause confusion.
- Remembering things told to me orally - it’s reeeeally hard. I have to focus intensely to remember stuff people say to me. And anything longer than a single sentence is basically hell to remember.
- Actually processing what was said to me - one thing I do a lot is saying “what?” right after someone says something to me, and then immediately following it up with a response. My mom hates it, says I shouldn’t say “what” if I actually know what was said. The problem is that when I do hear things, it takes me a little longer to actually understand what they mean and how I’m supposed to respond.
- Understanding anything with background noise - my sensory gating abilities (aka the cocktail party effect) are almost nonexistent. Because of bullet point #1, I have trouble understanding speech normally, but when you add any background noise, it becomes almost impossible. It doesn’t even have to be loud. Talking while music is playing, for instance. Doesn’t work, and I feel rude asking people to turn off the music (if that’s even an option). If we’re in a loud environment, you should probably just assume I can’t understand you at all and would be better off switching to ASL or writing.
- Noticing when people are talking to me - for some reason, I have a hard time with this. I think it’s partly also because basically no one actually talked to me in elementary and middle school so I’m not used to the idea of people approaching me. But yeah, it’s tough to tell when I’m being addressed, plus when someone speaks to me and I’m not expecting it, it’s almost guaranteed that I didn’t understand what they were saying.
- Phones? I never associated my problems using phones to my auditory processing deficit before but now I wonder if that’s part of it. Anyway, I have extreme difficulties having phone calls with anyone I am not extremely close with. It causes me seriously debilitating anxiety.
I spend a lot of time pretending I understood things I really didn’t, leading to another of my mom’s pet peeves about me, of not getting all the information I should have because I don’t want to ask questions and get frowned upon for not having understood.
…oh gosh. All of this. Particularly the “what?” and then answering thing. And remembering things that people said, awgh.
what if you were in bed tonight and you were really lonely and sad and you were lying with your arm hanging out over the edge of the bed into the darkness and just as you were going to sleep, the darkness reached out and held your hand