Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Truth About Autism

Wired has a fascinating article The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know. It starts by describing this video by 27-year-old autistic Amanda Baggs.

An explanation starts at the 3:15 mark.

"No one helped her shoot the video, edit it, and upload it to YouTube. She used a Sony Cybershot DSC-T1, a digital camera that can record up to 90 seconds of video (she has since upgraded). She then patched the footage together using the editing programs RAD Video Tools, VirtualDub, and DivXLand Media Subtitler. "My care provider wouldn't even know how to work the software," she says. Baggs is part of an increasingly visible and highly networked community of autistics. Over the past decade, this group has benefited enormously from the Internet as well as innovations like type-to-speech software. Baggs may never have considered herself trapped in her own world, but thanks to technology, she can communicate with the same speed and specificity as someone using spoken language."

It's a totally mind blowing article.


irina said...

I almost half-expected to read something along these lines as I always felt that auties and aspies' brains work differently from ours. I see her point in not caring for our language, intelligence etc. but the poor thing cannot even take care of herself! She would starve to death or freeze from cold or something else. It's almost like a different kind of intelligence (dolphins?) that somehow don't belong in our environment. But where do they belong? Is there maybe some dimension where they are at home? I know I sound crazy but to me she is as alien as if she came from Mars...and I sense that in many ways she is superior to me...and I am very uneasy about all this. Do you know or feel what I mean?

Howard said...

I think I do know what you mean. You have to be able to care for yourself as an individual or group. I think it's amazing to understand some of the actions but I'm not sure what all the additional sense interactions accomplish.