It’s not at all the point of the thing but in the latest edition of Why is this interesting? there’s a paragraph about kids crying that sent me to a very particular place.
This kind of fits one of my long-standing theories about kids: that they’re mostly right about things. It started with observing my children when they were little babies and trying to avoid the urge to do root cause analysis every time they cried. I’m not sure whether this was more for me or for them, but I eventually came to the conclusion that the most likely reason a baby is crying is because something is just weird. Wouldn’t you cry a little the first time you felt something pushing on your face that you couldn’t see if you didn’t know it was called wind? Few places is this theory more apparent than on an airplane. On flights, kids whine about being bored, wanting to move around, and being hungry, which, if any of us were being honest with ourselves, would be exactly the same list of complaints we have. We’ve just learned to shut up and deal with it.
Think about this idea that kids are “mostly right about things” the next time someone complains about an autistic person’s “tantrum”. There’s a stimulus there, and it’s real to the person reacting, even if your own mental makeup, or even just cultural acclimation, hides it from you.