Welp.

I can't speak for the rest of them, but this host kid is pretty much exactly what I would have been like on camera at that age, except that I'm a redhead and I have an American accent. It's pretty much how I am on camera now, for that matter -- I'm not easily intimidated by the whole omg, people are watching me! thing because I miss or am just unaffected by all the cues that apparently indicate to other people that they should be terrified of faceless mass-judgement. If she's getting an autism spectrum diagnosis on the basis that bright lights and scratchy clothing tags suck, some words are slimy, and the inside of her head is more interesting than her classmates, then 1) of course I'm going to test out as being on the fucking spectrum, and 2) I take back anything I ever said about psychiatry having made progress in the past twenty-five years.

There is nothing wrong with this kid, and there is nothing going to go wrong for this kid that could't be fixed by other people not expecting her to be someone else.

Also, if this is what everyone's pathologizing now, I think that pretty much explains the "autism epidemic". This isn't a medical problem, it's a goddamn personality type. Jesus fucking H. Christ. What the hell is the matter with people? I now fully understand the urge to sit on the bed and thunk your head into the wall repeatedly until things like this cease to bother you. It's like the time I had a cracked molar and discovered that Vicodin doesn't work on me, and it actually crossed my mind that whacking my head on the floor until I passed out might be a reasonable alternative. I didn't do it, but only because I know enough about pharmacology to get creative with OTC cold medication.

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  1. I feel like this, too, with the sudden deluge of ADD/ADHD diagnoses among kids. I think a lot of that is related to energy levels and not being okay with sitting still for 8 hours a day in class that causes people to act out (who wouldn't?). Not to say nobody legitimately has these things, but it's disturbing that our society feels like we need to medicate anything that's not neurotypical. Especially in the case of autism, if the kid is perfectly happy inside their own head, let them fucking be. It's the height of arrogance to just unilaterally decide to change someone's MIND just because it doesn't seem the same as yours. WTF. I get insanely pissed about this one in particular; our minds are primarily what set us apart as unique individuals. Trying to change that is tantamount to altering the person. Which should be the fucking last resort ever once all else has failed.
    Not to say there's no basis for intervention when that is necessary. But I feel a lot of times the bar for that is set extremely low.

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