I recently took the AQ Test (Autism Quotient) and I scored extremely high. This wasn’t so much of a surprise as a confirmation of something that I hadn’t known I was suspecting. I know that Miles and Joseph are both autistic, that Daniel may well be, that my mother is, that my father may be and that my maternal grandfather certainly was. Perhaps because autism presents differently in females than it does in males, I never really put it together that maybe I would be in the spectrum as well.
And why would I be? I thought I was just weird, that I could just see things that other people couldn’t, that I had different values and perspectives. Given my paranormal experiences, it was easy to dismiss anything physiological or neurological based on the influences of other perceptive capacities. But what if my paranormal experiences were part of this autistic experience? What if my geniuses were all related to this neurological condition?
It was an interesting question, but as with so many things, one that I was not subjectively emotionally examining. The scientist brain kicked in, threw out any preconceived notions or projected conclusions, and started clicking all the pieces into place.
I ran my initial mental results past a couple of friends who have known me for years, and the response was, “Wait, you didn’t know you were autistic before now? Hell, we thought you always knew! We sure as hell knew.”
Cue the jaw drop.
It doesn’t feel like the bottom has dropped out of my life, I don’t feel different or endangered or vulnerable. It just feels like a natural answer of indication, not a call to any sort of action for personal “cure” or “treatment”. I’ve done a pretty awesome job so far of managing my life – making my notoriously glorious mistakes, learning from them, not taking them personally, learning more, figuring it out, never feeling like any mistake or triumph defines me – and why would I need to change that? I inadvertently stumbled on how to have a nice solid life, how to “manage” this “condition” without too much trouble.
This does, however, make some of the theories I’ve been toying with a lot more personal. I developed a hypothesis some time ago that autism – especially with its increasing prevalence – may be the next phase of human evolution. When you consider the prophetic suggestions that we’re supposed to move into a world free from ego-driven constructs and contrived social constraints, it makes perfect sense. Autism automatically rejects valuation and rules based on injustice, on a few individuals gaining power or money or whatever over a great number of people, often to that greater number’s detriment. Autism tends to view people in a realm of assessment (Person X contains A, B, C, G, J, and P attributes; Person Z contains B, D, C, F, K, M and O attributes) instead of judgment (Person X is bad, Person Z is good). Isn’t this what we’re supposed to be working towards on the Compassionate Path in the first place?
It also casts my personal relationship style in a more reasonable light, and by that, I mean that it makes sense for me to take part in polyamory without fear of guilt or shame. I don’t feel bad for not feeling guilty (if that makes sense) about not bonding during sex but rather just enjoying the sex for what it is – a great time, an intimate experience, fabulous exercise. Bonds are things that I have to consciously choose, and often, I don’t make that choice at all, only enjoy a person’s company to the best of my ability. If something comes up along the way that makes that choice logical, then I go with it.
In really realizing that this is a distinct probability (a diagnosis of high-functioning autism, taking into account my subjective experience, the results of a well-known test, family history and the observations of people that I trust), I do not feel disabled. In fact, I feel liberated, like I have more information with which to make better decisions in the future. I am free from having to reconcile what I see with what I’m told, I now have permission to trust myself.
Yes… “liberated” is an excellent word to describe how I feel right now.