Archive for May, 2009

Simon Baron-Cohen

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

I’m a newcomer in that world of people seeking to understand autism. About eleven years ago I tripped into it while exploring the possible repercussions of a theory of human evolution that presupposed we evolved from matrifocal social structures. The theory predicted a group of people with large brains and difficulty speaking. Ever since I’ve been exploring the connections between this alternative theory of evolution and conditions characterized by the possible emergence of features of ancient matrifocal aboriginal societies.

I continue to be astonished by the work of Simon Baron-Cohen. It’s not just his studies that are superb. As an advocate for the autistic, he reveals a deep respect, almost reverence for those whose lives are effected by the condition. It seems rare that a single academic reveals intelligence, compassion and common sense. Jane Goodall and her work comes to mind.

Over and over I read about practitioners and studies that forget that we are the middle of a mystery. Fear and ego seem to drive no small part of the discussion regarding autism and Aspergers. Baron-Cohen’s contribution offers calm.

Aboriginal Insights Regarding Autism

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

In the last few days a number of articles and blog postings have been discussing a recent study that provides gene support for why more boys than girls get autism. There are a number of studies being conducted that focus on a genetic cause.

From my perspective, genes are part of the equation of what causes autism. Still, exploring autism’s evolutionary origins seems more on target. At some level there is no difference between the two. The question is which research path offers the most useful interventions.

I posted a piece today titled, Aboriginal Primary Process and Contemporary Autism. The short essay suggests that the Freudian concept of primary process, applied to particular features of aboriginal matrifocal societies, might provide us some understanding of how autism comes about in modern society. There may be a connection. The connection has to do with understanding how society evolves.

Investigating the neurological and hormonal similarities between matrifocal aboriginals and families of autistics would be a place to consider conducting an exploration.

Writing, Gesture and Speech

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I just noted an article about bad handwriting with autistic spectrum kids. My father is ambidextrous and has terrible hand writing. My handwriting was always the worst thing I got grades in….

…unless I drew my words. If I wrote while thinking I was drawing, my handwriting comes out unique and pretty. In addition, I could write almost as well with my left hand if I was also “drawing” the letters rather than writing them.

I’m not sure what this means as regards autistic spectrum, but perhaps a shift to visual from symbolic provides leverage as regards communication. This may have something to do why gesture is easier and faster to pick up than speech. Then there is the theory that gesture preceded speech, which seems very possible to me.

Revenge of the Nerd

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

I noticed a piece appearing yesterday, Autism in California increases twelvefold.

In this short essay I described hypothetical repercussion of a resurgence of matrifocal values. Males formerly shut out of the procreation pool, those with Asperger tendencies and an affiliation with compulsive pattern replication and non conventional social skills become highly valued in a world where computer programming is a highly desired talent and a macho high testosterone mating strategy becomes less important than a man that won’t inhibit a woman’s ambitions.

California seems a window into the future, not unlike Scandinavia. 1960’s waves of hippiedom suggesting that the laid back male was an acceptable mate has evolved into the Sillicon Valley unconventional at-home-with-the-abstract male working overtime to achieve material success.

A question is whether the evident increase in autism in California is a suggestion of things to come across the country.

Short Essays


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