Collated Responses #5

My weekly roundup of responses I have posted to other people’s posts here on Medium, for those who don’t feel like scrolling through the Responses tab on my profile.

May 6, 2018

Hi Bix,:

In other words, it certainly has its effects on my body.

Sure, but what I said was “mere worry doesn’t manifest itself as a physical presence in one’s body the way anxiety does”, and that remains true: worry does not manifest in the ways that anxiety does. Really, my peeve is that there’s a strong thread here on Medium of people writing about things that are actually just worry, but writing about it with mental health trappings, and in ways that are basically “X things you can do to halt your anxiety” (or whatever), and I find that both disingenuous and, frankly, dangerous, should it lead anyone to think that they are helpless because these self-help remedies for worry simply do not work for their real, actual anxiety issues. As I said, yes there is a colloquial but that colloquial is far closer to worry than to the pathology, and, I think, can cause confusion when being written about here.


Being able to be in your car, closed off from the world, as you observe what’s going on around you can be a lot easier than being on a crowded bus, even if you have noise cancelling headphones and having more space from people (the only way I could travel on a train would be if they had seating pods and I could book one for myself and they gave us the choice as to whether we wanted to share with others).

This, like many ways in which autism presents differently across different people, is fascinating to me. I’ve never been able to drive, because it was clear when I tried to learn that I wasn’t capable of the complicated, synchronous combinations of mental and physical processes required. (I would, I’ve no doubt, kill either myself or others were I behind the wheel.) It wasn’t until my diagnosis, decades later, that I realized this roadblock, so to speak, was because of the way my particular autism wired my brain. It never would have occured to me that for other autistic people, driving not only was not impossible but was a respite.

May 7, 2018

Tech Helps Show The World What People With Autism Can Do:

Google Glass is helping children with autism better understand social cues and improve their interactions with others.

But is Google Glass (or any other technology company) helping people who aren’t autistic better understand autistic people’s social cues and improve their interactions with autistic people? The burden isn’t somehow just on us. It’s on you, too. This idea that technology’s only job is to help autistic people be able to interact more like allistic people is ridiculous. You argue that “workforce development programs are not workplace experiments designed to make people feel good” but if technology programs only focus on changing autistic people and not also on changing allistic people, then they are just that: feel-good programs.