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.