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Autism and Asperger Syndrome

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I'm autistic, at least by the broad definition of autistic writer Temple Grandin in her extraordinary book Thinking in Pictures. But then she cheerfully describes Bill Gates as autistic too... and she may be right. She makes quite a good case that lots of infogeeks, engineers and scientists are sub-clinically autistic--Asperger's and other syndromes aren't always detected.

I'm grateful I was spared the severer consequences of clinical autism. Still... I was a child prodigy who others perceived as deeply strange; am a math savant; can't recognize human faces (I know my friends and relatives only by their voices, gestures and moods); read and understand animal emotions better than human ones; get easily overwhelmed by loud or flickering colors or sounds; can't stop rocking and fidgeting to save my life; feel best alone, and find crawling in cracks or hiding up on rocks very comforting, and often flinch when hugged, and feel as uneasy meeting people's eyes as a wolf would... and just generally have difficulty acting like a human being.

And if this list sounds familiar, maybe you or someone you know is subclinically autistic too.

YEARS LATER: having gone through the DSM-IV criteria, I can now say cheerfully that I'm not "subclinically" autistic except in the sense I rarely saw doctors so I never got diagnosed. But by IV's criteria I'm way over the threshhold, clinically autistic, a pretty severe Aspie--I just use brains to avoid lots of stuff toxic to me. DSM-V chucked out the threshhold anyway...

RELATED TOPICS: Autism Booklist (still embryonic--help expand!) - links page for support groups and sites - see also child prodigies and geniuses - living with ESP - animal people - disabilities and deformities - outcasts and pariahs - orphans, runaways, and throwaway kids - loners - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

