tales by the unexpected

My story, my tales, my life

Categorie: opinion (pagina 1 van 3)

Theory: Autistic learning

I have been working on a theory on how people learn for a while now. I have been fascinated by the process, ever since I read about it first. To me, the logic behind the standard IQ test is baffling as if we all live on a one line. This is why I love the spectrum idea of autism: All autistics are autistics, but we have all difficulties in other areas and some very similar to eachother. Essentially our brains work the same and yet so different.

Explaining learning fascinates me, because so many have tried, and nobody has completely succeeded so far. I have a book about it that I still need to finish, but up until then, will this be my thoughts on the matter.

There are the 4 stages of competence that are of interest. These stages have been attributed to Abraham Maslow although they don’t appear in any of his major works.

Unconcious Incompetence

This is the stage that you don’t know that you don’t know something. You can have accomplished a part of a certain task, but you don’t know that you don’t know that much about it. For example: you know the toilet, you use it everyday. Now explain it to me. How does it work. What happens when you push the button to flush. (I myself can’t do it, but this goes neatly over to the following phase).

Concious incompetence

I now made you aware that you know a toilet, but can’t explain it to me. This made you concious of the fact that you don’t know. Concious incompetence is exactly this. You have read about a subject, you have the gist of it, but you know now that there is a lot you don’t know yet. You still need to learn a lot more. For example: When you start to program. You have learned about the different programming languages and you know about a compiler and some other basic stuff, but you don’t know the syntax of the language yet. Back to the toilet: you know how it flushes, but you don’t know the forces at work or how it does things. You can also go so far as to want to learn the history of the toilet and become a master of the subject.

Concious competence

You can program now, but you still need to think and reason your way through. (this analogy is going to bite me in the ass, as all programmers need to reason to some degree). Let’s use a spoon as a reference then. We have all learned to eat with utensils at some point. So to go through the stages as a recap: Unconcious competence: You don’t know there is a spoon and slurp your soup (or try to eat it with your hands. Concious incompetence: You now know what a spoon is, but you are still learning to use it. You are being fed. You observe the people around you how they use their spoons and probably are fascinated by it. You follow their spoons with your eyes. Concious competence is what this toddler demonstrates. I like to teach by visual material, so this is the perfect video. He knows what a spoon is, he knows how to use it, but doing so requires great concentration. He is still slow at it.

Unconcious competence

To use the spoon example again: you can eat anything with a spoon without spilling (I still can’t. I think this is a family trait.) You have mastered eating with a spoon.

During my explanation of the stages of competence I have also explained another theory, not by skinner, but another. Skinner is the one where ABA is based of off. A very old theory, on which even modern ABA, thanks to Lovaas is still based.

I just learned that Albert Bandura’s theory of social learning is a direct result of a criticism offered by Noam Chomsky. His criticism is that  Skinner’s theory doesn’t explain how language is learned, which is not learned purely by stimulus-response.

The Skinner theory works like this: Stimulus and response. You prompt the subject with something and the subject will do something. You can see already why this is lacking. Bandura’s theory is different: There is input. There is a thought process (or mediational process) and there is a response or behaviour. According to Bandura there are 4 mediational processes: Attention, Retention, Reproduction and Motivation. You can read more here.

Skinner’s theory is purely based on behaviour. Bandura’s theory explains how humans learn better and if you take Wendy Lawson’s theory in consideration (explained in “the passionate mind: how autistics learn”) then this could explain why autistics learn slower.

Wendy’s theory is that autistics can only do one thing at a time. For example: from my own experience, I read. And I only read at that moment. I put on music, but don’t tell me what song I’m listening to, because I won’t know. This is why during reading, I mostly play electronic music that is very dull sounding and has no lyrics, because once I become concious of the lyrics, I can’t read anymore. (Classical music works perfectly for this too). To go further in our social learning theory. Retention is also an unconcious thing, but requires time. This is why mostly after reading, I have to do something that takes my mind of the reading. Mostly reflecting or doing something completely different (especially if I have been reading non-fiction. With fiction I can do things much faster). The fun thing with fiction is, depending on how it is written, I can make images and I can read more books through eachother and can pick up any of them, because I have these images of what happened before. This is why lord of the rings is so difficult for me to read, as it centers more on which language is used instead of creating images. A writer therefore is a painter with words.

