Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The One-Way Concept

This is a follow up to Monday’s post in which I spoke of the worst thing to say to a person on the spectrum. In that post I warned of using language along the lines of, “it’s not that difficult.” However, as is the case so often being on the autism spectrum, things are a one-way street.

One-way? Yes because the concept I put forth of, “I think therefore you should know” runs rampant along this usage of language because I know in my life I’ve struggled at this. I haven’t used the language of, “it’s not that difficult” but I’ve certainly thought it many times because if I can do something well then why can’t everyone? It isn’t thought out of ill-will but truly a na├»ve innocence because it is all but inconceivable to me that others can’t do what I can do making this all a direct yet confusing one-way street.

So often, and I know this has to be confusing for you teachers and parents out there, things are this seemingly unfair one-way street. If you tell me, “it’s not that difficult” I want to throw my hands in the air and give up on everything and yet if I’m good at something and you can’t do it to the ability I can I’m confused. Now here’s the thing; this also goes to things that are difficult because if I struggle then I figure all should and yet they don’t which it is within this area the disconnect takes place because the logic I live under is proven false.

How has this played out in my life? In school I was, well, I was a bit rude at times. Again, I meant no ill-will and I wasn’t trying to be demeaning of other students, but when a student would raise their hand to answer a question and they’d get it wrong I’d let out a sigh. I knew the answer but I’d never volunteer my hand in the air because speaking in front of a loathsome activity but since I knew the answer how could someone else possibly not know the answer? I was truly confused.

Teachers and parents will often be confronted by this one-way street and when it happens I understand it can be frustrating and, yes, it will probably seem unfair that a sentence told to the person could have a devastating impact and yet this same sentence can be thought about by the exact same person. It all goes back to I think therefore you should know. Understanding that concept is imperative to understanding the mechanics in play. To put simply; if I think it so do you. If I expect something, you already know it. If something is difficult for me it is either difficult for you or you know it’s difficult for me so I don’t need to tell you and if you aren’t helping me, even though I haven’t asked, then you just simply don’t want to help me. This is the icy, windy road that is the one-way street and why one seemingly simple sentence directed one way is as bad as doing 80mph the wrong way down a one-way or traveling with the flow of traffic at the same speed. Is it unfair? It may seem that way, unless it’s explained and I’m doing my best to explain the mechanics in play because after the impact Monday’s blog post had I known there’s a need to better understand the elements in play. I can only hope I’ve furthered the understanding here because the amount of frustration, confusion, and potential anger that can stem from the one-way street and I think therefore you should know knows no limits or boundaries.

1 comment:

  1. If you'd like a literal representation of a one way road that can also be difficult to maneuver, even Lombard Street in San Francisco is a one way street. I often hear people comment on how rude someone one the spectrum seems to be at times and it's so hard to try to get across to them the thought process that went into that episode that seemed so rude to them. All I can say is to keep getting out there and keep educating them. As I've told you many times before, you're making a difference in the world, one person at a time.