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ABREAST OF THE COMPETITION: by Wayan; dreamed 2013/10/9, a dream on appeasing others
A tall busty girl's younger, part-unicorn friend starts developing breasts at last. She makes
boob jokes, mocking her own body to reassure her herdmate she's no competition...
ADORABLE CYBORGS: by Wayan; dreamed 2016/10/5, a dream-poem on inner teamwork
A child dreamer and two different kinds of cyborg must cooperate
to free the hostages imprisoned under San Francisco Bay...
ALAN'S OFFICE: by Wayan, 1992/4/28; , a dream advising a different therapist
I had a chronic illness doctors said was psychosomatic. So I called Alan, a therapist...
I dream I'm in his office. It's a nook in a basement. No windows, no door, no privacy.
I was so desperate I went to him for six months, while he ignored everything I said...
ALTHEA'S MONEY DREAMS: by Althea; 1999/1/22, financial dreams provoked by... financial dreams?
After reading a booklet of dreams about money by Wayan, Althea has four such dreams of her own
challenging family ideas of class, gender, inheritance... and then practical investment advice!...
AUTISTIC THUNDER: by Wayan; 2018/2/12, a predictive shamanic dream
DREAM: a concert of autistic musicians admits my bandmate Mike but locks me out! I summon thunder & quakes till they open up...
AWAKE: I called it metaphor--till it happened. I was sitting silent in our band's recording session and Mike asked me to leave...
THE BARRINGTON BUNNY: by Wayan; 1988/8/30, a world-saving alien-abduction dream
Alien robots kidnap me... and make me the mascot for a college football team.
But my Channel Changer slowly infuses us all with nerdy trust...
BASTARD UNICORN: by Wayan; 2012/6/28, a dream about ambition
Since I'm half-unicorn, my ambition drives me to share power and help the whole
herd--that's how unicorns rise. But among human politicians...
BIKE OVER THE BELL CURVE: by Wayan; 2018/9/25; a surreal advisory dream
I'm biking in a construction zone behind a car with a rounded top like a VW Beetle
but with a flared skirt like a bell. It stops. I brake but go right up that fringe over the roof...
BIRD-SENSE: by Wayan; 2013/7/20; Shakespeare improv provokes a dream of having seven senses
I dream I have sixth and seventh senses--and wake to realize I do! Just denied them, explained them away...
BURROWCATS ON A HIGHER PLANE: by Wayan; 1991/10/25, a shamanic dream of levels.
By twisting strangely, humans can slip into a higher plane. Ten feet higher!
So unless you climb on the roof, you end up in the tunnels of the burrowcats...
THE BUTTON IN LOVE: by Wayan, 2009/10/20, two surreal dreamlets on romantic cluelessness
A glowing sentient autistic button falls in love with a small boy; then I try
to make two friends change orientation and fall in love by singing 'Molly Malone'...
CHIDI AND PONY-MISTRESS: by Wayan, 2019/9/25, a mysterious dream
Ethics professor Chidi from The Good Place, painted purple, tells me he's in love with the Mistress
of the Herd, a mix of Circe, Dr. Moreau & My Little Pony, who radiates spells of love & beauty...
CIDER AND WINE: by Wayan; 1974/10/24, surreal undream Aspie reporting
Our writing class meets in this Victorian home. I turn off my filters and describe what I really see around me...
DEVANGELS: by Wayan, 2017/4/27, a numinous but ambivalent dream
After a hard day in the recording studio, I dream of powerful yet obedient devil-angels;
quiet for now, but I fear they'll decide shamans like me are abominations...
DISTRACTUS: by Wayan, 2004/5/5, a comic sexy diagnostic dream... that baffled me.
Sex in a meadow? A protest march distracts us. But a friend warns me of a disease, Coitus Distractus...
DO YOU LOVE ME, JOHN?: by Wayan; 1991/7/6, a dream on the courage of the shy.
I dream of a future where blondes are a too-cute endangered species. How can they survive? Like this...
EEL GIRLS: by Wayan; 1993/9/14, a tearjerker nightmare.
I learn to fly, but keep it quiet. Yet aliens still find out, and tell me a truth I didn't want to know...
EFFORT VERSUS APTITUDE: by Wayan, 2017/8/23, a dream about... oh, read the title.
I urge a cafe to host a talented Tarot reader with an amazing aura, but the owner says
"Anyone can be psychic with practice." Oh? Can practice make you Einstein, too?
THE ENTWINED CHILD AND MADAM PURR-SAY: by PurplePurplePurple; 2013/7/5, twin poem-dreams
I dream my autistic son, miraculously high-functioning, recites a math-poem to a crowd...
Then I become cartoon cat Madam Purr-Say and chant my own defiant poem at the dream gods...
THE ERTHEDNI: by Wayan, 1977/1/8, three transformation dreams, the last with advice
