And Now for Something Completely Different

Just as Temple Grandin’s view of autism, in her book, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, doesn’t speak to every person on the spectrum, neither does this blog speak to everyone. I write from my own experience as an 80-year-old woman, self-identified as high-functioning Asperger’s in my late 60s, and from what I’ve learned over the years, both before and after. Much of the learning has been about intellectual development and creativity, and that is what will guide this blog.

There’s a quote from author Toni Morrison that can apply to blogging as well as to writing books: If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. This is the blog I’ve wanted to read, but no one has written, so it’s time to write it myself.

Disorderly Minds isn’t a personal confession blog, nor is it a guide to living on the autistic spectrum. It will focus on the intellectual and analytical aspects of Asperger’s, with particular attention to imagination and creativity. For comic relief, it will also wander every so often into the stranger aspects of the neurotypical world, including the daily news.

What is it going to be about? Here are some of the ideas I’ve jotted down so far:

  • Aspie views of the world around us, how it functions, why people behave as they do
  • How the outsider view affects mental development, from early childhood through adulthood
  • If you are a writer, or want to be one, how the outsider view and a differently wired mind affect creativity
How undiagnosed Asperger’s affects intellectual development, creativity
  • Growing in wrong directions under “helpful” hands — or no hands
Is Asperger’s a basis for unusually original writing?
  • The influence of temperament — introversion/extraversion
  • Cognitive complexity
  • Identifying and learning to use the hidden gifts

Disorderly Minds will reflect my exploration of these topics, so I may change my mind about some of them over time, or pick up topics I’ve already discussed and look at them from another angle. I’ll be looking at what the “experts” have to say about Asperger’s functioning, and what aspies themselves have to say. If there is a central theme here, it is to help intellectually talented aspies do an end run around the concept of disabilities and learn how to use their differences creatively.


5 thoughts on “And Now for Something Completely Different

  1. privatepersonblog

    Am pleased to have landed here on your blog and like the topics you’ve proposed … autism is a huge experience and as you say it really is beyond description, scientific analysis or anecdote alone to give it expression. Expression is, for me at least, at the core of my being…. avenues through which I can express aspects of my existential reality and also recognition of those avenues that deny me that opportunity for various reasons, including exclusion due to being an inappropriate means.

    What is inappropriate for me may, or may not, be appropriate means of expression for another aspie/autie. We are individual so in a way it is not feasible to consider blanket solutions… equal rights and access to opportunities …yes, and these are worth an Individual united approach. By this I mean to Individually and Consciously exercise our right to express ourselves via the medium best suited to us at the time and as thus hopefully avoiding feeding in to an Us and Them divide/mentality.

    I was DX in early 60’s and am now approaching 70 years of age.


    1. Catana Post author

      Very glad to have you aboard. I just turned 80, so we probably have a lot of common background. One of the topics I want to tackle is the experiences of people who grew up and into old age without any diagnosis. I haven’t decided how I’ll approach it, but it’s coming. My About page has more about my approach to the blog, in case you’re interested. I see the possibility of interesting discussions back and forth between our blogs. As you said, everyone’s experiences are different, and we don’t necessarily all agree about everything, but we can learn from each other’s viewpoints.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. privatepersonblog

        Find your idea about developing a Questionnaire really a great contribution as our voices aren’t heard. We hardly exist in the realm of assumptions and possibly seen ( if seen at all) to be perched on the edge of the cliff we’re about to fall off at any minute.

        I find it quite absurd that people in 20’s-35 yrs are considered to fit a late diagnosed cohort, especially as there is a truly late dx cohort out there/here willing and able to communicate our experiences over the life span.


      2. Catana Post author

        I don’t know why, but your comment made me think of waves rolling onto the shore. One finally reached girls, now one’s reached women as old as 30. Maybe, with some encouragement, one will finally reach us oldsters.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. privatepersonblog

        Hopefully whilst we’re still on planet Earth! I truly feel nothing much will happen if we don’t create the change.Have just printed out the paper and looking forward to the read. Thanks Catana.


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