If you now know that there are 4 mental stages required before you can output anything (verbally or by behaviour) you now know why autistics learn slower, and why using ABA on autistics is harmful and can damage their self-perception. I speak for myself at the moment and I notice that I can only do one thing. Like pay attention to this or listen to the music in the background, I can’t do both. Another example: I can watch a tv series and eat at the same time, but I will have to rewatch the episode again if I want to know what was being said, as I can’t do these things at the same time.

Another example: during my trainee period (and this is something I have learned now is what more autistics do) is when I got verbal instructions on how something worked, I wrote them down, in steps. So I had the instructions printed, so I could refer to them over and over again, and made notes where I forgot something (in another color) so the most times I had to ask something was 3 or 4, depending on where I forgot something. But after I know the process and it is written down properly, I can work in peace and don’t need any instructions anymore. The fun thing is, is that once I have memorized them, I can come back years after, and if you still work with the same processess, I can begon working in your company immediatly without any further instructions. I will still have them memorized.

Autistic learning is different in the sense that 1. We need more time to process between steps and 2. We can only do one thing at a time. So transitioning between things is difficult for us because we are still processing the thing. Maybe this is why we have such difficulty with change. Change means that we have to learn something completely again. Starting from scratch.

I hope this article has been informative, as this is just my opinion (based on science i’ve read, but this hasn’t been objectively tested. I would love to know opinions of professsionals on this though).

We are facing a crisis

(Dated racial slurs will be used (not in a racist manner, but to prove a point.)

We will dive into this with a little bit of history. Remember the first intelligence test? Phrenology, it was called. Thanks to the measuring of the skull certain characteristics could be told about the owner of said skull. Negroes were said to be dumber, because of how their skull grew the way it did. White was supreme.

The IQ test came out. Alfred Binet developed it to measure who was better to serve as leaders in the army, and who was made into cannon-fodder. The test was taken in big rooms, and think again who was thought of as being better than the others? Not because they were better, but because they had better seating and the test was written in their primary language.

This IQ test is also used to divide us more, as of today as well. This is one of the reasons I am more into the multiple intelligence theory of Howard Gardner, as he doesn’t try to divide us. This is the reason why I hate functioning labels, as it divides us more.

I tell you about the IQ test because intelligence and perfection in general is something our society is obesses with. Everything has to be perfect, and everything that goes away from this norm is freakish. When you score high on an IQ test, you are seen as a genius and a freak. When you score low, you are feeble-minded and not fit to live on your own. Doesn’t matter if you perfectly cope or are happy with yourself. You are not fit for this society we live in.

The same with people that have it in their genes to develop more round figures than other people. They are shamed because they don’t fit this new model for society that tells us that every women and man has to be fit and perfect. This leads to an obession with fitness, sports and healthy food. Every year new diet fads turn up to feed our obession with perfection.

This has also worked in hand the beauty industry. Make-up, clothing, everything to make a body more perfect. Ever thought of what high heels do to your body and what it is used for? The same with red lips. What if you have a nose or ears that are bigger than the standard size? You can get them fixed. For a price of course.

This brings me to my point. The point I wanted to make since the beginning of this article. What if your imperfection is your different color of skin? They will still shun you and try to criminalize you and act racist towards you, just because you are different. What if you have a physical dissability? They will generally not accomodate you, but some places will at least try.

What about Blindness? What about Deafness? What about Down?

