This clever knowledge drop from Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men is about kinesiology and motion sickness, but I’m going to be stealing this idea of “anticipatory” vs. “compensatory” adjustments and control for future discussions about being autistic.
One of the most convincing aspects of Stoffregen’s theory is how it finally explains why I get car sick in every seat other than the driving seat: it’s all about control. When you’re walking, you are in control of your movements. You know what’s coming. On a ship, or in a car, someone else is in control—unless you’re the driver. “The driver knows what the motion of the car is going to be and so the driver is able to stabilise his or herself in what we call an anticipatory fashion,” explains Stoffregen, “whereas the passenger cannot know in quantitative detail what the car is going to be doing. And so their control of their own body must be compensatory. And anticipatory control is just better than compensatory control. You know, that ain’t no rocket science.”
Emphasis added. I’m thinking that the distinction should hold up pretty well when discussing anything from anxiety issues to socially performative communication to the usefulness of routines and scripts.