Asperger individuals will recognize basic hunter-gatherer values as “normal,” especially respect for childhood autonomy and freedom to play, which is essential to young animals. Play is often touted by child experts as key to child health, and yet modern social humans ruthlessly quash this natural animal behavior.
How Children Educate Themselves III: The Wisdom of Hunter-Gatherers
Trimmed for length. Full article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200808/children-educate-themselves-iii-the-wisdom-hunter-gatherers/
“For hundreds of thousands of years, up until the time when agriculture was invented a mere 10,000 years ago, we were all hunter-gatherers.” (No “we” weren’t! Our ancestors were. Modern social humans are the product of agriculture-urbanization, which has drastically changed humans via domestication / juvenalization. “AG-URB” behavior has transformed the environments in which we live, for better and worse, and it is to these that we must adapt.
“Our human instincts, including all of the instinctive means by which we learn, came about in the context of that way of life.” (No! Our instincts date back millions of years, before hominids, before primates, before mammals: instincts like fight or flight were present in animals long before our late appearance. Most “learning” by animals is achieved by observation and imitation: “monkey-see, monkey-do” and by trial and error; by practice. In this, we are not different or new, and yet modern educators have abandoned natural learning as “out of date” and cruel and unusual punishment. American education is not about academics; it’s a system of forced socialization.
“And so it is natural that in this series on children’s instinctive ways of educating themselves I should ask: How do hunter-gatherer children learn what they need to know to become effective adults within their culture?”
“In the last half of the 20th century, anthropologists located and observed many groups of people—in remote parts Africa, Asia, Australia, New Guinea, South America, and elsewhere—who had maintained a hunting-and-gathering life…Wherever they were found, hunter-gatherers lived in small nomadic bands of about 25 to 50 people per band, made decisions democratically, had ethical systems that centered on egalitarian values and sharing, and had rich cultural traditions that included music, art, games, dances, and time-honored stories.”
Hunter-gatherer children must learn an enormous amount to become successful adults.
“It would be a mistake to think that education is not a big issue for hunter-gatherers because they don’t have to learn much. In fact, they have to learn an enormous amount. To become effective hunters, boys must learn the habits of the two or three hundred different species of mammals and birds that the band hunts; must know how to track such game using the slightest clues; must be able to craft perfectly the tools of hunting, such as bows and arrows, blowguns and darts, snares or nets; and must be extraordinarily skilled at using those tools.”
“To become effective gatherers, girls must learn which of the countless varieties of roots, tubers, nuts, seeds, fruits, and greens in their area are edible and nutritious, when and where to find them, how to dig them (in the case of roots and tubers), how to extract the edible portions efficiently (in the case of grains, nuts, and certain plant fibers), and in some cases how to process them to make them edible or increase their nutritional value. These abilities include physical skills, honed by years of practice, as well as the capacity to remember, use, add to, and modify an enormous store of culturally shared verbal knowledge about the food materials.”
“In addition, hunter-gatherer children must learn how to navigate their huge foraging territory, build huts, make fires, cook, fend off predators, predict weather changes, treat wounds and diseases, assist births, care for infants, maintain harmony within their group, negotiate with neighboring groups, tell stories, make music, and engage in various dances and rituals of their culture. Since there is little specialization beyond that of men as hunters and women as gatherers, each person must acquire a large fraction of the total knowledge and skills of the culture.”
The children learn all this without being taught.
“Although hunter-gatherer children must learn an enormous amount, hunter-gatherers have nothing like school. Adults do not establish a curriculum, or attempt to motivate children to learn, or give lessons, or monitor children’s progress. When asked how children learn what they need to know, hunter-gatherer adults invariably answer with words that mean essentially: ‘They teach themselves through their observations, play, and exploration.’ Occasionally an adult might offer a word of advice or demonstrate how to do something better, such as how to shape an arrowhead, but such help is given only when the child clearly desires it. Adults to not initiate, direct, or interfere with children’s activities. Adults do not show any evidence of worry about their children’s education; millennia of experience have proven to them that children are experts at educating themselves.
The children are afforded enormous amounts of time to play and explore.
In response to our question about how much time children had for play, the anthropologists we surveyed were unanimous in indicating that the hunter-gatherer children they observed were free to play most if not all of the day, every day.
The freedom that hunter-gatherer children enjoy to pursue their own interests comes partly from the adults’ understanding that such pursuits are the surest path to education. It also comes from the general spirit of egalitarianism and personal autonomy that pervades hunter-gatherer cultures and applies as much to children as to adults . Hunter-gatherer adults view children as complete individuals, with rights comparable to those of adults.
Children observe adults’ activities and incorporate those activities into their play.
Hunter-gatherer children are never isolated from adult activities. They observe directly all that occurs in camp—the preparations to move, the building of huts, the making and mending of tools and other artifacts, the food preparation and cooking, the nursing and care of infants, the precautions taken against predators and diseases, the gossip and discussions, the arguments and politics the dances and festivities. They sometimes accompany adults on food gathering trips, and by age 10 or so boys sometimes accompany men on hunting trips.
The children not only observe all of these activities, but they also incorporate them into their play, and through that play they become skilled at the activities. As they grow older, their play turns gradually into the real thing. There is no sharp division between playful participation and real participation in the valued activities of the group.
Nobody has to tell or encourage the children to do all this. They do it naturally because, like children everywhere, there is nothing that they desire more than to grow up and to be like the successful adults that they see around them. (This requires that adults exist and model successful behavior.) The desire to grow up is a powerful motive that blends with the drives to play and explore and ensures that children, if given a chance, will practice endlessly the skills that they need to develop to become effective adults. (What is the motive in a psychologically neotenic society such as the U.S. for children to become adults?)
What relevance might these observations have for education in our culture?
Our culture, of course, is very different from hunter-gatherer cultures. You might well doubt that the lessons about education that we learn from hunter-gatherers can be applied effectively in our culture today. For starters, hunter-gatherers do not have reading, writing, or arithmetic; maybe the natural, self-motivated means of learning don’t work for learning the three R’s. In our culture, unlike in hunter-gatherer cultures, there are countless different ways of making a living, countless different sets of skills and knowledge that children might acquire, and it is impossible for children in their daily lives to observe all those adult skills directly. In our culture, unlike in hunter-gatherer cultures, children are largely segregated from the adult work world, which reduces their opportunities to see what adults do and incorporate those activities into their play.
