navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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Autism in Love film and status

I highly recommend a PBS Independent Lens documentary called Autism in Love (you can watch it online).  It follows a few people on the spectrum who (like pretty much all of us) are looking for love.  Some of them are in relationships, others are not.  Even for the ones who were successful by society’s standards it was a lot of effort to keep communication lines open and make the relationship work.

The person I identified with the most was the lower functioning young man who was unsuccessful in finding love.  In one part of the film he was keenly aware of his low social status, raising his palm saying “they’re up here” and lowering it down and saying “I’m down here”.  Which brings me to a truth about a lot of people on the spectrum.  On a micro level we might not be aware of everything going on (as we generally have a poor ability at picking up on social cues) but on a macro level, specifically with things that pertain directly to us, very little escapes us.  This is because macro level things are drilled into our heads over and over again so even if we miss 95% of the social cues, the 5% we do catch we catch again and again.  To go back to the example in the film, those of us with low status (of whom I am one) are overly aware of it.