Normal Is Overrated

Musings and meanderings on the autistic spectrum

June 1, 2007


So, I felt like starting something new around this place… but before I get into anything, let me introduce myself:

I’m Cody, and I’m autistic. Or more specifically, I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is considered to be one variation of autism.

Go ahead and admit it. Some of you are probably saying something along the lines of, “Autistic? But you can talk, and you’re attending graduate school! How can you be autistic?”

And that is the reason I’m starting this blog.

Simply put, there’s a lot of misinformation, or at the very least, a lot of spin out there on the topic of autism and related diagnoses. There are those who want to paint a picture of life with autism as a never-ending scenario of doom and gloom, or even in some cases, to use rhetoric to the effect of a happy child having been ‘stolen’ and replaced with some sort of soulless husk.

Now I’m not going to say that autistic life is all hearts and rainbows. I’ve dealt with quite a good number of situations where I struggled, where I felt completely overwhelmed, where I nearly went into a breakdown—or, worse yet, did do so. And I’ll freely admit that I probably wasn’t the easiest child to raise.

But one thing I’ve always been able to count on was support. And that’s what I’d like to see more of in the autism community.

I’ll expound on all of this in some later posts, as well as offering some insights into how precisely I perceive things, why I sometimes behave the way I do, and so forth. And I should emphasize that in doing so, I’m not trying to speak for all autistics— such a claim would be as ridiculous as for one person to claim to have an insight on every single non-autistic person’s perspective. I’m just sharing my own experiences, with the hope that it may cause some people to reconsider their initial conceptions about autism, to realize that not everyone perceives or thinks about things in the same way.

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:06 pm


  1. Hi Cody,

    I work with autistic children, and I’ve learned a lot by reading the stories of people who are challenged by autism and Asperger’s syndrome, as well as the accounts of those who love them. I believe that the dichotomy between those diagnosed with disorders and syndromes and those assumed to be normal is often arbitrary. “Normal,” after all, is dependent on norms which are ever-changing, and hardly a standard of health. I’m looking forward to reading your posts; I’m especially interested in hyper- and hypoacuity with regard to sensory processing. ~Jen

    Comment by Jen S. — June 2, 2007 @ 10:58 pm

  2. I’ll definitely be covering the sensory aspect of autism in some of my posts here; to be honest, I’ve noticed that it tends to be greatly underrated by many people who work with autistics, and so I think it deserves more attention.

    Comment by codeman38 — June 2, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

  3. I think that disorders of sensory processing are underrated by most of the world, because they’re underdiagnosed among the general populace. How does one get through grad school, by the way, under soul-sucking fluorescent lights?

    Comment by Jen S. — June 7, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

  4. Good question about the fluorescent lights. Thankfully, the places I’ve had classes keep such lighting fairly low anyway… and tinted lenses help at least somewhat when they don’t.

    Comment by codeman38 — June 7, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

  5. Hi Codey. Did you just update this? Or are the comment dates wrong? My feed reader says you just posted <2 hours ago.

    Either way, thanks for being public with yourself. Many of us don’t have the ability to stand the scrutiny of the public eye, but those of us like you do a service to us by being public.

    As for fluorescent lights in grad school, you could try looking into the ADA, but its hit or miss sometimes.

    Comment by Joga Luce — March 4, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

  6. I moved the blog to a subdomain to keep things a bit more organized; that’s probably why it triggered your feed reader.

    And yeah, the ADA is definitely hit or miss. I’ve had some profs who were perfectly willing to work with me, and others who had issues even when I brought the disability center into the conversation.

    Comment by codeman38 — March 4, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

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