And yet, many Asperger children manage to do just this; to learn from unrecognized play – observing, reading, experimenting, collecting objects and information, taking objects apart to see how they work, studying the behavior of plants, animals, thinking about what we see – and analyzing the adult world both past and present. We are called Little Professors (not in a nice way) and derided by “normal” educators, parents, and psychologists as “too adult” – and therefore, developmentally retarded, and bordering on subhuman. Normal development requires social conformity and subservience to hierarchies and permanent child status. Who are the “idiots” in this social equation?
The consequences of European invasion of territory that had been populated by indigenous people for thousands of years, is particularly significant to understanding the “word concept” battles for ownership of “reality” – supernatural reality – based in the belief that words have magic power to create reality. Control the words; control social reality, the only reality that neurotypicals believe.
The definition of the word “genocide” is the key as to whether or not (Christian) Europeans can be held accountable for the suffering and death of millions of (non-Christian) people.
GENOCIDE, the social word concept.
It wasn’t genocide if we don’t define what occurred as genocide. What a cowardly and classic social way out of being responsible adults.
Genocide and American Indian History
American Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Jeffrey Ostler, 2015
An attempt is made to avoid extreme opinion in the article.
Virgin Soil Epidemics and Native Depopulation
Discussions about genocide in the Americas often begin with the moment of initial contact between Europeans and Native people and emphasize the catastrophic impact of European diseases (especially smallpox and measles) for which Indians had no acquired immunity. Until the 1960s, scholars lacked an appreciation for the massive loss of life from what Alfred Crosby termed “virgin soil epidemics,” and so they drastically understated the size of the pre-Columbian Western Hemisphere population. A standard estimate was 8 million for the entire hemisphere and 1 million north of the Rio Grande. In the 1960s, however, the anthropologist Henry Dobyns took account of disease to provide much higher estimates of 75 million for the hemisphere and 10–12 million north of Mexico. Although Dobyns’s estimates have been hotly debated, even advocates of much lower figures acknowledge the impact of devastating epidemics.1
Advocates of the “yes it was genocide” position have generally accepted high estimates for the pre-Columbian population and a correspondingly very high figure for initial depopulation. If 75 million people lived in in the Western Hemisphere in 1491 and the death toll from epidemic disease was 70, 80, or even 90 percent (as was sometimes the case), the sheer numbers (50–60 million) are overwhelming and compel recognition as genocide when measured against the numbers for commonly accepted cases of genocide in the twentieth century.2
Ironically, however, an emphasis on a very high number for initial depopulation can provide an opening for a counter position. Since Europeans who brought pathogens to the Western Hemisphere did not do so with the intention of killing indigenous people and since under many definitions intentionality is a crucial criterion for genocide, a high number can be used to support a “no it was not genocide” position on the grounds that the vast majority of deaths do not qualify.3 To counter this position, some writers have provided examples of Europeans intentionally inflicting Indians with disease (usually through blankets inflected with smallpox) and argued for their typicality.4 But the evidence marshaled thus far has failed to dislodge a scholarly consensus that the intentional infliction of disease was rare. To the extent, then, that the question of genocide and American Indian history centers or depends heavily on the question of the size and intentionality of disease-caused depopulation, the “no it was not genocide” position remains credible.
Good reason exists, however, to challenge the premise that the extent and intentionality of initial depopulation from disease is crucial to the question of genocide and American Indian history. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that European and European American actions toward the Indians of eastern North America during the eighteenth century (long after the first epidemics) were consistently genocidal according to the most conservative definition of the successful execution of a societal or governmental intention to physically kill all Indians. An arithmetic approach assigning the majority of total deaths to disease would argue against regarding the last phase in depopulation as genocide, yet why should the number of Indians in that region who had died earlier from disease have any bearing on an assessment of whether the annihilation of the survivors would qualify as genocide or not? Whether the annihilated survivors were 10, 30, or 50 percent of a pre-Columbian population would be irrelevant.
For a discussion of genocide, then, the issue is not so much the impact of initial epidemics but the effects of direct actions Europeans and European Americans took toward Indians through wars of conquest, enslavement, forced dispossession and removal, and destruction of material resources. In this context, disease is relevant as part of an assessment of the consequence of colonizers’ actions. War, for example, can result in displacement, impoverishment, and social stress, thus increasing vulnerability to pathogens. Often, in fact, epidemic disease did not appear at the moment of initial contact but instead emerged at a later stage when processes of colonization were well underway.
Disease and Other Forces of Destruction
To make these observations more concrete, let us look at what happened in the place where Columbus first landed, the Caribbean. Given the common narrative of Europeans bringing destructive microbes, it is perhaps surprising that Columbus’s first voyage did not result in the transmission of epidemic disease to Caribbean Indians, but, of course, groups of Europeans who encountered Indians did not always include people who were sick and contagious. The situation was different on Columbus’s second voyage (1493–1496). Soon after landing, some of the crew became ill, probably from influenza, and infected the Native populations of Hispaniola, Cuba, and Jamaica. The severity of the epidemic was probably related to the prior lack of exposure of Indians to the pathogens in question, though the epidemic cannot be separated from other forces of destruction. The expedition’s goal was not to kill Indians, but as its leaders and men pursued their main objective—acquiring gold—they did exactly that. To obtain gold, Spaniards needed Indians’ knowledge and labor and so enslaved them, using violence to secure Native peoples and keep them in chains. Some accounts, such as one by Bartolomé de Las Casas of Spaniards making bets “as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow” or tearing “babes from their mother’s breast by their feet, and dash[ing] their heads against the rocks,” suggest a genocidal mentality, though such accounts may imply that these actions were the product of particularly depraved men and unrelated to the purposes of the expedition. In fact, however, the expedition’s leaders saw violence as essential for achieving their goals. To create and maintain slavery and to suppress real and imagined insurrections, the Spanish regularly maimed, murdered, and waged war against Native people. The purpose was not to kill every single Indian (some were needed to work) but to terrorize them into submission. Rape, evidently common, did not simply reveal individual or group pathologies, it functioned as a tool of terror. Violence, then, was central to Spanish colonization in the Caribbean, although far more Indians died from disease, malnutrition, and starvation.5
More at: http://americanhistory.wordre.com
The next article is (in my opinion) a “cop out” – the author hides behind the childish argument, “Bobby did something really awful and worse than anything I did, therefore what I did isn’t bad.” Oh yes! Christian missionaries “had good intent” therefore they are excused from child abuse and crimes against humanity.
