(Author’s note: Sorry for this if you’ve read this before, but after writing my latest blog post, I published it and erased this post by mistake… I repost the lost post as a mea culpa)
One of the things I like a lot of in life are game shows, specifically CBS’ juggernaut The Price is Right, primarily for the fact that, no matter the person, with a little bit of luck, persistence and strategy, a person’s life could change forever, look at Michael Larson, Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, or Eddie Timanus, with thier appearances, they all changed the rules, broke banks and (in one case) shattered glass ceilings. Oh, how I wish that life could be that kind, you see, as a Spectrumite, life can be less than ideal but, like Card Sharks, all you can do is try to work with the cards you have and make the best of the best or the worst.
One of the most daunting challenges Spectrumites face is the elusive master key for progress in the neurotypical world: communication. For Neurotypicals, what seems natural and easy for them when it comes to communication seems like having a map for a maze and being well equipped for whatever comes their way. For Spectrumites, there are times where a maze can feel like a cavern, one where you can never tell where you started or if you can stop, with no map, no light and feeling like you’re ill-equipped for the journey.
Communication is so invaluable for interacting with others, as friends or as potential co-workers, but it’s also a balancing act of talking too much or not talking enough, For the longest time at my job, one former co-worker remarked that, because of my robotic tone, I should stand in the doors and simply greet others, all within earshot of me. At the time, I held my tongue but, even as I wanted to tell him the challenges I faced, how far I had come to communicate at all. A recent post on Facebook told me what I wanted to say: “Mild autism means you see my autism lightly, but not the battles, the lessons that got me here today.” Wise words, I think…
Another aspect where communication is key is in making friends, without open and honest communication with each other, friendship can fail to grow in what it can become. Think of it like this: if a common interest is the seed that brings two people together, communication is how both people nuture it and help it grow. A personal example is how a friend of mine and I are fans of the Piano Man himself: Billy Joel, the fact that we were both Spectrumites was the seed to bring us together as was our similiar taste in music, but without communication, we would never be the close friends we are today. In fact, I’ve felt that lack of clear communication can over time lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
Communication is an elusive master key, I’ll admit, for us Spectrumites, but without the support, understanding and kindness of others, then how can we grow as people, as a society and help us all improve? Indeed, without it, we’d never learn how to….