1: I'm starving in a lush valley; a cult claims all the food, the water, even the air.
2: I'm drowning in a cage but find a corner with water I can breathe--just barely.
3: I'm a merman with a wise friend who hints I need to leave those who starve & drown me...
FALL OF A PRINCE: by Wayan; 2006/11/17, a dream on the morality of predicting.
A time-traveling historian's caught in a moral dilemma: warn an ancient prince
that in her history books he died of a fall? Can you change fate? Should you??
FEATHERWOLF: by Wayan; 2018/9/20, a joyful gender/species-bent flying dreamlet.
A shapeshifting girl lets me try her spell--I become a
wolf-raven-parrot-human blend. Weird, but I love flying...
FIBONACCI: by Wayan; 2011/4/18, a dream-poem with answers
My friends are all computer programs. But then, so am I. But it's not so bad, because...
FLY AWAY HOME: by Wayan; 1996/12/26, a dream of flight and kindness.
I'm an alien castaway, hiding my wings. But Earth feels like home now! If I could fly here, would I stay?
FOAM, FURS, DREAMS: by Wayan; 2012-16, a blog + 170 pics; 43 dreams lead me to sew furry dream sculptures.
Dreams urge me to build furry dream creatures with joints, muscles & bones, then to heal myself by mating with them...
FORESEE ELECTION, BUT BLIND TO SEX: by Wayan; 2012/10/23, a predictive dream only half heeded
On hearing the election results, a girl at Esalen Hot Springs joyfully dances naked
around me. I heed the dream's prediction about the election, but not about...
A GREAT NIGHTMARE, or, The Autistic Dream Lecturer: by Wayan; 1997/1/2, a diagnostic nightmare.
I dream I'm addressing a dream convention, but I'm autistic! I MUST act bizarre, just to function...
HELP, NOT CURE: by Wayan; 1996/12/26, a dream on autism.
Gay angels try to help an autistic woman. Change her past? Only if they pass the Ass-Backward Guardians!
INCREMENTAL HEAVENS: by Wayan; 2016/9/5, a reincarnation-frustration dream, baffling then. Not now.
I keep getting reincarnated in dull heavens where all is blocked by know-nothings. After the 2016 election...
JADE'S EXPERIMENT, or, CLEVER HANS: by Wayan; 1981/4/29, a dream on the costs of unusual senses
I volunteer for a friend's psych test, for her thesis. But my sixth sense skews her data! Does it skew real life too?
LET'S IMPOSE: by Wayan; 1990/7/3. Nondream digital painting.
Engineers! How they do love to impose clean lines on our messy world...
THE MAN WHO MISTOOK...: by Wayan; 1995/9/19, an insane dream.
I'm just an ordinary guy, who beats his son so he'll grow faster, and sees tits on drinking fountains...
A NEVADAN ASS: by Wayan, 2007/5/17, a dream-poem on sabotage in art AND love
DREAM: on a Nevada ranch, I'm a were-horse into mares--when I'm human. And when I'm a stallion?
Why, cowgirls! Always date the wrong species--just to be sure of rejection.
NEXT DAY: I let a class of commercial artists critique my dream-comix. Just to be sure of rejection...
ONE-PERCENTERS: by Wayan; 2014/5/2, a dream on how egalitarianism can drive the gifted crazy
A sociologist exposes the smugness of Britain's 1%, but the writer's denial of any innate differences
can be just as pernicious as elitism...
OTTER NERD FROM TITAN: by Wayan; 2012/4/15 & sequel-dream (2013/2/9), a dream-poem on social skills
A suspicious exobiologist warns me that otter from Titan may not be the amiable, nerdy celebrity it seems. But...
PETER PAN SYNDROME: by Wayan; 1995/1/10, a dream on those books...
I meet Peter Pan grown up: a stark, fey prince in exile. Why do only I see him, and the Lost Children? Oh.
THE POWER OF NON-VISUALIZATION: by Wayan; 2018/4/29, a mystical dream whose teaching worked
I'm listening to a film-talk on Non-Visualization. "Don't wish--don't will--don't visualize.
Just face what you really want, and then don't push..."
PRODIGIES' ODDITIES: by Wayan; 1994/2/2, a confession.
I suspect we child prodigies and geniuses are as unlike the gifted as normal people. So here's a checklist...
THE PRODIGY-ALLERGY LINK: by Wayan; 1994/7/21, a clipping and reactions
Child prodigies may develop allergies due to immunosystem damage from too much testosterone in utero...
PRODIGY SUPPORT: by Wayan; 1994/7/21, a clipping and reactions
News of a child prodigy who was given the support I wasn't, triggers a flood of envy and bitterness...
PUPPY: by Naoki Higashida; March or April 2015, a role-reversal dream
I walk home with a puppy to meet my mum, who addresses the dog by my name
and invites him in, while I head for my doghouse in the garden...
REVERSE MY ARMOR: by Wayan; dreamed 2008/4/14, a dream with bizarre advice I took.