HNN History News Network September 2004
Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide? American Indians
by Guenter Lewy
The larger picture also does not conform to Stannard’s idea of disease as an expression of”genocidal war.” True, the forced relocations of Indian tribes were often accompanied by great hardship and harsh treatment; the removal of the Cherokee from their homelands to territories west of the Mississippi in 1838 took the lives of thousands and has entered history as the Trail of Tears. But the largest loss of life occurred well before this time, and sometimes after only minimal contact with European traders. True, too, some colonists later welcomed the high mortality among Indians, seeing it as a sign of divine providence; that, however, does not alter the basic fact that Europeans did not come to the New World in order to infect the natives with deadly diseases. (So, no intent, no foul.)
More at HNN http://historynewsnetwork.org
I’ve been trying to track down factual information on Aspergers and math ability, but what I find is the usual repetition of rumor: Most Aspies are average, many are math impaired, and a few are geniuses. Well that’s informative!
The old stereotype persists. Aspergers are male engineers (oxymoron), so Aspergers are good at math. Now that female Aspergers have been discovered, another stereotype problem arises: girls aren’t good at math, so…..what are female Aspergers good at?
What is overlooked is that there is a world of mathematics, and which math language are we talking about?
Two favorite oft-repeated rumors that circulate about La Femme Aspie
Girls will have special interests but instead of building up an incredible wealth of knowledge on subjects like trains or dinosaurs – like boys with Asperger’s might – they tend to like the same things as neurotypical girls their age, albeit in a more focused way. For example, a young girl with Asperger’s might make it her business to collect all of the outfits that Barbie has ever worn.
Women and girls can find it easier to mask their difficulties, making the condition harder to recognise. Really? This to me is a big fat lie. If you are a female who varies in any miniscule way from “normal” girls, you are picked on, shunned, teased and shamed by kids and adults for being a Tomboy, unladylike, uncivilized and told (as if the security of the universe depends on being approved of by males) that no male will ever want you. Whether or not you’ve been recognized “Asperger” you still get the hostile treatment.
And, the truth is, a lot more men have accepted my “Aspergerness” than women have.
The list of topics in mathematics is GINORMOUS. Links are live.
Branches of Mathematics
The term foundations is used to refer to the formulation and analysis of the language, axioms, and logical methods on which all of mathematics rests (see logic; symbolic logic). The scope and complexity of modern mathematics requires a very fine analysis of the formal language in which meaningful mathematical statements may be formulated and perhaps be proved true or false. Most apparent mathematical contradictions have been shown to derive from an imprecise and inconsistent use of language. A basic task is to furnish a set of axioms effectively free of contradictions and at the same time rich enough to constitute a deductive source for all of modern mathematics. The modern axiom schemes proposed for this purpose are all couched within the theory of sets, originated by Georg Cantor, which now constitutes a universal mathematical language.
Historically, algebra is the study of solutions of one or several algebraic equations, involving the polynomial functions of one or several variables. The case where all the polynomials have degree one (systems of linear equations) leads to linear algebra. The case of a single equation, in which one studies the roots of one polynomial, leads to field theory and to the so-called Galois theory. The general case of several equations of high degree leads to algebraic geometry, so named because the sets of solutions of such systems are often studied by geometric methods.
Modern algebraists have increasingly abstracted and axiomatized the structures and patterns of argument encountered not only in the theory of equations, but in mathematics generally. Examples of these structures include groups (first witnessed in relation to symmetry properties of the roots of a polynomial and now ubiquitous throughout mathematics), rings (of which the integers, or whole numbers, constitute a basic example), and fields (of which the rational, real, and complex numbers are examples). Some of the concepts of modern algebra have found their way into elementary mathematics education in the so-called new mathematics.
Some important abstractions recently introduced in algebra are the notions of category and functor, which grew out of so-called homological algebra. Arithmetic and number theory, which are concerned with special properties of the integers—e.g., unique factorization, primes, equations with integer coefficients (Diophantine equations), and congruences—are also a part of algebra. Analytic number theory, however, also applies the nonalgebraic methods of analysis to such problems.
The essential ingredient of analysis is the use of infinite processes, involving passage to a limit. For example, the area of a circle may be computed as the limiting value of the areas of inscribed regular polygons as the number of sides of the polygons increases indefinitely. The basic branch of analysis is the calculus. The general problem of measuring lengths, areas, volumes, and other quantities as limits by means of approximating polygonal figures leads to the integral calculus. The differential calculus arises similarly from the problem of finding the tangent line to a curve at a point. Other branches of analysis result from the application of the concepts and methods of the calculus to various mathematical entities. For example, vector analysis is the calculus of functions whose variables are vectors. Here various types of derivatives and integrals may be introduced. They lead, among other things, to the theory of differential and integral equations, in which the unknowns are functions rather than numbers, as in algebraic equations. Differential equations are often the most natural way in which to express the laws governing the behavior of various physical systems. Calculus is one of the most powerful and supple tools of mathematics. Its applications, both in pure mathematics and in virtually every scientific domain, are manifold.
The shape, size, and other properties of figures and the nature of space are in the province of geometry. Euclidean geometry is concerned with the axiomatic study of polygons, conic sections, spheres, polyhedra, and related geometric objects in two and three dimensions—in particular, with the relations of congruence and of similarity between such objects. The unsuccessful attempt to prove the “parallel postulate” from the other axioms of Euclid led in the 19th cent. to the discovery of two different types of non-Euclidean geometry.
The 20th cent. has seen an enormous development of topology, which is the study of very general geometric objects, called topological spaces, with respect to relations that are much weaker than congruence and similarity. Other branches of geometry include algebraic geometry and differential geometry, in which the methods of analysis are brought to bear on geometric problems. These fields are now in a vigorous state of development.
The term applied mathematics loosely designates a wide range of studies with significant current use in the empirical sciences. It includes numerical methods and computer science, which seeks concrete solutions, sometimes approximate, to explicit mathematical problems (e.g., differential equations, large systems of linear equations). It has a major use in technology for modeling and simulation. For example, the huge wind tunnels, formerly used to test expensive prototypes of airplanes, have all but disappeared. The entire design and testing process is now largely carried out by computer simulation, using mathematically tailored software. It also includes mathematical physics, which now strongly interacts with all of the central areas of mathematics. In addition, probability theory and mathematical statistics are often considered parts of applied mathematics. The distinction between pure and applied mathematics is now becoming less significant.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Mathematics
Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders MyAspergersChild.com
How is it possible that this psychologist works with Asperger teens, but doesn’t have a CLUE that Aspergers are NOT NEUROTYPICAL? What is this obsession with posture and jokes? Females? Aye, yai, yai! This guy is creepy.
