A life time of not fitting in and doing the strangest things first hand has today not only made for shocking personal stories, it is a mirror look to a large degree at the Cave man's man. This could be also could be titled "Captain Cave man" does real life. Just like the old TV show Gilligan's Island is a real joke today -one cell phone call- and they are off the island, Old working autism that didn't quite work all that well did indeed charted new ground in its own quiet odd way.
I started school in 1966 and it was discovered I could not skip in Kindergarten. I also was exposed as a first class idiot due to the unknown Dyslexia and autism. Thankfully I was youngest kid in my class and missed the cut off date for starting school by less than a week. The young and immature label was a godsend for me, it went miles in hiding the autism. Autism in 1966 was not well known - it certainly was not designer Rain Man yet, and only a few of us were ever really diagnosed. We either had to be pretty severe or simply find the right "expert" to get the diagnosis. Diagnosis Standards for Autism in the 1960's were also much more strict than today's are so we really had to get the attention and "earn" our diagnosis. Not that I was not tested time and again, I spent many hours in the hallway going threw grade school. I was either being interviewed by a psychologist or a Grad Psychology Student or being tutored. I got to like the hallway it was like my own private office/ class room. Most of my interviewers were from The Nosinger Center at the Ohio State university in Columbus. It had just opened. I was officially Diagnosed with autism at the age of 35 to older strict standards.
First grade was fabulous in hindsight, nothing like shocking your self and everyone else. I STUNNED the county health nurse, She was visiting every school testing first graders for hearing issues. She set in the "sick room" of my school and had a machine that played tones through head phones. She set you up with the head phones and then done her thing. You gestured when you heard the tone. I heard EVERY tone she did, even the ones most people never heard. She was very puzzled and turned me around backwards so I could not see her and we did the test again. I passed again, she played a few more notes to check and she was obviously puzzled and marked my card passed and sent me back to class. I wonder if after wards she didn't try the machine her self to see if it was working? Still I was puzzled as can be for years to come wondering how I could pass that hearing test and NOT hear. I knew I was deaf at times I had some idea I was also blind at times. Today the explanation is that was due to the
picture thoughts that happen during the lack of eye contact thought process autistics naturally do.
When we think with pictures we are both deaf and blind for a few milliseconds to minutes at a time BUT we still think for the longest time we are seeing optic vision, but in reality our optic and brain generated vision is interchanged. It took us years to realize we had two kinds of vision. The differance between a brain generated picture thought and normal optic vison is often so minor people don't even know they are not seeing just optic vision. Often the optic visoin is like a "cup sitting on the left side of the table- and the Picutre thought is the cup on the right side of the table. There is No "BREAK" in our vision to announce the diffent kind of thought.It just fades from one to the other with out much fanfare until we learn to control those odd thoughts. Those thoughts become Einstein eventually. Once figured out it means move the cup to the other side of the table. Once we learn the picutre thoughts to make this work all the time we do pretty well. This is below 123 and the ABC's in sub thought range.
When your out of the loop by natural happenstance you learn to do your best to read people. I often identified people by the shrill in their voice, their smell (not body odor).It never occurred to me people in general my counterparts were not looped like I was. I had no idea my OPTIC vision was off and being replaced with brain generated images I was thinking with. When this happens and your eyes are off and at the same time your hearing is turned down you learn to pick up the not so obvious clues of noise and use you senses of smell to figure out who you were talking to. I find the Blind People I know have the same keen senses and many that had vision think in Pictures just like I do and often we share the same photo picture thoughts. NONE of this picture thought stuff has been in a text book before so it will not even ring a bell. Still, I remember setting in the hallway being interviewed with a psychologist and telling him I was could not hear all the time. I'd love to find those old notes of my interviews if Nosinger Center still has them? We find today the keen hearing the slightest whisper the oddest noise, or the loudest command got our attention and returned us back to OPTIC normal vision so we could see what was going on. Hindsight is 20/20 they claim . Just imagine getting this wild non conventional thought in to the psychology books, talk about impossible dreams?
The Caveman in me is no more obvious than a birth defect an unfelt major birth defect that prevented me from running and skipping and doing jumping jacks. I had off center mis formed hips. In fact there is an entire Subsection of my Autism Anthropology that have the same issue and we all have the same story to tell. Our Legs are the same length and they bend correctly but our hip joints are off from each other. That makes it impossible for us to run quick etc.
Like everyone in my hip group we were sent to the doctors and they measured and tested our legs and of course asked if they hurt. In reality they should have been hurting and they probably were hurting but, we never felt the pain. Autism was once noted for its pain tolerance and we miss 2-7 on the pain scale. As we reached 30 and 40 years old and many of us have manual labor standing jobs and our hips finally hurt. X-ray's show our hip joints are off line with each other and the Stunned Doctors and X-ray Techs ask- you have been like that all your life?
We end up adding 3/8th or 5/16'th of an inch (sorry we didn't go metric) to our shoes on our short sides and boy is the relief GREAT! Most of us were just put off as dumb odd retards and that was the logical reason we could not do the running and jumping jacks. It was answer that fit the MR/DD stereotype well.
