Does learning come easy?

19 Jan

I am going to take a slightly different slant to this daily post: 

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

Most of us just potter along with education, with life, with jobs, and just get on with it. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing unusual. 

‘People often ask me “What is it like to be autistic?” This is quite a confusing question as it is very open and does not get to the point of what the person is trying to ask. Too often I find that what they really mean is the rhetorical question “ Isn’t
 it really awful for you that you’re autistic and really great for me that I’m not?” but for the people who are actually curious I have a few answers.

learning image

Imagine you’re at a party in a really crowded club. The music is really loud and everyone’s shouting to be heard over it. Lights flash on and off and they’re really bright. Now imagine a fire alarm goes off and everyone has to leave and quickly. But you discover the hard way that whenever anyone touches you a small electric shock goes through you. The lights are still flashing and no one’s turned off the music and all the people are crushing together around you meaning your skin feels like it might burn. People are shouting the directions to get out of the club but even if you can hear them they are talking far too fast for you to understand and you’re not sure they’re even speaking your language… Does that sound like a very unpleasant situation?

Well, being autistic isn’t like that all the time but it can get like that – except the loud music and fire alarm might be just children playing or the sound of rain against the window, the bright lights just fluorescent lighting or too much eye contact, the electric shocks might be caused by a gentle touch and the too-fast-different-language talking might be someone talking at a speed most people understand. My personal experience of being autistic is that some sensory experiences hurt, some of them always do, others only sometimes. And it adds up, the lights on the own might be okay but a loud noise might mean I need to leave the room.

When “curing” autism means something different from “making autistic people look like everyone else no matter the cost” I might rethink my position on a cure. But for now I am autistic and I flap my arms and chew things and put my hands on my ears when things get loud. I repeat things I’ve said, I fidget and can’t sit still unless I’m deeply engrossed in what I’m doing, I don’t always understand what’s said to me and I don’t always say quite what I meant to. I can’t always talk and am learning sign language just to be able to keep communicating with my girlfriend when I can’t talk. I know lots about lots of things (though not so much about stamps actually) and I get on with my life. I’m autistic, I’m happy and I don’t want a cure.’

This was taken from this article in Autism Speaking daily and it is definitely worth a read. 

Imagine as well as learning all the things you learn in school, you also have to physically learn all the other social, unspoken cues, actions, body language, you name it, everything. Imagine NOTHING comes naturally to you and NOTHING makes sense. 

Now tell me that you find learning difficult?


One Response to “Does learning come easy?”

  1. cftc10 January 20, 2013 at 04:00 #

    Reblogged this on cftc10.

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