Diversity is not just the way we look, but the way we think !
Human diversity is not just a matter of superficial differences such as skin colour,
ethnic identity, language, beliefs or customs, it's a way of thinking.
Many take social protocols for granted and consider anyone who fails to conform to societal norms a weirdo, nerd, social misfit or oddball with no-one else to blame but themselves. This is because we do not all process information or respond to social cues in the same way. Much of social intercourse is perfunctory, a mere
façade hiding our true intents, but finding one's way in an intricate jungle of superficiality and double standards is evidently much easier for some than for others.
Some of us do not instinctively interpret nonverbal signals such as facial expressions
or abide by society's hidden rules because the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala of our brain are not wired in the usual way. A minor genetic variation can lead to social exclusion and a general failure to fit in with mainstream society. Such individuals with medium to high IQs are diagnosed with pervasive development disorders known as high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome.
Think different and don't take any preconceptions for granted !
However, I would like to think of it more as a neurological difference that frees us from orthodox worldviews. We may be known for our pedanticism, obsessions with circumscribed subjects and failure to realise when to bend the truth, but we also see the world through a more detached perspective and may be refreshingly honest, relatively unaffected by passing fads and opportunism.
Much social interaction involves an exchange of perfunctory niceties acting as a façade for our real intents. Neurotypicals, those outside the autistic spectrum, learn not only to follow social etiquette, but also to abide by the hidden rules of behaviour within a given social group, when to tell white lies, when to be dishonest, how to fit in and work one's way up in the pecking order through charm and sheer cunning. We aspies only understand pure logic and are often bewildered by the sophisticated duplicity of mainstream humanity, especially in highly competitive societies that place a growing emphasis on soft skills.
We tend to learn things methodically rather than assimilating social knowledge. This means we don't necessarily take many common assumptions for granted, but fail to gain fuzzy knowledge through casual conversation. When we're aware of our differences, these apparent weaknesses, of which many peers at school and at work often take advantage, may actually be our key strengths. We need to learn by painstaking trial and error soft skills that come instinctively to others.
Web design benefits enormously from an obsessive attention to detail and unconventional creativity, though these virtues are rarely present in the same individuals, except many artistic aspies, for whom art is itself the imaginative appliance of technical know-how. While many aspies fail to cope with rejection, many of the world's greatest scientists and innovators from Albert Einstein to Bill Gates are known to have had autistic traits. To learn more follow the links below.
People with High Functioning Autism - Fife
for the Study of the Neurologically Typical
Advocacy by Frank Klein
Holliday-Willey's Aspie Site
Tony Attwood's Site
Shore's Autism and Asperger Site
Wrong Planet! by J. Norman-Bain
in Living with Asperger's Syndrome
Lawson's Autistic Spectrum Site
Asperger Support Site
Tony Langdon's Autism Related Resources
Autism in Scotland
Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the U.S
Ben's Asperger's Room
Move the mouse over a link in the left sidebar to view a site's description and then click to go there.
Learn more about neurological diversity and how some people really do think different.
Aspie is a more respectful term used by many of us diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome to describe our neurological
diversity. More offensive terms are nerds or anoraks.