Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Conformity and Sympathy.

I thought this week’s reading in Thinking in Pictures was hard to digest but beneficial. However, it was interesting to read about autism from someone who actually had it and had to adjust to her society. It was interesting to read about how she didn’t even know she was different until much later. It’s true that her book is really repetitive, but at the same time, I enjoyed reading the parts about the way she thought and how she was such a visual thinking. I can’t imagine being able to store images and videos in my brain and being construct from that knowledge.

“From as far back as I can remember, I always hated to be hugged. I wanted to experience the good feeling of being hugged but it was just too overwhelming.”

What is it like to be different? Everybody talks about how they think they don’t fit in, but here is a girl that really doesn’t fit in. Temple doesn’t understand our society and she doesn’t think the way we do. I understand how it would be very difficult to grow up in a society that is so focused on conformity. Our society is all about fitting in with the norm, following what is “popular” and the “trend.” Our society influences everybody using media and the temptation of materialism. So what would it be like if you didn’t even understand what our society is about? What is it like to be such an outsider? I sympathize people who have psychiatric problems because they are so far away from our reality. The quote above shows an example of how Temple doesn’t understand what we do and how we show affection. She may understand the comfort of touch but she has to use an artificial machine to get this feeling. I feel like Temple understands that she doesn’t understand and she understands that she is not the same. It is such a great ability to be able to look at your situation from the outside and realize that you are different. Even Lori thought that she was normal after a while with the voices but Temple understood that she was different.

People who are different and people who have psychiatric problems are left to pave their own way in a world that doesn’t know understand how to accept them. It’s great that in both books, Lori and Temple found support systems and found their way in the world but not everyone can do what they did. They found their way, they found what works for them and they’ve adjusted. What happens to the people who cannot adjust? What happens to the people who do not find their way in this world? Temple wrote this book with the purpose of explaining to the world what autism is and how people with autism feel. That is what I appreciate most about the book. By reading parts this memoir. I’ve been able to understand more about autistic people. Like schizophrenia, I have never studied this disorder in depth and this psychology class has enabled me to do so.

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights on this subject. As you inferred, this isn’t just an issue surrounding autism but can be applied in so many other areas as well.

I can’t imagine living with such a condition where the mind is locked up and held hostage. The wiring in the brain has been short circuited and the brain doesn’t work the same as yours or mine.

Yours is not the only comment I‘ve read about the repetitiveness. A good editor might have been able to fix that so it makes me wonder what was going on there.