How To Be Cool: 100 Tips For Aspergers Teens
(Supposedly) written by Nathan, a 17 year old Asperger’s teen, as a project for his school newspaper. I doubt this– the psychologist who writes this blog thinks he’s a “cool dude” circa the Osmonds, Wayne Newton, or Lawrence Welk, and the same “Youth Pastor style” pervades his posts. (He seems to have stopped developing at the point where he read Playboy magazine while hiding in the bathroom – like a sleazy (misogynist) men’s advice column on How to “get laid”
Every “Aspie” (someone with high functioning autism) wants to be cool, yet most of us aren’t. But the truth is that there are no secrets to being cool; it’s about who you are and how you behave. And there are things that you can do to bring out the cool in you. Below are some tips that’ll show you how to look and sound cool with your peers. Use them, and you’ll transform yourself into one of the socially adept – and your buddies will look forward to hanging out with you.
- Always remember that attitude is a key factor in how people look at you. Have a great personality: be talkative, nice, and have charisma!
- Always remember, the first day of high school is the most crucial. First impressions are EVERYTHING! It’s how people will perceive you, for a while at least, until they get to know you better, which will take time.
- For Aspie girls, don’t wear make-up JUST BECAUSE the other girls do. Only wear a style of makeup (bold, natural, etc.) if you love the way it looks on you! Just don’t go too overboard. (Note the first directive aimed at female Aspies is about MAKE UP.
- Associate with cool people. (Hire them, kidnap them?) This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re always bringing losers to the group, you’ll soon be labeled a loser as well. On the other hand, if you’re known for bringing cool people around, your coolness factor will skyrocket.
- Avoid being a bully and avoid becoming the victim of one. Don’t be mean to other people in your school just to make yourself seem cooler. In fact, people generally hate bullies. Also, don’t let bullies push you around. It’s easier said than done, but in school, using your sense of humor and good social tactics are important.
- 6. Be a good conversationalist. Everyone loves someone who knows what to say at the right moment. Most of the time, it is much better to be sort of quiet and analyze the conversation, enjoying the humor of your friends. Then wait for the right moment to make a comment, usually to great result. However, if you come up into the middle of a quiet group of people, it is better to take a different approach. Be playful! Joke around with them. Making fun of people is fine, but make sure that you know the limits on it and that the people you’re around are the kind of people who know you’re kidding. (So far, the suggestions say, Don’t be Aspie, be neurotypical!)
- Be aware of how others will perceive you. There’s a difference in letting people’s judgments affect your self esteem, and being aware of how you come off to others. What you are really doing is being aware of how you look from another person’s perspective. In terms of physical appearance: beware of food getting stuck in your teeth, bad breath, body odor, toilet paper stuck to your shoe, etc. In terms of composure: try not to stare too much (it makes people uncomfortable), stand/sit up straight (it makes you look and feel more confident), smile generously, be polite and considerate, etc. Definitely be aware of your body language at all times; analyzing body language can be a useful tool in knowing how to present your cool self. OMG!
- Be fit, clean, and smell good. The first two are compulsory. Brush your teeth, exercise, etc. The third, you don’t have to smell nice, just don’t smell at all. Deodorant and a bit of perfume over that is good. Not too much. Or just deodorant. Just don’t smell bad. It will make your rating go way down.
- Be friendly and be nice to people. Say hi to people, especially if you make eye contact and they look like they’re expecting a greeting, and be friendly with your teachers too. Don’t be Aspie; be normal!
- Don’t be excessively eager. Everyone loves someone who is outgoing, but nobody likes someone who is overly excited. Many people find someone who is overeager to be annoying. Try not to force yourself on people. Smile and strike up a conversation, but make sure you know the line between friendly and obsessive.
- Be funny. I’m not talking about telling knock-knock jokes or being a clown. But if you’ve got a sense of humor, let it rip (a little). You want to be funny, but you don’t need to be the sole source of amusement. There’s a balance. And please, when you tell a good joke, just bask in that accomplishment. Don’t muddy the waters by going on and on — you’ll just kill it.
- Be independent. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be cool. Only go out with someone if you actually like each other, don’t just find a boyfriend/girlfriend who is popular, so you will seem cooler. Love isn’t about popularity. Actually if you become close friends with a guy/girl then it might even be more fun going to dances, hanging out, you don’t exactly NEED to be in love. If you have a secret crush, try getting really close to them then eventually they might even fall for you too! (stalking?)
- Be knowledgeable. Ignorance is never bliss. Guys like to have a buddy who knows a thing or two, especially about a range of subjects, from picking up women to current events to wines. But don’t overdo it. Drop your knowledge when asked, otherwise you’ll look like a showoff, and that is not cool.
- Be mysterious. Nobody wants to read an open book, so if you tell all, others probably won’t be that interested in you. Hold something back, and you’ll leave everyone wanting more.
- Be open-minded. This is very vital. Some people have different opinions and tastes so don’t go gossiping about them just because they don’t agree with you.
- Be prepared to put your own foibles in the spotlight. Good comedians tend to use themselves as the principal target for humor, presumably because they know their own foibles so well, but also because it is a means by which they show others the warts-and-all side of their personality which instantly connects with our own warts-and-all side. (Hmmm. This advice column is all about how NOT TO BE yourself) We all spend so much time trying to be better people, often trying to smother up unpleasant truths about our appearance/abilities/thoughts, etc., that it’s great to use humor to release the tension this brings about, to let out a collective sigh of relief that we’re all in this crazy rat race together, all feeling the same inadequacies and all thinking the same thoughts about things that bug us.
- Be the prince of cool. All of these tips will help you be a cool guy around your friends, and you should try to incorporate them into who you are. Your objective should be to try to become the next King Of Cool. But no matter what you do, don’t try too hard. Being cool is often an effortless behavior for those who are cool, so don’t overdo it.
- Be who you really are. Don’t try too hard to get others to notice you.
- Be yourself. Don’t try to be like anyone else. Live life for who you are. Don’t lose sight of yourself or your morals. Being cool isn’t about changing who you are …it’s about being confident enough to let people see how awesome you really are.
- Being cool often means being funny. Tell jokes that make people laugh.
- Bend rules don’t break them. If you’re cool, you’re a winner. You are not some deluded potato head who values your life above others. You realize rules and laws exist for good reason or because someone in authority thinks they are a good idea. Nonetheless you realize breaking laws or rules is never an option. But bending is.