How do people generally act when they hear during prenatal screening that their child might develop the syndrome of Down? 90 to 95 percent will abort it. Down is being eugenicized. No matter how wonderful the person can be, or what he might achieve in his life. His life seizes to exist after a few weeks time, because a test said that it could’ve been someone with Down syndrome.

Now the same test is in production for autism and other “birth defects” as they call them. So the future fate of autism, thanks to the fear mongering of Autism speaks and other organisations, will stop the birth of many future autistics. Maybe the future inventor of AI or the future inventor of a cure for cancer will seize to exist after a few weeks in the womb because of the fear mongering of Autism Speaks. Autistics and researchers think this idea is ludicrous, but they are not listened to. The prenatal test is in development. The patent has been granted.

Already complete countries are Downs free thanks to the prenatal test. The same will happen with autism. The whole spectrum will die in the future.

I know I am an agender in a male body, so I can’t give birth. I will never feel that. I will never feel the joy of having a living being develop inside me. My opinion is that both partners should discuss the future of their child (as I don’t think the mother should be into this alone, as it is part of them too, although she carries it, it still is part of them two. Both should be able to discuss what happens with the future. The same as I think both should care equally for the child.)

I am an agender with a male body, but I will guide you through my opinion on abortion, as this is what the article deals about. Abortion and our sick perversion with perfection.

I think a woman should be able to abort. I will give you a few examples:

1. A 15 year old had sex with her boyfriend and now she is pregnant
2. A test was done and the child will be born autistic or with Down syndrome.
3. A woman was raped and now she is pregnant with the child of her rapist.

Only in one occassion, in my logical mind, would I allow abortion. And that is in the third case. The woman has been punished enough. She shouldn’t see the fruit of a crime commited against her for the rest of her life. Although there are women that still keep the child with the logic that the child shouldn’t be the victim of the crime and should live a happy life. It is their right to make the choice.

In the other 2 cases I don’t see a reason why a healthy baby should be aborted.

The first deals with concequences. 2 people had sex with consent. They CHOSE to do it without condom. They should bear the concequences of their choice. If you are adult enough to be having sex, you are adult enough to care for the child.

I don’t think I need to explain my standpoint on number 2. I think you get my standpoint. I know gene-modification is being researched too. I am also against that. We have evolved this way to be here. Nature has deemed us important enough to deliver a contribution to the human race. The same with Down syndrome. It wouldn’t have evolved this way and still be around, if it didn’t have a purpose.

The need for perfection is destroying the human race. Gene-modification will only make it worse. The rich will be able to afford this and will make kids that are smarter, adhere more to the beauty standard, are better at sports and will dominate life on earth. All the rest will be shunned. All the rest will be a pariah. We are going more and more to a society as described in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which next to 1984 (a society like that we live in now) is not a manual but a cautionary tale. Don’t emulate it. Learn from it.

Autism and Down’s have a reason to exist. We are people too.

Posting pictures

I love looking at pictures. Cats, dogs, computers, landscapes, anything, except pictures of people.

This is not because I am autistic, it’s because I care deeply about consent. I commented recently on an autism mom facebook page (of which I will inevidably be kicked if I keep raising up issues that irc me as an autistic person), just a sincere question if they asked consent of their kids.

One mom replied that she didn’t have to because he was 3. To be fair, I would never post pictures of my kids online, here’s why:

You never know what happens with them. I have read articles about some people that use pictures of others people’s kids and use them to roleplay as if these were there own. I think this is insanely creepy.

Or (to be blunt, trigger warning for seriously bad stuff ahead): What if you post a picture of your kid in a bathing suit and some pedophile decides to jerk off on it?

I think this is really saddening, but a fact of the internet.

I don’t want my kids to have this. Or in the future (everything you post on the internet stays on the internet): you post a picture, with their name and all, and in 18 years your kids future boss decides to google him and sees all these embarrassing things you did as a toddler? Or as a teenager?

I have the luck that I grew up in an age where internet wasn’t a thing. I only got on the internet when I was 12 (I wasted the first 12 years of my life). But in high school they warned us about this: to not post anything only without thinking about it, so I would like to pass this on as well.

