You Could Be An Autistic Person If …

Duriansyou are a very curious person, in both senses of the word

you say goodbye to your husband in the morning as he goes off to work, and your heart leaps with joy at the prospect of spending the day home alone in an empty house

what you don’t know about your favourite subject just isn’t worth knowing, and some of what you do know about your favourite subject of study also isn’t really worth knowing

you listen to Barbra Streisand singing “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world” and you think “Those lyrics make no logical sense at all!”

you never wink back, winking just ain’t your style

you often get yourself worked up into a lather, not in the bath, but in conversation

the weather outside is overcast with a temperature neither warm nor cool, and you think “Oh what a glorious, perfect day!”

you have formulated your own conservative but comfortable dress code, wearing an identical outfit most days from underwear to shoes, and there are only four colours amongst all of the clothes in your wardrobe

you can hear the high-pitched sound of someone’s television set operating, from the street in front of their house, but you often don’t hear your wife’s voice when she is trying to get your attention

your idea of absolute flaming hell is being in a crowded shopping centre supermarket at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, just before Christmas and just after they have re-arranged all the aisles, and loud, distorted music and annoying spruiking are blaring over the PA system, and great, huge overweight women accompanied by their overweight eldest daughters are blocking the way in every aisle, and little kids are playing chasie everywhere, and you catch a disgusting whiff of the smell-trail of an alcoholic shopper who hasn’t washed in over a month, and in every checkout line there’s a toddler throwing a tantrum (OH, THE HUMANITY!)

that’s you muttering “Fuckoffthelottayas” or “Please, please go away” under your breath while you are weaving your way past the other shoppers in the supermarket aisles

when your local supermarket opened a “fresh” fish section you never shopped there again

that’s you having a good sniff of the durians in the Fruit and Veg section of the Coles supermarket, even though you have no intention of purchasing any

you advise your kids to “Stop wasting your time reading nonsense fictional books, and sit down and read a few encyclopaedia volumes and LEARN SOMETHING”

brown-nosing, bullshitting and schmoozing are some workplace skills that you have never been able to master, to your great disadvantage

you shriek more often than most people do

you are a baby and your favourite toy is your own pram

you would be very proud if your kids grew up to be technicians, engineers, scientists, philosophers or academics, but if they made a career in sport or fashion modelling, that would really break your heart

you know what joy and excitement a really good obsession can bring

you have such an odd style of conversation that you would fail the Turing Test if you weren’t obviously human

the sound of plastic packaging crackling can transform you from a calm, rational, law-abiding citizen into a snarling ball of fury

you always seem to be any age but your real chronological age; when you were 6 they called you “The little professor”, in your teenage years someone called you a “young fogey”, and now that you are 60 they call you “The old boy”

in any situation in which there is the possibility that you will forget something, the most likely outcome is that you will forget it

you often have moments in which you look around the crowd and notice that no one else is doing what you are doing

you go to a meeting and make a brief comment and everyone laughs, but you never intended to make a joke

you are at the beach and your swimming companion gets knocked over by a big wave, and you give him your estimate of how many tonnes of water just hit him

you’re the only person in the room who stops to sniff the roses in the vase

you spot errors in design, logic, spelling, procedure, grammar and punctuation everywhere, every day, and you wonder why so many stupid people have jobs, while no one will hire you

you sometimes talk like a cave man, leaving whole syllables out of some words, while at other times you talk a bit like that pedantic, uppity gold-coloured robot in the “Star Wars” movies

you collect so many items inside your home that there is barely enough room to rock a chair in there

your children prefer your detailed and precise definitions of things rather than the ones in dictionaries or encyclopaedias

you cut the nylon lace trimming off your clothes to make them less like instruments of torture and more like something that you can wear

if you donated sperm that would be a very naughty practical joke, maybe even grounds for a lawsuit

you’re living in a world of your own, AND A DAMN FINE WORLD IT IS!

Copyright Lili Marlene 2005, 2006, 2007.

Lili Marlene’s You Could Be An Autistic Person If … appeared at Incorrect Pleasures on December 21, 2006, and is reprinted here by permission of the author.

on 04/16/10 in Autism, featured | 1 Comment | Read More

Comments (1)


  1. Lili Marlene says:

    I love the photo of the durians. I can just imagine the smell.

    You could be an autistic person if ….. you have inherited an Aspergian accent from a grandparent that you don’t see very often.

    You could be an autistic person if …. there is something just a little bit funny about the way you walk, just like the slightly odd walks of an unbroken line of your ancestors going back generations.

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