Beautiful August 8, 2012

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  • Ted Seeber

    There but for the grace of God go I. All of Carly’s symptoms, save one, verbal ability, are a part of my Asperger’s as well. The difference was I could talk- so I was labeled smart and eccentric rather than mentally retarded. That’s the difference between high functioning autism and low functioning autism- THE ONLY DIFFERENCE.

    I wonder if she struggles with her faith in mankind as well? Ok, so I didn’t really hit that until my 20s- it took a long time for it to sink in that other people were not relating to ME as they related to other people, and it took until after my diagnosis at age 30 to understand why that was so; why at least appearing to look other people in the eye was important, why my nervous laughter and constant movement to reduce sensory input put people off. And that created a sort of PTSD in me from years of bullying; the reason I can’t believe in things like capitalism and democracy the way conservatives do, or believe that the government will always do right the way liberals do, is because I simply can’t trust a person I don’t know to deal fairly with me. Why I’m a localvore enthusiast and a distributist has less to do with Pope Leo XIII and a lot more to do with my autism and learning that people can’t be trusted in anonymous situations.

    So many things in this video, the things that Carly writes, could come from my own brain.

    A normal person trapped in a body that does not do what the brain wants it to do; that is me in a nutshell.

    And it is frustrating. Frustrating to hear the symphony orchestra in my head in dolby surround sound but not be able to sing on key. Frustrating when my hearing delay makes me lose track of a conversation. Frustrating when I cannot stay on task the way I’d like. Frustrating when employers don’t understand. Downright scary to think that working in Downtown Portland, I could have a meltdown, somebody could call the cops and I’d be shot and killed for my autistic behavior (it’s happened with other mentally ill people). Frustrating that the only two places in the world I can trust people are inside my own house and in the Catholic Mass- and with the Archdiocese of Portland implementing the 2002 GIRM late, not even being entirely sure about the Mass.

    So yes, I understand Carly. Pray for her and all who are like her- that they will find the obsession that completes them enough to earn a living at it. Because that’s the ONLY way people like us stay out of institutions- by being super competent at something.

  • Michael Jarman

    I am the father of twin boys with autism and the president of a special-needs school for kids on the autism spectrum (80 enrolled; another 130 supported remotely in their public schools). People with autism are people first, with their own talents and abilities. The condition can at times mask those abilities, and as the previous poster suggests adds another level of trial to their lives. Humanity is transcendent. People find ways to cope. Folks with autism should be presumed to be intelligent and capable and be treated as such. Thus, the first rule is to “presume competence.” The second rule is to recognize the trials sometimes posed by the conditions and do not add to them. Thus, the second rule is to “do not harm.” The third rule is to provide assistance if required – a “compassionate accommodation” as a friend of mine on the spectrum characterizes it – but only if you don’t violate the first two rules. My sons are brave, good young men. One will be going to college next year. Humanity is transcendent. Christus vincit.

  • This is illuminating stuff – the post and the comments. Thank you Mark, thank you Ted, and thank you Michael.

  • marika

    check out her blog:

    • Ted Seeber

      Neat blog. I’m going to advertise it to a community I know of that needs to see this.

  • anna lisa

    Wow. That was so moving. What a beautiful father and mother who helped their daughter flower. Love really does conquer all.