Don’t post anything about your kid online, autistic or not, without their permission, and really think about the future of the picture you post. Where is it going to end up after you post it. You are literally not in control what will happen with that picture, so watch out what you post.

Not only your kid is autistic

It might surprise you, as a parent, but not only your kid is autistic.

This might be obvious, but a lot of parents use the rethoric “you ar not like my child”.

Obviously I am not like your child, but we do have similarities.

Your child is probably being bullied, like I was.

Your kid probably feels like the weird one out.

Your kid probably has little to no friends.

I think the same as your child. My brain operates in similar ways, so I understand your kid perfectly, and I know what he/she is going through.

Everything your write about your kid doesn’t affect only your kid. It might not affect your kid now, but it might affect him/her in the future. A future you can’t predict yet, but it will inevidable happen.

Also: don’t project your bad feelings about autism onto your kid. There is no cure. Stop looking for one. The only cure that there is for autism is deeply, deeply invasive: You will have to alter his/her brain or kill him/her.

Eugenics is not good. Talking about autism as if it is bad, is not good. You not only affect your kid with this, you affect a whole community of it. We are already disadvantaged enough. We are a vulnerable group.

Telling the world your kid was vaccine-damaged or that he/she got autism after having theyre vaccines is not only damaging to them, but to your whole community. It tells a narrative that has been going on for far to long, and frankly it must stop. It has been proven time and time again that vaccines do not cause autism.

Please, just love your kid. Your kid needs you. He/She is going to grow up in a marvelous person despite of being autistic. Come take a look into the autistic community and notice how wonderful we can be, how awesome and creative we are.

#Boycotttosiri

I have had an account on Twitter for a while, but have now been using it to communicate about “For Siri” with other autistic advocates, and here will be an update on the whole controversy.

If you have been living under a rock, or don’t know what I am talking about, here’s the whole thing in a nutshell.

Judith Newman has written a book “To siri with love” about her son Gus, without his consent. I could look beyond the no consent thing, if it was a loving tribute to her autistic son, but it isn’t. It’s an ableistic book (as you can see from my analysis here.)

Amythest Schaber, the creator of the “Ask an autistic” video series and autistic activist, has been referenced in this book  as a “manic pixie dream girl”. It was pointed out to Amythest and they tweeted the author, whom dismissed the critic and gave a fauxpology. This is when Amythest decided to start the #Boycottosiri. they retweeted my analysis (of which I am very greatful) and they later made a video about the boycott.

First when autistic critics started tweeting Newman about the book, she told us that we took content out of context and had to read the book. Later when autistics started to read the book and disect it (me included) she later told in an interview that the book wasn’t intended for an autistic audience.

So basically, she used “autism” and her son, as a prop  to sell more books, as autism itself is a hot topic at the moment. So she not only abused her son, but she used him as a gimmick.

Off course, autistics started to go against it, but it’s been and still is (as the fight isn’t over) an uphill struggle. Positive reviews of the book pour in on Amazon.

My girlfriend is also reading the book, and is going to review it in Dutch.

My opinion of this book is as follows (if you didn’t get it out of the analysis): Everybody who likes this book and endorses it, it basically anti-autistic and hates us. They love the parent-narrative of the book, but hate autistics as we are portrayed in the book as something negative and unlovable. I have tried to go into the book with an objective mind, but couldn’t even get past the intro without having to supress the feeling of throwing the book accross the room. To be honest, I had to take frequent breaks during reading, and read a lot of passages to my girlfriend to get her opinion, and she concurred with my point of view: this book is awful.

Open letters and other commentaries are appearing more and more. Here is a great example by Autisticzebra (To Judith with love…or maybe not (title for future reference in case the link is broken).

