Depending on old information

I spent the winter of 1978 sleeping. Not the whole winter. Just big parts of 75 minutes in the afternoon in Blanchard Hall. I was in class.

I took Child and Adolescent Psychology because I thought I needed a psych course and it sounded more interesting (and less invasive) than General Psychology. I think Jean Rupp was the professor. I think the class was on third floor Blanchard. I’m not sure because I slept in class, sitting in the back, next to the warm, sleep-inducing heating pipe.

I remember little. I do remember writing a paper on autism, a paper in which I was intrigued by the effects of autism, a sense of being overwhelmed by sensory input. Or that’s what I think I remember from the paper about autism.

I’m dragging you down this potholed lane of my memory to make a confession.

Based on that paper in college, the content of which I little remember, from a class I little remember, I act as if I understand autism. I smile and nod sympathetically when it is mentioned, as if I know that 1 in 110 children is affected by autism. But I am basing my pretended awareness on having looked at the subject for an assignment more than 30 years ago.

I’m guessing that we do that a lot. We think we understand something based on a brief experience years ago. Often, we don’t go beyond that. This time I want to.  April is Autism Awareness month. I’m going to increase my awareness. If you keep coming here, you are too.

Starting next week.


6 responses to “Depending on old information

  1. We saw an excellent movie on Temple Grandin, a lady who has autism – and a PhD.

    It was on some cable TV channel – we don’t have cable, so we watched it at my brother’s – he taped it. But it will be available via Netflix before too long.

    HIGHLY recommended.

    The biggest lesson I learned it how we ALL have disabilities. Autism is just one.

  2. Thanks Paul, i’ve heard her mentioned in the past few days, in some reading I’ve been doing. I’ll watch for it.

  3. Thanks for being honest. I know enough to be dangerous, but I’ll join you in your month of research and awareness.

    My son has autistic tendencies and is mentally and physically handicapped. While autism is one teeny part of all his issues, maybe better understanding that will help open more doors for him.


  4. Hi Angie.

    I’m just starting to read and converse and start learning. But one thing I’m discovering is that lots of parents are struggling not just to understand what to do as parents but how to face the rest of us who don’t understand that autism isn’t “just misbehaving” and “bad parenting.”

    I’ll look forward to your insights.


  5. Pingback: What I think I know about autism. « Levite Chronicles

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