May 17, 2009

ASD: The Next Generation

Matthew Baldwin makes a pretty compelling case for Spock as the role model [Spocksmodel?] for the new generation, where neurotypical kids and kids with diagnoses along the autism spectrum live side by side in galactic peace and harmony:

That Spock is different from the rest of the crew is, of course, central to his character; that his difference is largely mental is also part of the cachet. He is a man of two worlds, and cherishes the dual nature of his heritage. Unlike Data (the android in Star Trek: The Next Generation who was forever pining to "be more human"), Spock is perfectly comfortable with who he is--not a bad message to send to kids whose neurological state is classified as a "disorder." Moreover, the rest of the Enterprise recognizes that Spock's unconventional way of thinking provides invaluable insight on the challenges they face, that he is able to view and analyze the world in a manner they are unable to replicate.
Hell, make it so. Anyone would be an improvement over Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey.

Autistic Trekdom []


As a mildly obsessive, barely compulsive, generally anti-social, stay-at-home father of a child who is more than a little like myself, I'm always torn.

As a child I managed. I still get ANGRY, and over-stimmed. I'm not good with people (which, by some perverted twist, always ended me up in sales or as the front man for a design project).

I've always tried to encourage my son to be MORE social than I would be in a given situation. Be MORE outgoing than I'd ever be (unless I'm boozed up). I'm the recluse in a family of PERSONALITIES.

My wife was worried about my son being Autistic/Aspergers, because he was plus 400 words before he could walk, which was, admittedly, at the arse-end of the normal bell curse. He phrased things like an adult would. The difference being, he'd actually understood what he was saying and wasn't simply parroting whatever he'd heard.

I've conversed more with my little devil in the last three years than with my wife (or anyone else).
The fact he was obsesses with trains (check it out folks, it's a serious marker for Autism/Aspergers) didn't help my wife's POV one iota.

Luckily, he seems to have escaped my genetic 'event horizon' and as he get's older, seems to become more normal.

In a way, it's a bit painful. You see your child become less and less like yourself. But, for the most, you can't help but be relieved that they most likely won't have to deal with the things you did.

As a child, my 'friends' used to call me 'the mad scientist' because I was always going on about something I'd just learned, just like Dr. Frankenstein and his mad ravings.

Ah well, I guess it could be worse. I could be like my Humanities Prof, who could fact-check all of the Homerian Epics (as done by Cliff's Notes), but couldn't remember his daughter's name and needed a map to get home every evening.

This is timely, as our 3yo daughter has just within the past week developed an intense love for Spock.

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