Skip to main content

Controlling the Future

One of the common traits between the autistic people and the "gifted" people I meet is a desire to control their futures. These people generally dislike feeling there is no control, no structure to the future. Structure seems to be an important aspect of their lives, even if from the outside some talented people seem disorganized.

I like to know what is going to happen a month, six months, or a year from now. Ideally, I'd have a plan for several years into the future. Therefore, it is interesting that I am not alone in this desire.

My short-term future seems to be planned, at least through the end of the year. My calendar and to-do list are up-to-date with teaching duties, research projects, freelance projects, and my creative writing. It will be a busy second half to 2012. But, at least I know what is supposed to be accomplished.

But, after December, things get all vague and blurry.

Because I don't know what is ahead, I get anxious. What will my job be a year from now? Will I be teaching and researching somewhere? Will I be working in private industry? Will I be writing and editing full-time? How will I be contributing to the household?

Some of my friends are able to relax and tolerate uncertainty, but I'd rather have a clear plan. It would be nice to be able to relax, just "go with the flow" and enjoy life, but I worry about the details.


Popular posts from this blog

Autism, Asperger's, and IQ

"Aren't people with Asperger's more likely to be geniuses? Isn't genius related to autism?"

A university student asked this in a course I am teaching. The class discussion was covering neurological differences, free will, and the nature versus nurture debate. The textbook for the course includes sidebars on the brain and behavior throughout chapters on ethics and morality. This student was asking a question reflecting media portrayals of autism spectrum disorders, social skills difficulties, and genius.

I did not address this question from a personal perspective in class, but I have when speaking to groups of parents, educators, and caregivers. Some of the reasons these questions arise, as mentioned above, are media portrayals and news coverage of autism. Examples include:
Television shows with gifted characters either identified with or assumed to have autistic traits: Alphas, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Rizzoli and Isles, Touch, and others. Some would include She…

Listen… and Help Others Hear

We lack diversity in the autism community.

Think about what you see, online and in the media. I see upper-middle class parents, able to afford iPads and tutors and official diagnoses. I see parents who have the resources to fight for IEPs and physical accommodations.

I see self-advocacy leadership that has been fortunate (and hard working, certainly) to attend universities, travel the nation (or even internationally), and have forums that reach thousands.

What I don't see? Most of our actual community. The real community that represents autism's downsides. The marginalized communities, ignored and excluded from our boards, our commissions, our business networks.

How did my lower-income parents, without college educations, give me a chance to be more? How did they fight the odds? They did, and now I am in a position of privilege. But I don't seem to be making much of a difference.

Demand that your charities seek out the broadest possible array of advisers and board members.…

Life Updates: The MFA Sprint

Life is okay, if more than a little hectic at the end of this first month.

With one month down, I'm 11 months away from my MFA in Film and Digital Technology. Though things might happen and things do go wrong, so far I'm on schedule and things are going well —— though I'm exhausted and working harder than I did for any other degree. Because the MFA requires projects every week, this isn't as easy to schedule as writing. Even researching a paper can be done from the comfort of home, at any hour.

You cannot make movies by yourself, at any time of day. It doesn't work that way. Filming takes time, and often requires a team of people. It's not comparable to working alone on a degree in writing or rhetoric.

The team-based nature of film is exhausting for me, but I enjoy the results. I also like the practical nature of the skills being taught. You either learn how to adjust ISO, f/Stop, shutter speed, and other variables or you don't. You can have theories …