A Year Ago at Shift Journal

Nut grafs or otherwise relevant excerpts from entries which appeared last year at this time.


•  Neurodiversity, Primary Process and Theory of Mind

Imagine that ten years from now these connections are being made.  High testosterone mothers (and perhaps high testosterone, high estrogen mothers) are provided specific guidance on how to raise their children using aboriginal techniques.  The web becomes filled with the various ways children are guided into adulthood within an environment suited to their unique bodies, minds and brains.  Autism rates don’t dramatically decrease but fully functional, socialized children with autistic (matrilineal aboriginal) bodies, minds and spirits are discovered to be making unique and profound contributions to society.

World culture drifts in the direction of raising children using aboriginal conventions.

The result two generations from now is a dramatic drop in commercial innovation and industrial production but a skyrocketing in aesthetics, programming and mathematics.  Art and the abstract sciences burn up the planet’s online bandwidth with an amateurization of professions formerly available to the very few.

•  Autism and Aboriginal Society

Also, Social Organization of the Western Pueblos (1950) describes in detail the matrifocal foundations of Hopi society.  So, we note unique attitudes toward time and space, a right hemisphere emphasis on language and a matrifocal society.  We’d expect to see a higher number of left-handers than is the convention and perhaps an increase in conditions characterized by maturational delay such as autism and Asperger’s.  We’d also predict females with high testosterone and estrogen, males with low testosterone and estrogen.  Information is spotty.  Studies are few and far between.  Still, I would predict that in the Hopi society there are higher rates of autism and left-handedness unless the ways that children are raised deeply influence the how likely a child will become attached to primary process consciousness.

Consider that if indeed in Hopi society there are no elevated rates of autism, then maybe there are unique ways that the Hopi are raising children that engage them in ways that they don’t veer off into an unconventional condition.  If there are normal rates of autism among the Hopi, perhaps diet, touch, dance, performance and rhythm are being applied in a fashion that we in the West could learn from.

An Autistic Ethos: It’s All About Respect

This is, I suggest, every bit as much an autistic ethos as it is an IT ethos.  The only significant difference is that unlike autistic people in general, IT pros occupy a position of power from which consequences fall upon those who fail to respect that ethos—this lack of respect in fact is how the oh-so-intractable stereotypical behaviors are elicited. Ello’s advice about how to fix this problem is specific to corporate culture and difficult to unpack in a small space, but let’s just see what happens if we rewrite the final sentence from that last paragraph:

… snip …

Finally, I would point out that the opposite of a great IT team here is a disabled IT team.  Mr. Ello has introduced the idea of disability as an imposed condition mistaken for an inherent quality, as something visited upon people from without, not from within.  If IT staff can be effectively disabled by being forced to work under expectations that are contrary to the ethos that makes them effective as a team, perhaps it is time to consider that autistics in general are routinely disabled by expectations that are contrary to the ethos that makes them effective—both as lovers and as human beings.

on 01/3/11 in Art/Play/Myth, featured | No Comments | Read More

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