When I first thought of this article, I had in mind to talk about programming, but it be about computers in general.
I have had a computer for most of my life. My first computer still had floppies (yes, I’m that old). I remember even a computer that had games on casette tapes. Hear that, kids? Casette tapes. (Now a few of you are frantically googling “Cassete tapes”).
Although I will get my official diagnosis somewhere around march 2017, I am 90 procent sure I’m autistic. I have almost all traits. If I haven’t been taught something, I don’t know it. It’s that simple. I don’t know how to handle unfamiliar situations either. I’m just not programmed for it, and that’s where we are today.
My opinion is that autistic people are a lot like computers. When a computer gets to much to do, it gets slow and eventually shuts down. Or it will give you some kind of aggressive error message. Autistic people are the same. I’m more of the “shutting down”-type. If I get overloaded, I feel myself slowing down, concentrating more and eventually I get tunnel vision, not reacting to a lot of stimuli and I shut down. Not able to talk or process anything anymore, until the fog in my head settles and I’m able to interact once again.
I think shutdowns in my case are buffer overflows, like in computers. My RAM-memory gets to much info and it shuts down, like a computers.
Also, like a computer, I don’t handle multiple instructions well, I must be told in very clear language, what you want from me (and don’t give me multiple instructions at once, or I will forget the last one you gave me, because I was still processing the first one. My brain works in FIFO (First In, First Out)-modus. A computer never multitasks, it is very good at switching tasks so you get the impression of multitasking, but it just switches really, really fast.
Humans are the same way. We are terrible at multitasking. Nobody can multitask. Absolutely nobody. I can prove it. Give me a second while I dig up the video.
Now, Watch the video and come back when you are done. Couldn’t do it, could you? Surprise, surprise.
I seem to function normal as well, until I get buffer overflow, or you give me a task which is very precise. I know out of previous tests that I have very bad fine motorskills (which attests for my bad handwriting and the fact that they advised me to change schools because I was slower than everybody else in my class at woodchop and metal-working).
I just interpret commands that the teachers gave me litterally. If you say to me “file the metal piece until you hit that line” I will make sure that I don’t go over the line, ever. Which will take me ages to get the work done, but I will have the most precise of the whole class, because I regularly check-up if I am close, or over the line. The same with a computer. Don’t give your commands correct, and he will refuse to do the thing you ask him to, give him to strict of a command and he can’t do it, because it conflicts with something else. The same with me.
Although, I taught myself to deviate a bit when they tell me to do a certain thing, but I had to be taught to do so. Everything I know now, from even the smallest skill, I was taught to do so.