- Broaden your factual knowledge or joke material. It is much easier to find funny moments in material you know well – your attitudes, your amazing knowledge of 17th century poetry, your familiarity with fishing trips that went wrong, etc. Whatever the material, though, it also needs to resonate with your friends, meaning that your concise ability to deconstruct a 17th century poem might not hit its mark with somebody not familiar with the piece! As a general rule, people who are very focused on one hobby, occupation, or sitcom can be very funny to other people who are also wrapped up in that particular pursuit. When they try to be funny around people who are not “in the loop,” however, their humor often falls flat. In other words, they may come off as “geeks” or “nerds.”
- Don’t be a bad mouth. Gossiping about people will only make them hate you
This “piece” is so rambling, contradictory and insultingly stupid that I’m posting all 100 idiotic “suggestions” –
The “popular” Psychologist who wrote this reinforces the incompetence of American psychology – the social prejudice that condemns not only Asperger individuals, but lacks empathy or minimal comprehension of human behavior. This is what “people who need help” get from the American “helping, fixing, caring industry” and why Asperger individuals resort to “neurotypicals are stupid” – they are!
- Don’t be afraid to be different, whether that means standing up for yourself, defending someone else, or taking interest in something that no one else does, like playing an instrument. The coolest people are the ones who occasionally break against the tide and make people question the status quo. Insecure people will, at times, become jealous of you. These people will try to get to you, in an attempt to take the attention off of you and bestow it upon themselves. The important thing to remember is not to smile in weakness, just ignore them. Not as if you didn’t hear your antagonist, but casually and conversationally disregard their remarks.
- Don’t be fake. One thing a lot of kids hate or like is being fake. (He’s just written 25 suggestions that tell an Asperger to be fake) Think about it. If you have a good friend that is not exactly popular, don’t ditch him/her for some fake show-off that fills the hallways of school getting attention for having too much make-up. Maybe that friend that you just gave up on would have been your best friend! People can tell if you’re fake or not. Just because someone is popular doesn’t mean they are fake. Look at people from the inside.
- Don’t be the last person to leave a party. If that’s you, you’re probably the annoying one in the group. Just like with being funny, it’s important to leave on a high note. If you overstay your welcome, you may not be invited back.
- Don’t bring anything inappropriate to school (e.g., drugs, weapons, ect.)
- Don’t broadcast your weaknesses. Every guy has a weakness, but you don’t need to broadcast it. If you do, you’ll likely make yourself and your weakness the target of group jokes. If you’re sensitive about something, keep it to yourself.
- Don’t care so much about what others think of you. (He’s been telling Asperger’s to do exactly that!) We will always, on some level, be concerned with others’ opinions of ourselves, but realize that ultimately, you will never be able to please everyone. Try hard, but don’t be so concerned with judging yourself or being judged by others. People have millions of ways to get under your skin. Learn to spot them and become immune. Be happy with yourself and do what you enjoy.
- Don’t copy the people you think are cool because the idea is to be a trend-setter, not a trend-copier!!
- Don’t ever talk back to teachers. It is disrespectful, makes you look bad, and they will watch you from then on.
- Don’t lose your cool… ever. (Such as, never be yourself and have a meltdown) Nobody wants to see their friend freak out. Bad things will happen and you should react, but you don’t have to lose it. Keep your composure at all times.
- Don’t overcall. If you’re always calling your friends, you’re calling too much. There’s no perfect ratio, but you should probably call your friends less often than they call you. That way, you’ll be in high demand. (This presents a serious math problem)
- Don’t try to be a bad-ass or a tough guy. That will spoil your image in school.
- Don’t use bad behavior to get attention. There are many young people that take up smoking, drinking, bullying, and other bad habits. Why? Most often, this comes from negative reinforcement. After doing something bad, a person may be “rewarded” with attention. “I can’t believe he did that!” people will say. It is easy to misinterpret attention as popularity, even if it’s for doing something wrong. If you want to be cool, you need to know your limits. You should never substitute negative attention for really being cool. Most of the time, the people who have bragging competitions about law-breaking and bonging beer !!!!!!! do not fit into the category of cool. If a group of people doesn’t like you for who you are and the lifestyle you’ve chosen, move on.
- Don’t walk – don’t run – just glide like a 747. While others on the street may choose to walk at a zombie pace and others may choose to walk so fast it’s hard to decipher whether they are walking or running you just glide. Your posture is exceptional and you are cool calm and collected thus you glide when seen in public walking from place to place. OMG!
- Dress how you want. As long as your personality shines through, you can wear whatever you like. Guys have been known to get girlfriends even though they wear sweats all the time. That is definitely an affirmation of coolness. Being cool despite wearing something people generally make fun of.
- If you don’t feel comfortable dressing how you want, then dress well. People don’t like hanging out with slobs. No, you don’t have to wear a suit to hang out with the guys, but always look presentable and sharp. Remember: We’re initially judged on appearances, so always try to look your best.
- Feel good about yourself. You may want to fit in and be cool at the moment, but later will you feel good about it? These are questions you need to ask yourself before making a decision. Just because you look cool, doesn’t mean you will feel good later. You can still fit in and feel okay later on. I promise. Know that being cool doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be with the “in” crowd. Everyone has their crowd, just make sure you like yours and you’ll be fine.
- Find real friends. For example, if people don’t hang out with you because you don’t wear designer clothes, they are not real friends. Instead, find friends that see you for who you are. If the people standing in front of you can’t see you for you, then how can they be your friend?
- Focus on the benefits of being funny. From a motivational point of view, as you travel along the path to becoming funnier, it is helpful to understand the extensive benefits of being a funny person.
- Have a nice girlfriend (preferably good looking). (buy one at Walmart – try the make up aisle) A nice girlfriend will always make you a valued guy to be around. Why? Well, a nice girlfriend will probably have nice female friends. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why your friends might like to hang around a guy who knows lots of women.
- Have a nice hairstyle. Try a buzz cut or laxer flow if you’re a boy, side-bangs if you’re a girl. Straightening or perming your hair is also very cute! Or at least find a cute hairstyle that fits your face, and your fashion.
- Have a purpose when you call somebody. Don’t call just to chat. Keep phone calls brief. Call once. Leave a message, but only if you need to. If they don’t return the call, don’t call them back unless it’s an emergency. For example, if you’re making plans for a party and want to include them, but they don’t call you back, it’s their loss. You shouldn’t have to run after them.
- Have faith and confidence, be happy with who you are and be yourself.
- Have your own sense of style. Discover the clothes you prefer/like to wear and create your style. Wear those clothes to school and be unique, but try to know what’s fashionable and be up-to-date! Be ahead of the pack. Be a leader, not a follower; that what makes you cool. Don’t worry about the people who judge you about your clothing. Hang out with friends who like your personality, sense of fashion, etc.