Also here is a great one on crippledschollar.com aptly titled: Dear Judith, I’m writing this for you, because you didn’t write for me.

an excerpt of the many positive reviews on Amazon show what is wrong with acceptance in America and the world: “Judith seamlessly weaves in solid facts enough to make me feel well informed about many facets of “the fastest growing developmental disability in the world,” one that affects not only my friend Gus but a good and ever-increasing chunk of our fellow U.S. and world citizens.

I want to live in a world where the Guses among us are understood and appreciated for who they are, and are accordingly well cared for. This book is an entertaining gateway toward helping create that world. I loved it.”

And how little is known about our world. We are not understood or appreciated, not even by our own parents (in the case of Gus). And if this book makes you feel well-informed, you need other books. Desperately.

On amazon there are 68 procent of good reviews are 5 star reviews.  (on 128 reviews currently), which is a sharp contrast to the reviews on goodreads: 694 ratings , 26 percent are 5 star, while 33 percent are 1 star.

I don’t get why so many people have read that book and didn’t pick up on the abuse and blatant ableism in it.

I tried to contact Judith and ask her a few questions but as soon as she knew I was autistic, she blocked off the conversation, which I think is sad. I honestly only wanted to ask her a few questions like “what is your stance now, after boycottosiri”. Or “have you learned anything from our comments?” But to no avail.

The message that accompanies most of the outcry over this is that autistics are fed up with being talked over or being talked for. We can honestly to God (or whatever fictional deity you prefer) say that we are capable of writing. Even your non-verbal brethren can write better about their life than any allistic (non-autism muggle) can. We speak for all autistics, not just us. We also speak for your child, so he may have a better future.

Bullying

Edit: I wrote this before I knew he threw racist slurs at a black kid.

My girlfriend pointed out a video to me from Keaton Jones and how he, through his tears, tells his story of how he is bullied and even tries to give words of council to others that are bullied.

I must tell you that I haven’t watched the video, as it will only make me angry and surface old memories of my own bullies and things they did to me.

What I don’t get is why doesn’t anyone in the school do something about it? They must see it. If the acts of bullying are so blatant as the boy says, then they must be noticed. The aftermath must be noticed. It’s not that a boy is going to spill milk over himself on purpose or that bread magically appears around where he sits, or that his clothes come pre-stuffed with pieces of ham.

Bullies, in my own experience, bully those weaker than themselves, to feel superior, to feel that they are better. To be accepted by their peers, by excluding other people that are not like them.

They have been saying that bullying will be punished and there will be done something about it, but why is it still being done today. Why do they have to single out somebody whom is different by appearance and show them that they are seemingly superior.

It can be harsch. Being bullied is never fun. It makes you tougher though. I have seen and experienced most tactics, and I can predict when they will happen and in what form, or recognize the tactics for what they are: weakness. In the recent “to siri” posts by the author she noticed that she was weak against us, autistics, and she said that we don’t get the humour because we are autistic. I watch standup comedians and I now when something is funny, her book was not. It was also a form of bullying but by a mom towards her own child.

Bullying should always be punished, as it is a form of psychological torture, and to me, should be punished very, very severely.

So, you don’t like big pharma?

So, you don’t like big pharma?

I have read lot’s of comments made by anti-vaxxers and the things they believe and how moronic they really are.

I can offer a simple question to them. Do you own gold? Otherwise you keep supporting big banks, or do you trade everything? Do you grow your own food, free of pesticides and conserving products? Do you still keep your food sterilized? Otherwise you support big gmo’s that put dangerous chemicals and dangerous substances like to much salt and sugar that actually kill you in your food.

Do you drive a bike? Otherwise you support big oil, whom profit from killing the earth by using dangerous oils and gasses with which you propel your car, heat your home, power your appliances.

you catch my drift. You know how moronic you sound by condemning big pharma, but you keep using all the others as if only big pharma is evil. As if only big pharma kills. As if only big pharma brings out evil products.

As if autism wasn’t a thing before big pharma or the diagnose even exhisted. Gravity exhisted before Newton’s law. The big bang happened before the big bang theory was written. Evolution happened before Darwin wrote about it.

