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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Autism – what really gets me down

If I had to describe what it is about autism that really gets on my pip, it would be the tiresomeness of it all. By this, I don’t mean how tiring autism is, [translation = the lie down and sleep kind of tiredness] but more the real tiresomeness of it all. [translation = annoyingness of it all]

It would be alright, I suppose, if what is true today, would also be true tomorrow, or yesterday, or the next 12 hours, or twelve minutes, for that matter, but it’s not, is it? [translation = rhetorical question]

What is true and accurate this second, may not be so in the next second. [translation = the second second] For example, quite often you can get away with lots of casual every day statements, comments, questions and other bits and pieces that make up an ordinary sort of conversation, without anyone taking issue with you. Then all of a sudden, just as you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security, you utter a few more words and all hell breaks loose for no apparent reason. It was o.k. for you to say what you said, two sentences ago, but now, someone has switched on their radar and you’re under attack from all sides for the most innocent of comments.

An example always helps in these instances. [translation = I hope] So you’re nipping along in your winkie dinkie little European car, with a truckload of passengers, on the wrong side of the road because you’re in England on holiday. You chat to the other adults in the car, as all people under the age of ten, are asleep. Because they are asleep, by definition, they are not listening. All radars are in the off position.

“It should be the next left I think?”
“Do you think?”
“I think so.”
“What do you think?”
“I can’t remember if it’s the next left or the left after the next, but thinking about it, I think you're right?”

This is four adult people in conversation about a tentative destination, where you cannot see the surrounding countryside because is it blinkered from view by ten foot hedgerows. As we dither, collectively, a small person is suddenly awake, with a complaint, a verbal one, “no more dah fink. Dat is stoopid. Shut up wiv dah fink. Dah fink is being silent in dah brain, not in dah mowf.” This dislodges another from slumberland, “yeah, what he said, er says, um said.” The last one wriggles with restlessness, “yeah, me too, all this thinking is far too noisy!”

It would see that they're not the only ones with volume control issues!

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