- If you are a total newcomer to a particular group, try to find people who have similar interests to your own, which will provide an easy icebreaker conversation. Being new is a benefit, because (unless you were very popular at your old school) you’ll have a whole new, fresh start and a chance to get a new identity.
- If you want to become cool, don’t change anything about you. Then you’ll just be faking who you are, and then people won’t know the real you, which turns into a disaster.
- If you’re a girl, always wear a bit of jewelry. A pretty necklace or even a simple bracelet will do! Even wearing one of those rubber hair bands on your wrist gives a cool impression, I’ve noticed. If your school has strict rules, maybe a slightly fancy watch would do. Nothing extreme. If your uniform is a polo shirt, do not do up all the buttons, you will look like a weird nerd.
- Introduce people. Be the person that brings groups together (not necessarily your separate groups). If you have two sets of friends, introduce them (if you think they’ll be compatible, of course). And since they initially only have you in common, they’ll probably be talking about you when they cross each others’ paths again. (An Aspie just loves to be talked about)
- Just because some popular girls like bad boys, a lot of popular girls also love cute, funny, neat, polite boys. It’s your choice though.
- Just live your life! Live it the way you want to live it, because you will die someday. Do you really want other people to tell you how to live? Love, think, live!
- Just talk to people, but don’t meddle into others’ conversations that they have no idea you are listening to, or you will look like a creepy eavesdropping stalker.
- Keep up with the latest trends, but that doesn’t mean that you have to have everything that’s in style. Also don’t sport too many fads at once. It will make you look desperate and lack a unique style.
- Keep your “cool”. The very definition of cool is being calm, composed, under control, not excited, indifferent, and socially adept. Many times, cool people are those that don’t get excited about things, that don’t always have to talk, unless they have something cool to say. Learn how to deal with people. Don’t get angry or frustrated. Being cool is natural. It’s easy to do. Often times, the people who strive the hardest for coolness are sabotaging themselves by trying too hard. People like people that don’t try, but are still successful. How does that work? One of the secrets of being cool is that, when one is just between trying and not trying at all, things just fall into place. Aye, yai yai!
- Keep your word. Keeping your promises will show the world that you’re dependable — a rock. But breaking your word will not only tarnish your reputation, it’ll cost you some friends. You don’t have to promise the world, but when you do give your word, let others know that it’s your bond.
- Know when not to be funny. Getting the balance right is important when you’re trying to be funny; there are times when being humorous about something solemn or tragic will fall flat and insult people. Rely on your common sense and the fact that your least favorite member of the family is starting to glare at you with deep malice.
- Learn a little about what makes us laugh. Laughter is generally the desired result of anyone seeking to be funny, and usually this is because we view laughter as a sign of happiness or as a release of tension. Laughter itself is unconscious – while it is possible for us to inhibit our laughter consciously (although not always successfully!), it is very hard for us to produce laughter on demand, and doing so will usually seem “forced”. Fortunately, laughter is very contagious (we’re about 30 times more likely to laugh in the presence of others), and in a social context, it’s easy to start laughing when others are laughing. Getting people to laugh, therefore, requires genuine humor, which is definitely about more than reciting hackneyed jokes!
- Learn from funny people. This is a delightful part of seeking to be a funnier person – you get to watch comedians! Whether they’re professional comedians, your parents, your kids, or your boss, learning from the funny people in your life is a key step to being funny yourself. Watch the methods that they use and see what you can adapt to your own situation and personality. Keep a note of some of the funnier things these people say or do. And find what you admire most in these people – even if all you do is cobble together your own funny plan based on one admired trait from each person, you’ll be improving your sense of funny tremendously.
- Learn how to laugh at yourself. Being cool doesn’t mean being perfect, and being able to find humor in your moments of clumsiness and discomfort is the defining hallmark of being cool. People will not only respect you for it, but they’ll like you for being human, just like them.
- Learn the key foundations of being funny. In a nutshell, as good comedians already know, being funny boils down to good timing and taking the best advantage of the context. This is why learning long lists of jokes won’t necessarily make you “funny” because you still need to grasp the levity of a situation as it’s unfolding before you, within the context of those present and the precise facts of each situation.
- Make funny jokes! But it isn’t cool when you make jokes about your friends. It’ll hurt their feelings. Being cool doesn’t mean being naughty. Behave in class. Sometimes it’s time for jokes, sometimes it’s not. Don’t be too cocky or too much of a show-off. This will make your rating go down. Don’t make rumors because that may make people hate you too.
- Never Argue. When you’re cool, arguing is always canceled. You realize winning an argument is pointless. When you know you’re right you just know it. You don’t need to waste time effort and energy attempting to persuade someone who hasn’t seen the things you have seen.
- Organize an event. Once in a while (say two times a year), you should plan an outing, like a ballgame or paintball. You call the guys, you get the tickets, you handle everything. Note: Making plans to go to your local bar doesn’t count.
- Present yourself in a positive way. Walk with good posture and look people in the eye. If you slump or stare at your feet, people won’t respect you. You have to look and feel confident in order to receive the respect you need.
- Refrain from using too many colloquialisms. This may make you appear as “fake” or unable to grasp your respected language. Speak normally, clearly and confidently and if you feel it is necessary adopt a more formal register and use polysyllabic words. However do not go overboard as this may make you appear pretentious, this being just as bad as seeming fake. Finding the right balance in your speech is important to making you seem intelligent and somewhat sophisticated in the presence of your peers.
- Don’t care about what you think other people think of you. Just go with the flow. If you know for sure someone is judging you – you can voice it, then just act like you don’t care…because you don’t. Practice thinking this way and your confidence will improve via self-acceptance. People at school will start wondering where you got all this self esteem!
- Respect people. Respect others beliefs and cultures.
- Smile. Don’t put a fake one too. Try to keep it natural. Don’t be sarcastic to people until you’re on good terms with them, don’t act like you need attention, and don’t look like your trying too hard. Be patient. Keep doing your thing. Someone’s bound to notice.
- Some schools have uniforms that you have to wear with ties. If you have to tuck your shirt in, then leave out a little part and smooth it down. Wear your tie properly. Also, if you’re a boy, wear your pants a little low.
- Speak up. Observe people who are “cool”–they usually speak confidently and clearly, at a good pace. They don’t chatter rapidly, pause, or mumble. They say what they mean, and mean what they say. Be confident in your word and don’t let anyone try to change it. If you state your opinion and people disagree, don’t worry. You said what you felt and people will respect you for that, unless you use it knowing it will offend someone. However, make it count. Don’t shout out your opinion just to be heard. Make sure it’s relevant, and be ready to back it up soundly.
