Monthly Archives: May 2013

Aspie Evolution

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I think of a lot of strange things. It comes with the territory of having Aspergers. My mind gets bored and begins to explore ideas that I find interesting . Sometimes inspiration can come from my environment, however most of the time my idea-selection process is fairly random. I fall back on an idea I’ve explored before and found to be thought provoking and think about it in different ways.

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For example: Where in my neighborhood would I hide a body if I needed to?

One subject I find myself returning to is the concept of evolution, and where the human race is headed. I look at it from many different angles. My favorite is looking at the types of traits and behaviors that humans have not grown past in evolutionary terms – the human race seems to be falling behind the changing world. Human bodies are still built to function in a herd society, both metabolically and socially. As a species, we are still adapting to a world where the gathering of food is as easy as a trip to you local supermarket. Events happen so fast that we often don’t have enough time to react before the next event. The world is moving ahead while the human race is falling behind.

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Hey, wait up! I’m still working on opposable thumbs!

Or is it?

The more I think about it, the more I start to believe that Aspergers could very well be a part of the natural evolutionary progression of the human race. Think about what life was like for humans back in caveman times. Social skills were a survival necessity; if you ended up as an outcase, you would either die of starvation or exposure. Those humans that were able to get along together and pool their resources thrived in this society. Aspergers would have been a death sentence back then.

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Ok, guys, I guess I’ll just be over here dodging lion attacks.

In the modern world, things have changed dramatically. Smartphones allow interaction without face-to-face contact; with the growing use of texting, the basic concept of speaking is starting to become unnecessary. Almost anything can be purchased over the internet and delivered to your doorstep, even groceries (thanks to services such as Peapod). The value of physical and social skills has shrunk compared to science and math skills, fields that often require intense concentration and dedication. This is a world where Aspies not only survive, but they have the opportunity to thrive.

Perhaps we shouldn’t look at Aspergers as a disability, and instead consider it a victory for Darwinism.

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Let’s Get Physical

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There was one thing I was always thankful for after we got my little Aspie diagnosed – my little Aspie is a girl. Although her tantrums could be quite intense, they were more of the yelling/screaming type. I’ve heard that boys with Aspergers can have tantrums that become extremely physical, even evolving into fistfights. Luckily, K’s tantrums don’t go that far. She will scream and yell loud enough to hear on the street, but at least there are no holes in the wall in her bedroom.

It’s difficult to figure out the best way to handle a physical tantrum. When kids are smaller, it’s not that hard – usually the best course of action is to let them work it out, as long as they are safe. If their safety is compromised, physcially restraining them may be necessary. Sounds simple, but ask my wife how easy it is in real life. She had a knock-down drag out tantrum confrontation with my son the other day, and he’s not even on the spectrum.

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Imagine this, but with less smiling and more screaming and flailing limbs.

This is all great advice, but kids have this really strange tendency to get bigger. I know… how dare they, right? The problem with this is that bigger kids bring bigger tantrums. Your child is bigger and stronger; you can’t just hold him down until he exhausts himself anymore. He fights back. He throws punches. Pretty soon, you’re no longer just worried about the saftey of you child but your own as well.

The most common advice I hear about this situation is to try and give you child a place where he can physically lash out without an increased risk of injury – for lack of a better way to describe it, a “rubber room” of sorts. I’m not saying to actually build youself an isolation room, but create a space where there are no breakables and the environment is generally safe. Once you child has gotten throught the necessary explosion, then you can provide loving support. Most people advise against intervening, especially if you feel you safety is threatened. It’s most important to protect yourself; you cannot help your child if you are injured.

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Ok, kids! Time to get dressed for school!

I count myself lucky because I haven’t had to deal with this type of situation yet. Not to say that girls don’t have physical tanrtums; it’s just more common for boys to lash out than girls. But I have found out that nuerotypical boys can have tantrums that are just as strong as Aspie boys.

Good luck and be safe out there.