a reply to: CornishCeltGuy
Functioning people on the spectrum...
Even this description fails to properly describe or differentiate between very different elements and ends of the spectrum. Lets ignore that this is
autism we are talking about, and start thinking about mental illness or atypicality generally for a moment.
In order to be diagnosed with a mental illness or atypicality at all, it is necessary for the person who is being examined by a psychiatrist,
neurologist, psychologist or other relevant, qualified person, to present with some behaviour or history thereof, which is not only outside the norm,
but also over which they have no control. The very definition of mental illness, in a general sense, is a condition which causes a serious disorder in
a persons behaviour or thinking. Tourette's syndrome, for example, cannot be controlled by the sufferer. No one would tell you, after watching someone
in a full blown attack of it, that the individual concerned was in conscious control of their outburst, not in the least.
It is the same with many of the examples of violent behaviour in people with Aspergers. Even those most intelligent and capable persons with the
condition, will find communication with certain people very difficult, particularly emotional communication. This necessarily means that at some
stage, the things they cannot say, the things they cannot make clear, will eventually come to a boiling point, and in the wrong circumstances, could
turn into some kind of meltdown, where they either attack themselves, lash out at someone else, or produce some other disruptive behaviour.
They are not being willfully violent, they are not acting out for kicks. They are frustrated by a world which, for all their potential intellect and
capability, makes no bloody sense, populated by people whose motivations are entirely illogical, rife with double standards, and are no where near
simple enough to be practically navigated, if ones mind is focused on anything other than the bland, boring thing that is surviving life at all.
Eventually they snap under the pressure of the unanswered questions, the double standards, the failure of those around them to behave in ways they
understand, the fact that the painting on the wall is "too orange"...
Lets give an example... my boy. He, along with several other behavioural traits, has a physical tic, associated with his Aspergers. He drums his
fingers, unless his hands are busy, and if he cannot, say because someone grasps his hands to prevent it, he will wriggle and squirm, not because he
is willful or obstinate, but because he NEEDS to move, cannot express why, and because of his inability to explain that he needs to free his hands to
move them in the rhythm he is used to, he will simply try to free himself. Its the same with his tendency to sway side to side if he is stood in one
place. Its intensely boring, and his brain does not allow him peace in that situation. The swaying provides him a situation where stimulus and
perspective are always in flux, keeping his mind occupied on input.
These are not things he has any control over, and no amount of physical punishment would ever change that, and it won't change his less palatable
responses to stimuli either.