All I usually hide, I strip bare, & vice versa. Like that Playboy cartoon with the stockings & gloves--the Femlin!
Behaviorally, too, I reverse all my habits and judgments. Perverse, self-destructive! But my life still works...
SADDLED WITH AUTISM: by Wayan; 1999/10/1, a dreamtale.
I'm autistic; a TV host encourages me and another autistic kid to have sex on the air...
SAFETY GETS ME HOT: by Wayan; 1997/3/27, a dream on sensitivity.
I'm trapped in a post-apocalypse pulp story! Fun for my readers, but not for me! How to escape?
THE SATURATION DIAL: by Wayan; 2015/11/7, a surreal lucid dream with a control knob!
Night. Two moons. I go lucid! Find a knob adjusting the dream's color saturation.
Dial it up--and find I'm not alone! Ghosts of pure color...
SHOVED OFF A CLIFF: by Wayan; 2017/9/7, a nightmare-warning (I'd asked what to do next).
Atop a sea-cliff, I meet a young couple in love. One look at me and they
push me off! When I see I can't save myself, I try to take them with me...
SHY NO MORE: by Wayan; 2008/8/13. A dream poem, Dreamverse #3
I play the lovers in a teen romance: shy abused boy, insecure girl. But I get tired of the script, and...
SKUNKERPILLAR: by Wayan; 2018/4/7, an advisory dreamlet about metamorphosis
After I (sort of) foil some elf-burglars, a friendly elfwoman shows me
a black caterpillar, then the rare white-striped skunkerpillar...
STOP OBAMA'S ASSASSINATION: by Wayan; 2012/2/10. A dream about politics? Or health?
Two child prodigies fail to stop the killers stalking President Obama, but a geek with a homemade laser...
TELEKINETIC KIDS: by Wayan; 2017/9/8, a warning and exploratory dream
A black separatist commune hides two little girls who are psychokinetic.
They fear I'll expose them. But I've spent my whole life passing too...
TELEPATHY VERSUS AUTISM: by Wayan; 1997/4/19, an utterly dreamlike but waking vignette
A weird identity-confusion at a dance hints I'm simultaneously psychic, autistic, and... stupid.
THE THREATENERS: by Wayan; 1997/4/23, a small psychic dream.
Two gunmen break in, call me by a strange name, and demand I repay a loan I never borrowed...
THROUGH THE WIRES: by Wayan; 2007/9/16, two surreal contrasting dreams
I meet some alien wolves, and see the social scene as they do--pack, status issues. But then...
I cross a pasture & slip thru a barbwire fence, as I explain cows, wires & organic life to an energy-being...
UNGIRDLE THE TREE: by Wayan; dreamed 2018/10/6, a shamanic warning dream
I'm a girl living alone in a forest. I go patrolling after a storm and find a red cable
strangling a tree. Though scared, I climb up and tear it off. But there are more...
UNICORN MENTALITY: by Wayan; dreamed 2008/7/16, a dream of unicorn art spilling over into reality
Dreamworkers gawk at sexy unicorn drawings all over my bed. One friend's part unicorn. The other? I wonder...
Ten years later, having learned I have a rare mutation making me not too human, the dream feels half-predictive...
A VALLEY NEAR HOPE: by Wayan; 1984/10/17-19, an epic dream.
I wander a valley where unicorns love cyborgs but fear giant ants, who love unicorns but
fear cyborgs, who love ants but fear unicorns! And while the Three Tribes squabble, cave-monsters
sculpt them all. I set up peace talks between these four aspects of my tetrahedral soul...
VERITY, TOO?: by Wayan; 2000/11/5, a comic nightmare with good advice--if I avoid Freud!
My painting mentors turn on me! My mom accuses me of hereditary inferiority,
and then my art teacher Verity sits on my head and intones...
WERECAT SYNDROME: by Wayan, 2017/4/23, dream advice on Asperger's. Or masculinity?
Werecat Syndrome runs in my family. Academics assume I'm a savage predator.
Why? All I want to do is rub up against girls and find one who purrs back...
WHITE AND MALE ARE SLURS: by Wayan, 2017/3/8, a dream venting political grievance
Activists rant to a crowd "White males should shut up so we all can speak!" All?
To them, MY issues don't exist--autism, prodigism, second sight... shamanism.
WHY I LIE: by Wayan, 2016/10/7, a dream on privacy-guilt
In a class, asked to share a bit about myself, I lie. Why? Not only are people like me
illegal, my particular story would be seen as impossible...
WILD MAGIC: by Wayan, 2018/1/8, a dream on finding a place
A teacher drafts me into her magic class to shake up her sheltered wizard-wannabes.
My magic's wild, ignoring spells and rules. I don't think I realized how wild...
WINGLESS: by Wayan; 1992/2/21; a dream-poem on flight versus guilt
Wingless, I try hard to fly, arm-flapping wild. And I rise! Flight's in the mind.
But I'm leaving my friend behind! Guilt ties me down--till I see...

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