Friday, June 13, 2008

Take it From Someone Who Knows...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and expose myself and my internal conversations when it comes to dealing with society at large. It will hopefully not be like the foot in mouth that Garth from Wayne's World when he said "Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?" I may have all the neurotypical people backing away looking for the door (or they may just agree with me, who knows?). But, since I am on the Hub and I at least have a fighting chance of a few of the neurodiverse reading, I'm sure they will find the rantings on NT society's foibles at least mildly recognizable and entertaining...


My light bulb went off a little while ago when someone on the Autism Speaks board made mention of how they needed to figure out a way to 'extinguish a behavior' in the NT world: specifically, the behavior that finds clerks, cashiers, government servants... NT people in general, ignoring you like you don't even exist. It got me to thinking of all the types of NT behavior that we'd might need put people through ABA for a few years for. Hey, maybe ABA could be done in jails to try and 'correct' some of those more extreme non ST (socio-typical) behaviors. I started thinking about times that I'm on a line, especially those in a crowded stadium or some other place where a somewhat haphazard queue gets created, watching those feigning ignorance about where the line ends and who's on which line, then inserting themselves well in front of me. I thinking the whole time what I'm going to say, how to politely confront them; then when it finally happens, I chicken out and don't say anything.
You people on the spectrum think that navigating the public social NT world is easy for us 'colorless' people not on the autism spectrum? Ha! think again! There are a handful of types of public personas out there that have this...this, shall we say, NT spectrum disorder and it takes a keen sense just to identify them...there are:

  • the polite (people like me just mindin' our own business, a little geeky, self conscious, awkward, these are the closest to 'normal')
  • the righteous loud (those like me and you with a sense of right and wrong... but with no fear)
  • the weasel (those who rely on stealth to put one over on the crowd)
  • the ditz (those, either by conscious design or by actual mindset, who think that ignorance IS an excuse)
  • the bull (those who, again, either by conscious design or by actual mindset, actually believe that the world is their oyster and "you ain't freekin' tellin' me what I can or can't do!")
Upon closer examination, however, I find that these are just categories of types of NT's out there and that there are, interwoven in these groups, recognizable patterns of true disorders that may be treatable or at least categorizable and further research could be done. So, from the Faber College School of Sociology Research, here's a top 5 list of NT disorders that have been documented and no, this is NOT how all NT's are, we are just as appalled as you on the spectrum, but remember, it's a way of being for them:
  1. Of course, the aforementioned line cutter. The righteous loud are the best antidotes to this behavior; if it's a big enough crowd, you can even pretend to be a RL and you can get a lynch mob started. Just make sure you say something within the 1st 5 seconds of the 'cut' or you might just get the "you ain't freekin' tellin me" speech...

  2. The parking lot syndrome- There are so many sub categories in this, but most of these are a lot like the line cutters, only with 1000+ lb backing his or her desire to get the best. a)the shark, who circles the lot in search of the tender morsels of close parking spaces (even though there are 100 that they pass by that are only 10 feet farther away); b)the lurker, who will dive from the opposite direction if you are waiting for someone to pull out; c)the little red corvette, who park their precious piece of metal in such a way that takes up 16 parking spaces; d) the crayon over the line, who cannot park evenly between the line and it's closely related relative e) door smasher who park so close AND open their 1969 coupe De Ville door as if they are launching a land rocket, then feign not noticing that YOUR door is now wrapped around theirs. So many in need of a cure (oops sorry, recovery from), but i assure you that the above only makes up about 10% of the NT population...it's just that the 10% do a lot more driving and shopping!
  3. The super market developmental disorder- You KNOW there are a few that need some intense therapy in here. Those who do the shopping cart in the middle of the aisle; those that park their cart and shop right across from it; those parents (with non autistic) bratty kids; oh the sale shelf clearers (I freely admit that's us!), the 3 cart family at the last register open (again... us). And of course, the classic, the 11-18 item person in the under 10 express lane (these people have such a strong lobby that they have actually CHANGED signs to accommodate them "Around 10 items or so".
  4. Pervasive Driving Disorder- This category could possible be a book in NT disorders in it's own right. I will have to do some broad categories here, lest I turn a 5-10 minute read into a 2 hour one! So many symptoms, which ones are the worst. OK lets start with a juxtaposition: fast drivers in the slow lane and low drivers in the fast. The allegory of drifting: those who drift from lane to lane with no directional and those whose minds are drifting and forget to turn it OFF! Professions: the weavers who use all six lanes and the shoulder to get into the lead and the beauticians who are busy on their appearance, whether it hair, eyes, lipstick makeup. Oh, there are cell phone talkers and high beam flashers and kid yellers and sandwich eaters; enough dysfunction to fill a stadium.
  5. Cell Phone Hyperactivity Disorder- last but not least in the disorders of the NT world, the obsessive need to be in constant contact with others and with the outside world even though they are in the outside world they need to get inside the outside world by getting on the internet and therefore in touch. NJ now has a ban on handheld cellphone usage in the car, I think cellphone usage has actually gone up, with just a slight decrease in those looking like Gary Owens with their right hand up to their ear. Yes folks, there truly IS no cure for this end of the spectrum, have a heart when they answer their phones at a classical concert, they are compelled to do so.

I hope this will give you a better understanding of some of the more specific disorders with the neurotypical world. If you have others just drop a line. If you would like to donate to the cause of eliminating NT from your world, I'm trying to buy the NTSpeaks.com website name, but some 14 year old is squatting on the rights... so until then, just donate to the elect McCain campaign.

1 comment:

Kassiane said...

Cant. Stop. Laughing.

My "favorite" are the cell phone kids who talk unashamedly about everything (no, really, everything) LOUDLY and in *great* detail on their phones on the BUS.

The line jumpers are excellent too, really. Especially since I can't keep my mouth shut about it (does that make me a Loud Righteous Autistic? Hmm...) and has nearly gotten my skinny little butt kicked on more than one occasion. Oops. But didn't they learn lines in elementary school?

Still giggling...