“I have my principles and am pedantic, and therefore I will not do it.”
Source: Silberman, Steve. NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (p. 96). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Readwise surfaced this quote from NeuroTribes, which rolled film on a succession of flashbacks of professional regrets, but also on an appreciation of my canary moments.
Autistic man Freestone Wilson suggested in the 1990s that autistic people are functioning as the “miners’ canaries” of civilisation. When the air in the mine is poisoned we do not prevent canaries being born in case they suffer from the poison and upset us: we clean the air or close the mine.
Source: Discussion paper on eugenics and diversity
Autists are like the canary in the coal mine of mainstream society. We are amongst the first who are affected by pathologically hyper-competitive cultures.
Source: What society can learn from autistic culture | Autistic Collaboration
…at the same time, Asperger insisted that the non-compliance of his patients, and their tendency to rebel against authority, was at the heart of what he called “autistic intelligence,” and part of the gift they had to offer society.
Source: THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO AUTISM: On Hans Asperger, the Nazis, and Autism: A Conversation Across Neurologies
And, take my word on this, no one can identify and rebel against an unfair system as efficiently as a kid or adult with ID, except perhaps an autistic person. They know the system is unfair!
Source: PBIS is Broken: How Do We Fix It? – Why Haven’t They Done That Yet?
Some of those pedantic principles were part of an inchoate affinity for structural ideology and reflexive disdain for deficit ideology that I’ve only recently gained the vocabulary and framing for through neurodiversity and disability rights communities.
Imagine that you have a neurodevelopmental disability that gives you some challenges with social skills and possibly the occasional rigid adherence to things like truth and fairness. Chances are good that you’ve been explicitly and implicitly told that you are pedantic, rude, blunt and not considerate enough of others’ points of views for your whole life.
Source: I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder: A Memoir: Kurchak, Sarah: 9781771622462: Amazon.com: Books
6 thoughts on “Principled, Pedantic, Non-compliant Canary”
The autismundcomputer.de has unfortunately gone where websites eventually go. That short paper by Dinah is still available in the wayback machine at https://web.archive.org/web/20120225204818/http://www.autismusundcomputer.de/english/eugenics_and_neurodiversity.en.html
Dinah also now has a website, still very much in construction, at https://productiveirritant.org
Thank you. I updated the link and added productiveirritant.org to my feed reader.
Thank you for posting the link to Sarah Kurchak’s memoir, which looks like it is exactly what I have been looking for. Just bought a copy this minute. I have an autistic soon to be teenager in the house, so trying to prepare for a world I know nothing of.
Great blog too.