Friday, June 25, 2010

Aspirations on the Autism Puzzle

Jerod Smalley of the Columbus NBC affiliate station interviewed some people from Aspirations, including my friends Melanie Yergeau, Patrick Meehan (who served with me on the Autism conference panel on Wednesday) and Justin Rooney, for his Autism Puzzle news segment.

I particularly recommend the discussion about humor at the end and Justin's comment about his admiration for Richard Pryor for using humor precisely in the face of all the bad in one's life. Humor plays a major role in my life as a defense mechanism. I find that I take life so seriously that if I did not laugh I would be crushed by it.

Rather than being incapable of humor, I suspect that Asperger people have a special relationship to humor in that they have a foundational narrative of humor built right into them. Take a rational person and force them to confront an absurd situation. He can continue to insist on reason, futilely beat his head into a wall and become the object of the joke or he can become the initiator of the joke as he uses his reason to face down absurdity, expose it and even to embrace it to some degree. This is one of the most basic comedic narratives, but it is also a summary of what life every day is with Asperger syndrome and the challenges that come with it.


1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

Just wanted to make a couple of comments on the video and your blog.

The video first: I really liked Ash, Katrina and the person who had the nickname for the Three Stooges.

And the bit where people put up their hands "Who's a nerd" and "Who has called you a nerd?".

And the bit where somebody mentioned stand-up comedy.

There's an interesting range of jobs. I remembered the Industry and Hospitals ones.

It made me want to watch the first two. I liked the beginning with the bowling alley.

And it is so not true about laughing less.

Want to know why (I feel so strongly about it)?

Well, it all started in 1993.

There was a "Loveable Local" who was covered.

Her son, T, there are a lot of things I remember about him. For example: that he couldn't be taken to picnics or holidays.

That he used Compic (which is another picture exchange communication system).

And especially his "inappropriate laughter".

Now this was a time when I was finding my own sense of humour, and what it meant to have a sense of humour.

I felt ashamed and I did not laugh so much. This happened for about 8 years.