- Spring back. Every well-rounded, self-confident funny person knows how to take a failed funny – forgive yourself. Sometimes a joke will fall flat, or an observation that cracks you up will just make others groan. Don’t be discouraged. Learn from your comedic errors, and keep trying. Even the highest paid comedians don’t always get a laugh, and no one expects anybody to be funny all the time. If you feel like you’re temporarily off your game, just don’t try to force humor.
- Take a deep breath. Being cool is all about being relaxed and comfortable in any circumstance. Don’t lose your cool. If you feel yourself about to lose your temper, or burst into tears, or lose control in any way, take a deep breath and excuse yourself. Stay calm. Don’t be disruptive, annoying, or have unpredictable mood changes. You are serene and steadfast in your coolness and it should show. That means not getting too caught up in anything, not even your cool self.
- The only brand you advertise is your own. You wear simple but stylish clothing free from corporate logo’s or slogans. You don’t advertise brands like Nike on the shirt you are wearing or Levi on your jeans.
- Trust in your innate sense of humor. Being funny doesn’t come in “one-size-fits-all”; what makes you funny is unique to you and the way you observe the world. Focus first on what you find funny in life and learn from your own reactions to the things that make you laugh. Trust that you do have a funny bone – as babies we laugh from 4 months of age, and all children express humor naturally from kindergarten age, using humor to entertain themselves and others, with riddles, knock knock jokes, laughing at themselves, and even using physical slapstick humor. So it’s already in you – you just need to bring it forth again!
- Try to identify who’s where on the social ladder, but on the first day of school, just try to get settled in! If you are new, your main goal on the first day should just be to make friends! Be friendly and socialize with as many people as you can without getting them mixed up. Do not try to be friends with them only because they are “popular.” However, after you’ve been in school for a while and are settled in, you can befriend one of the nicer popular people, they’ll be your ticket into “the group.” At the end of your first year in the school, try to have found some close friends to regularly spend time with. Having a wide variety of friends helps a lot.
- Try to maintain a certain “strut” to your walk and posture (hey, always stand up/keep your back straight); appear as if you’re not trying at all, but just want to get some place.
- Use appropriate language. Don’t use bad language and stick to your morals.
- Use Humor: Cool people always use humor and ease in any situation. They don`t get annoyed and angry, and no matter how many bad things happen to them they don’t take it too harshly; they make jokes about it. They have excellent emotional awareness and they don`t let bad emotion affect them, they have awesome emotional control and understanding.
- When you speak people listen. You speak with such confidence, that when you talk people listen. You never mumble. You look people in the eye. And when talking to people you don’t look at their possible dandruff, or that mole on their chin or whatever you look them in their eyes.
- Write a list of all of the goals you are aiming for. What essentially makes you cool is your identity. Try to find your talent — sports, music, art, whatever. People will notice your passion and respect you for it. You can also learn new skills and meet new people by trying new things.
- You are always learning. You realize that people not learning are busy dying. You never stand still because you realize when you’re cool you have to always keep learning. You are always looking for better solutions to bigger problems.
- You are friends with all types of people. You have friends who have varying interests. They have different religions. They are different ethnicities. And they believe in things different to you.
- You are not a member of the masons or any other similar organization. You don’t need to know any secret handshake to get ahead.
- You don’t avoid fear – you head towards it at pace. You caress it. You face it. You make love to it. And you ruthlessly knock it over like a bulldozer knocking through brick walls. (Creepy!!!!!!)
- You don’t procrastinate. You realize that this it. This is your life. This is it. This is all you have. And you will use every moment you have as a celebration. When you have work to do you get to work. You don’t attend bullshit parties. You put yourself under pressure and use that pressure to ignite your hyper productive skills within you, to get the absolute maximum output.
- You enjoy wearing black. But you’re not a goth and never will be.
- Start lifting weights and working out at the gym – get some serious muscle tone.
- You have passion about what you do. You realize being able to exert your talents is something to be grateful for and you are. Conversely you realize that being passionate about something does NOT give you a license to be emotional EVER.
- You have your own language. If the current common trend is to say “Yo” when greeting people and “Later” when bidding farewell – you use neither. Instead you have your own versions.
- You know that every problem has a solution. Some problems may have solutions that can be implemented within seconds. Some may take minutes. Some hours. Some days. And others much longer. But every problem has a solution. You realize this. And thus you are solution focused and never ever whine when presented with a problem or problems …
- When someone brags they lose coolness… don’t brag. It’s simple.
- You never argue. When you’re cool, arguing is always cancelled. You realize winning an argument is pointless. When you know you’re right you just know it. You don’t need to waste time effort and energy attempting to persuade someone who hasn’t seen the things you have seen … read the books you have … been the places you have … met the people you have … that they are wrong and you are right. You’re right and that’s that.
- Whining about how you got into your current predicament does not even enter your cool head. You are 100% solution-focused.
- You never talk down to anyone ever. Everyone is equal. Everyone is a citizen of your world.
- You say more with less. When talking, overall, you use less words in your sentences. You get to the point. You leave rambling for drunk old men who spend their life’s in pubs drinking ale. When you are talking on-line in emails and websites, you get to the point. Your emails are always 8 lines or less. You just practice the mantra of always saying the absolute minimum in order to get maximum impact.
- You stand tall. You have exemplary posture. You never slouch. (What is this obsession with posture?)
- You talk highly of other people. When you are introducing people you know to other people. Stand tall and introduce them. Don’t just say “This is my friend Jennifer”. Say something like “Kyle, I want to introduce you to Jennifer. I really like Jennifer for a number of reasons. She is cool. She is attractive. And Jennifer is very intelligent. She grew up in Australia. She is here in London for 1 more year to finish her degree from the London School of Economics.”
- You’re already cool. Whatever anyone else says is invalid. You observe what they say but you don’t listen. You realize that you can’t make everyone happy.
The Wife said… (I think this really is his wife)
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor & mom to a 14 year old awesome Aspie dude. I’ve read dozens of books on bully-proofing, and this list takes the prize. I love you, whoever you are that wrote this. I’m also borrowing it to share with many clients, friends, and my son. Thanks for keepin’ it real.
From http://www.us.elsevier.com Psychological measurements: their uses and misuses (PDF)
“The words ‘test’ and ‘measurement,’ as used in psychology, are misleading because of the implied similarity to scientific measurements and medical tests. Conventional psychological testing is quite different from scientific measurements in the natural sciences.”
