I have had a lifetime of falling through the cracks. Too smart for public school, too dumb to get a free ride with a more elite educational facility.
I was a child for the era in which measles could kill a kid. Hell, I had schoolmates who thought I had died, the year I caught all the spots. They were greatly disappointed that I was still alive, but that’s not the point of this particular diatribe.
Back in the 70’s, Asperger’s didn’t exist. Even if it did, I didn’t fit all the checkboxes.
The sorrowful, dramatic, and heartbreaking music swells. The man in the white coat looks at his results once again and steels himself to deliver the bad news. “The results are in,” he says. “There can be no doubt. Your child is… a burden.” She screams and cries, the dramatic sting sounds as she collapses against her supportive other.
Someone, somewhere, latched on to the concept that Autistic people are super-good at some things and someone else’s speculation that Autism may be a step up on the so-called evolutionary ladder.
This is one that turns up in the social narrative as well as fictional ones. The autistic boy (And it’s always a boy, as discussed last week) can’t be managed and won’t be managed. Sometimes, he’s a danger to himself and others.
Autism has been the Big Scary since the 70’s, when it became a diagnostic and not merely the subheader “retarded”. I remember that they had an extended PSA about it via Quincy, which just goes to show how long this has been going on.