Yesterday was Brain Day on the blogs for me, as I read this post from Andrea at A Garden of Nna Mmoy followed by this post from Kristina at AutismVox, which both dealt with neurology and brain function. If you're a regular reader here, you may already know that Kristina is mom to almost-ten-year-old Charlie, who is autistic. Andrea is not an autism blogger, but - for me - her post had as much to do with autism as Kristina's.
I don't think I can summarize either Kristina's writing or Andrea's and do them justice, so please hop on over and read them.
Go ahead. I'll wait.
You're back? You read them?
See what I mean?
When read back-to-back, the two posts raise all kinds of questions for me about the nature of "mindlessness" and the nature of "mindfulness." Are they the same thing viewed through different filters? Or are they different things entirely? And what are their relative values? And by whose standards are those values determined?
I left a fairly lengthy comment on Andrea's post, but as she is not an autism blogger she said she felt ill-equipped to respond to it. I'd love to hear what anyone else thinks about any of these issues.
My comment, in case you didn't scroll down that far when you were reading:
This is a fascinating post for me on a number of levels, but primarily because my son has autism and language is a challenge for him. I wonder about his "internal monologue" - is it as constant as mine? Is it language-driven, as mine is, or is it altogether different? Is his internal monologue more experience-based, more driven by emotion, color, sound? (It seems to me that he is much more attuned to those things and experiences them more acutely than me, at any rate.)
So, then, I wonder - to what extent is Bud experiencing - really, genuinely EXPERIENCING - more than I am, with all my words spilling over and diluting the experience itself?
And then... what does that say about the way we look at and define "disability"?
You wrote: "I have, once or twice, used the opportunity of a long meeting in which I had nothing to contribute or a presentation to enter a mini trance, and then had a question directed at me--and the difficulty of understanding, first of all, that the sounds had meanings, and I was expected to do something with them; and then determining what those meanings were, and what meanings I should be directing back, and how; and the sensation of those words coming from a long way away, as if I were unconnected to them, and the sounds coming out of my mouth were unconnected to me, was odd, though not unpleasant ... Even the feeling of speaking is different, as if one's mouth and tongue and throat are thick. Speaking is effort."
And I wonder: Is this what my son experiences every day?