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It turns out that people with autism may have given us the tools we needed to survive as a species!


Philbo Wiseroot
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According to research done at the University of York, "it is likely our ancestors would have had autism [... and] many would have played an important role in their social group because of their unique skills and talents."

 

Thoughts on this? I think it makes the "people with autism are broken" argument a little easier to refute.

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I think modern, 'normative' society is what's really broken (in certain aspects, at least). I appreciate articles like this, even though I haven't really had to defend myself against others thinking I'm stupid or something just because I happen to have autism. Hopefully it will be helpful for other people :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, I'm a bit on the fence about that. I think there is a subtle but important difference somewhere, but I can't tell what it is. I would say maybe some people don't want to fully "own" their autism, which I think is fair enough. I had a hard time accepting it at first, until I realised that I was already in my late 20s and knowing it doesn't actually change anything much, just makes certain things more understandable.

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On 30/11/2016 at 0:34 PM, Kai Pufflehugs IV said:

According to research done at the University of York, "it is likely our ancestors would have had autism [... and] many would have played an important role in their social group because of their unique skills and talents."

It probably won't put to bed the idea of autism being something modern. With it's associated X (which hasn't been around very long) causes autism type myths.

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1 hour ago, Untamed Heart said:

Yeah, I'm a bit on the fence about that. I think there is a subtle but important difference somewhere, but I can't tell what it is. I would say maybe some people don't want to fully "own" their autism, which I think is fair enough. I had a hard time accepting it at first, until I realised that I was already in my late 20s and knowing it doesn't actually change anything much, just makes certain things more understandable.

Taking disabilities as an example, "a person with a disability" implies that they're living with the disability, but "a disabled person" implies that it defines them. At least that's how it was explained to me.

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I see what you mean, thanks for clarifying :) I guess I was thinking about mental illnesses in general and how other people try and deny or distance themselves from a particular diagnosis but I tend to think too much like I did in high school sometimes and assume most people are like that, if that makes any sense? I didn't like giving any more personal information out than I had to, because it just gave bullies more to use against me. I'll stop derailing now xD

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  • 2 months later...

Having actually gotten around to reading the article, my biggest problem with it is the idea that "collaborative morality" was something new. Many social animals actively support and help struggling group members, including disabled individuals. There's evidence that a sabertoothed cat survived a severe disabling hip injury that would have made them completely unable to hunt and very slow at getting around, because the other cats in the pride brought back meat for this cat. Chimpanzees also do similar things - the main differences between humans and chimps on how they handle disabilities are simply a matter of intelligence and ability to understand what the disabled individual actually needs. The idea of helping and supporting the most vulnerable members of your group is something that our ancestors have had for a long time. 

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