Some of you believe autistics are only a recent thing, that autistics didn’t exist before 20 years ago. I’m 30. My dad, whom was autistic as well, was 62 when he died. My grandmother was from 1908. The first autistics diagnosed by kanner are now in their 80’s or 90’s. Autism existed before this, millenia before our time now, probably.

so, you see, that your beliefs are not true and your logic is questionable. Try talking, and really listening to autistics. As to little neurotypical people really do. Really listening, not superficial. Try to step into our shoes, try to see how we became the people we are today.

But…

I love linguistics. I love the usage of words, especially to win debates or discussions, and I absolutely love to read the word but.

the word “but” has a very fun usage, whatever you say before but gets automatically deleted from the discussion because of what you say after but. Maybe you have read Some of those:

  • I am not a Trump supporter but…
  • you might be autistic but…
  • I respect your opinion but…
  • i’m not a racist but…

See what happens? Automatically you are more drawn to what comes after the but, because in your mind, what came before but doesn’t matter anymore, because the thing you need to focus on, is after the but. They can say the most racist thing in the world and still claim they aren’t racist because they said so before the but.

It’s very dangerous to discuss things with frequent users of but… but it’s so Damn fun.

Good question

Good question indeed.

“If there was no money, and everything depended on your moral standards, the way you behaved, and the way you treated people, how would you be doing in life?” – Tupac Shakur.

I can’t name you one song by Tupac, but I know that he was an intelligent man, based on this quote alone (if he really has asked that, you never know with quotes you find on the internet).

In all honesty, I seriously can’t answer that question. I have no regard for money anyways. Money to me is worth nothing. If I ask you something and you don’t do it, when I have done many, many things for you, that says more about you, than let’s say you owed me 10 euro and you don’t pay. I really don’t care about money. I have no problem in gifting someone 2 euro, but I won’t gift anyone a part of my time. I won’t do stuff for you, if I don’t like you. No fucking way. I have no problem with gifting a person I don’t like with a small sum of money. Although… probably isn’t entirely true either, there will be exceptions, that if I had commenters, people would ask me about. I can’t say, but the fact still remains that I don’t gift my time if I don’t like you. I won’t help you move, I won’t help you wash the dishes, I won’t even come to your house or do stuff together. I will decline flat out, if I don’t like you. But I can’t say what people would say about me, or how they will treat me if there was no money anymore and society only regarded behaviour as a measurement of richness.

Maybe one of the reasons I can’t answer is because I think it’s very pretentious to say things about yourself, without somebody else having said it first. People have told me before that I was intelligent in their eyes, so I happily pin that on. People have called me arrogant as well, I have that in my pocket. People have called me many things, not nice things. I was bullied, but mostly because I wasn’t financially well off, and I was easy to pick on. Weird world.

What if the Roman empire never existed?

what if the Roman empire never existed?

If you look at society today, it is still evident that there is a lot of influence due to the Roman empire. Bread and games is still big, to give the masses something to do, think and talk about.

Philosophers are still viewed as a folk on their own. They still give their views about the world, but aren’t really consulted, nor is their wisdom much followed.

Government is something the general population still hasn’t much to do with. There is a democracy now, although, they make it seem like there is one, but there is actually still a system much like the Roman Empire in place. We, the general public, are to be governed, not to govern ourselves. We are rarely consulted on big decisions, which still impact us, but we have no impact upon.

There are still gladiators in things like the WWE (although fake), the MMA (real) and boxing and other fighting sports. They are looked at like champions, like people to advertise with, like all sports people actually.

There are still big malls, were people buy useless shit, to impress their fellow humans.

The faces on our coins, was a roman idea as well. Like our law is still inspired by the Roman system.

If there was no Roman empire, our society as a whole, would look very, very different. Our cities here in Europe as well as America (actually the whole western civilisation) is still based on Roman empire.

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