The Boy from Averyron 1600s (France) was once a staple story in autism circles and this wild child Cave person Child demonstrated all kinds of Pain tolerance from being naked year around to taking food directly out of the fire with out tools and it didn't hurt! Even the Doctor that did the most with him Dr Itard even assumed he was just too dumb to feel his pain. Modern autism thinks the same thing. Of course none of them will unite our Anthropology or even look at our real life X-rays of the fun we missed. Just think of the humanity normal thinking research has missed? Even the The Enigma the biography of Autism hero Alan Turing tells of his running feats with no wall, no pain.
Not only were we strange in almost every way and the butt om many jokes we also had the genius thing going on. Many of us were absently in bliss as we did one subject above grade level. Tell me that didn't confuse the works? Psychologist called us lazy, teachers learned by accident we had tunnel learning and if they channeled our learning through our obsessions we did OK. Then that filtered through to life in general. Modern autism took away the privilege of splnter skills and obsessions and they once made us work much better. Everyone from our Parents, tutors and teachers seen the magic of splinter skill learning but had no idea what they were doing, BUT what it was it was and it worked. Results are results.
If this Autism Anthropology were ever united and if Autism research hurries while our parents are still living they could get an education on just how we did life so well -so ignorantly. No one was there to scream to our parents and give us IEP and tell us we were autistic. There is a great benefit in not knowing and the resulting double blind experience was repeated all over the world by my counterparts and we all had the same milestones and good results. Today most of us do so much of a normal life that we fit in society. Shockingly, no one in modern autism circles can even fathom its the same autism, just different luck. If we too were diagnosed and blessed with Rain Man ideals we too would be in a group home. Autism is mental Retardation as well as genius and naturally Normal thinkers that "know us so well" have the wrong end of the stick. Humans in general are also not noted for having open minds so mankind remains lost for a few more centuries to come.
It was said a college education of today is like a high school diploma was in the 1930's and along with the strict discipline of the era and the high standards every child was forced and expected to do their best. The results autism of this era displays are obvious and in plain sight if we were ever admitted to. The discipline was a great Autism mood breaker- we learned how not to be a trouble makers. We sat at the table until our plates were clean and that was not abuse, we got whacks and also a sense of right and wrong. That went miles in real life. It seems after my generation the discipline and the being forced to do your best ideals were dropped from favor in the public school system.
In 1992 (?) I met an old Autism researcher named Tom ???? . We were both attending an Autism Convention In Indianapolis Indiana and like most of my life the good parts happened in the hall. We were at a downtown hotel and there were 3 different autism presentations going on at once. We were over hearing one of them from a then popular autism doctor standing on the podium doing his publish or perish thing this time in Autism. Neither Tom or I were invited guests or paying participants to attend the conference. I was there on the sly to see what Autism was about, and I was wearing my Work Uniform so it look like I was looking for a customer for the rental Car (car Hire) firm I worked for. Tom was 90 something and had been run out of Autism Research in the 1970's as Rain Man Era Autism took suit.
He came up to me and said, "You think in Pictures? You hear too much, You have a pain tolerance and obsession?"
"Of Course," I replied. He smiled and offered his hand. We chatted and he rolled his eyes as I did when prince charming on the speaker stand made a ridiculous statement. He said that "SOB" had been run out of Cerebral Palsy research and landed in Autism - his goal and only goal was being the first to discover anything to get his name in the history books. We went on and on and I told him I was just a few months before hailed as the next Temple Grandin and he said "good luck you function too high." He waited for my Eye contact to return, like my dad does, before he carried on the conversation. That was true sign he knew autism. He told me Dr. Rimland and others were on a mission to do autism their way and of course by then Autism and Rain Man the Movie were one in the same. He said several older Researchers were knocked out of the peer review autism system or simply forced to retire. When they insisted on keeping things like obsessions and splinter skills in the mix and also insisted the Pain tolerance was one big reason we were late in toilet training they were banished. They also insisted on "queer eye for the straight guy" charm school being kept in the mix and expanded. Tom and others had seen how this Queer Eye Charm School was the biggest factor in our overcoming social autism issues. Unless you have been on the other side of the sexual fence you might not have a feel for why growing GLBT was the best thing ever socially speaking for an autistic person. Either way the last vestiges of old Working autism were lost in the new age hoopla. Indeed today the most of the high functioning people I know are GLBT and there is an element to it. IF our Picture thoughts are ever disseminated into the general psychology population it will be obvious why things worked so well for us. Our Picture thoughts your daydream thoughts are building blocks of the mind.
Tom said upon our leaving, give me a gentle hug I'm 92 years old and don't need an autistic bear hug. He joked at me and said keep your optic vision on driving back to Columbus, Ohio. These are few of my highlights and people all over my anthropology have similar stores and mile stones to tell -if we were ever admitted to. You can see by the tone of my success it is probably too much success for modern autism to deal with. They have a reputation to up hold all be it a poor one- it s the only one they have got, so they are not keen on admitting they lost track of successful old autism. Mankind lingers in the balance, and autism is missing out on a grade 1-6 Autism School that would teach us all we need to know to function normally and complete a normal life.