“There are no units of <psychological> measurement and no true zeros. Whatever psychological measurement is, it is not scientific measurement as defined in the natural sciences… This applies to the majority of psychological concepts and variables,” says Paul Kline, psychometric theorist.
“…it is often mistakenly believed that psychological tests are ‘objective’, meaning that their findings and scores reflect an outside existence (as opposed to being subjective) and are real or at least approximate something close to it…”
“The term <objectivity> in psychology refers to the standard ways in which <the tests> are administered, recorded and interpreted… Psychological tests, then, are not tests of mental structures or entities as are physical tests , neither are they objective in terms of real or physical existence – they are tests of psychological constructs…”
And yet, psychologists actively promote the false presentation of psychological concepts as belonging to scientific reality. We must ask, how many lives have been negatively impacted by this misrepresentation?
IT’S MAGIC, RELIGION, SOCIAL ENGINEERING, BUT NOT SCIENCE.
I just had to share this:
I don’t remember where I found this bit of irrational projection / anthropomorphism.
Canines have been found to be beneficial for children or adults that have autism. However, dog autism may also be met. Autism is rare in dogs and some scientists even doubt the condition is present in canines. Dog autism is believed to be caused by the lack of mirroring neurons in the brain.
Causes of Autism
Dog autism is idiopathic, but it may be a genetic condition, so it may be inherited from a parent or a relative.
Some researchers are working on a theory according to which dog autism may be caused by the lack of mirroring neurons in the brain. However, this is a condition that is congenital. Dogs cannot suddenly become autistic. They can be born with autism.
There are studies that associate the occurrence of autism in dogs with parents (I think this refers to the dog’s parents) that have been exposed to different toxins and unnecessary vaccinations.
Symptoms of Dog Autism
Dogs with autism may not display any symptoms or the symptoms are very subtle and may not be recognized. However, some dogs with autism may show some symptoms. The main symptoms of dog autism include:
- Dysfunctional interaction with other dogs or owner
- Restricted behavior, as autistic dogs may only limit themselves to performing only a few moves avoiding new moves and games.
- Repetitive actions. Dogs with autism tend to have a routine they like to stick to. I never had a dog who didn’t like routines. In fact, they have a clock that varies little: food time, walk time, bed time – they remind me.
- Apathy and inability to communicate joy, fear or other feelings.
- Lack of activity even if the breed is a high energy dog
It’s difficult to imagine pets displaying such behaviors, but dogs can behave like this. Some dog owners that have dogs that are supposed to have autism claim the dogs organize toys according to their size, colors or shapes.
These symptoms should be present from early puppyhood and the puppy may not be able to interact properly with his brothers or mother. A puppy with autism may show lack of interest in food or games.
Dealing with a Dog with Autism
Determining whether a dog has autism is very difficult, as some dogs won’t display any specific behavior. (Behavior is how autism is diagnosed, so no behavior, no autism!) However, if the dog is suspected to have autism, you should pay special attention to him and try to help him.
Dogs with autism should be helped to adapt to new situations and shouldn’t change owners or homes. It is important to maintain your dog’s schedule approximately unaltered and don’t change the furniture or the dog’s crate, so that your pet feels comfortable in places that are familiar.
Dog autism shouldn’t be considered a disease. Even if dogs with autism may not offer affection or crave for affection you should offer him affection. Your dog may also benefit of pet counseling, which can help him become more open and cooperative.
There is no known cure for dog autism.
You may also opt for alternative counseling methods and contact a dog whisperer that may be able to communicate with your dog.
He was confiscated from his owners by the Humane Society because he spent his first year chained in the back yard. He missed out on learning what puppies learn, and still has no idea how to fetch, chase or play with my other dog. Instead, he tries to ham string her back legs and bites her throat like a lion bringing down a zebra. Well – he used to – I broke him of that right away. This is behavior that less domesticated dogs display – wolf-like behavior. I don’t know whether or not it’s due to his bad start in life or maybe it’s typical of Vizslas.
I remember exactly the moment when I realized that “I’d been had” – meaning, that the “story” I’d been told all my life about who I was and where I fit in the human universe was a lie.
A young man I was dating had driven us to a nearby resort in the mountains and we were having lunch outside on a deck overlooking a stream; we were in the “getting to know you” stage and he was easy to talk to. Very bright – a medical student – open, warm and chatty (and extremely OCD I later discovered.) He came from a medical family and seemed to be happy with following his father into medicine. I was undiagnosed at the time (mid-twenties) and very much enjoying my life (I thought).
As he revealed his “story” I began to think out loud about my family, school, and relationships. The official story went like this: “My grades at school were great; teachers liked me, my parents were happy, and I got all kinds of special treatment. But…” and the truth was suddenly apparent. The special treatment was actually punishment: I was not allowed to participate at my intellectual level in class and excluded from extracurricular activities (my social awkwardness was used to hold participation hostage until I somehow “reformed” myself.) I was effectively “benched” for being ahead of the class; not allowed to answer questions in class, to talk about anything, really. I sat with my books and papers open to exercises that we wouldn’t get to for weeks, filling in answers and erasing them, just for something to do. I gradually drifted off to my own far more interesting world.
Of course the other kids saw this charade of punishment as reward, and as kids do, followed the adult example set for them and piled on.
At home a different dynamic played out, but effectively with the same result. My brother was six years older, my mother’s “baby” and he was allowed to avoid anything he didn’t want to do by “being ill.” He needed help and attention. The excuse for “abandoning” me became a broken record in my mother’s mouth: “You have everything; you’re smart and pretty and life is so easy for you. My childhood was horrible: you don’t know what suffering is. You’re strong – you don’t need anything from other people. Don’t be a greedy cry-baby.”
Go away was the message, year in and year out. I did; I didn’t start out strong, but I became strong, but being strong has its own perils. So has being pretty – I was excluded from social “events” because girls wanted the boys to themselves.
So, that lovely summer day in the mountains I finally “got it.” My mother and brother and teachers and bosses, and even a few friends, had tricked my honest and trusting Asperger brain by offering compliments that were meant as rejection. I was naïve and stupid in social terms, and had no clue that this was “how the human universe works.”
I wonder how many Asperger females identify with this pattern?
You’re wonderful; we hate you.
On the other hand, this hurtful realization was utterly necessary to creating a life outside the prison of social expectations. It wasn’t easy to say “yes” or “no” to the established status quo, especially for a young woman; it remains a huge and often hidden social agenda that keeps women down, and not their abilities. Anti-female policies are built into the social system at all levels. It’s time for women to understand that “You’ve been had.”