Breath & Shadow
Winter 2020 - Vol. 17, Issue 1
"Autism on the Rise"
Autism is on the rise. It used to be very rare, then it became as common as one in eighty-eight. People have theorized why it's growing. I have my own theory.
First, let me explain what autism is. Autism, for those of you who don't know, is a form of developmental disability, characterized by an inability to deal with other human beings. It's usually associated with intellectual limitations, but there's a subset of autistics that often have superior intelligence. We are called Aspies, short for Asperger syndrome. We have our limitations, but many of us think it's worth it and value our condition. We object to those of you NT's (neuro-typicals) who want to cure us. I, myself, wear a shirt saying my autism makes me smarter than you. We also can be rather obsessive over our particular interests. Nobody sweats the details like us, even if it's just a bus schedule.
My theory? I think it's nature taking its course. It's evolution in action! The latest research says autism seems to be caused by two mutations. There are certain companies, such as the one I used to work for, Possibilitees Custom Screen Printers of Staten Island, that have taken advantage of our superior abilities and will only hire those of us with similar special mutations.
Continuing in this vein, I figure it's just a matter of time before the government tries to register and weaponize us and tries to control us. Resisters will be chased by giant robots and men in black.
I think that perhaps I read too many comic books. That's my autistic obsession.
David Rubin was born on Staten Island, New York City, with a little understood malady that came to be known as high functioning autism, though he didn't understand it until he met a psychotherapist at the age of forty. He then did a little research and came up with this essay.