Normal Is Overrated

Musings and meanderings on the autistic spectrum

May 1, 2010

Of privilege and auditory processing

Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day. And for today, I wanted to write about a sort of ableism (as we call it here in North America) that’s rather subtle and largely unconscious, but no less problematic.

An important concept in social justice circles is the idea of privilege. For those unacquainted with the concept, perhaps the easiest way to describe it is that by being born into a certain group (race, gender, economic class, etc.), you’ve automatically, even unconsciously, been given an advantage in certain matters as a part of that group. This, of course, even applies to disability: if you’re not disabled, you’re automatically granted advantages that many disabled people will have to work for at best, or may never attain at worst.

I’d write about neurotypical privilege here, since that’s the most obvious case that’d be relevant to my own disabilities, but Bev from Square 8 has already created a neurotypical privilege checklist that’s so good, I don’t think I could ever manage to outdo it. (And besides, I contributed a couple items to it myself!)

However, along with Asperger’s syndrome, I also have auditory processing disorder. It affects pretty much every act of spoken communication I participate in, so it’s not something that can be easily ignored. And I’ve noticed that many people don’t even consider how certain activities can be discriminatory to those of us with abnormal hearing or auditory processing.

I wish I could provide an outright hearing privilege checklist, but that’d be problematic given that I have at least some privilege in that respect myself. My hearing itself is OK; I’m overly sensitive to noises, and I have perfect pitch that’s a blessing for solving the Selenitic Age in Myst but a curse when I’m asked to play on a piano that’s horribly out of tune. 😛 At the same time, because of my auditory processing disorder, I do share many of the same difficulties understanding speech that someone who’s deaf or hard of hearing would have. Nonetheless, it’d be best to refer to this as an auditory processing privilege checklist, not a hearing one.

So, without further ado:

The Normal Auditory Processing Privilege Checklist


Filed under: Auditory Processing,Blog Carnival — codeman38 @ 12:35 pm

June 21, 2007

Driven to Frustration

As many readers may know from my other blog— and others will quickly learn— I’m 24 years old, yet do not drive a car.

Simply put, I don’t trust my perception of what’s going on around me, even after years of practicing.

And despite the fact that most people seem to think I’m exaggerating, there’s good reason for this distrust of my perceptions.


Filed under: Sensory Issues — codeman38 @ 9:16 pm

June 9, 2007

Overload, Discomfort and Shutdown

From what I’ve found, I tend to be more easily overloaded by certain stimuli than do most people. The same tends to be true for a lot of others on the autism spectrum with whom I’ve talked, though it’s hardly universal amongst autistics.

So today, I thought I’d talk about what sensory overload is like for me.

First of all, it’s important to note what sorts of situations can actually make me feel overloaded.


Filed under: Sensory Issues — codeman38 @ 7:30 pm

June 4, 2007

Say what?

Rather than writing about autism in general today, I’m going to write about one aspect of my own personal experience: specifically, some of the quirks in my perception of auditory stimuli.

Long before I had an Asperger’s diagnosis, I had been diagnosed with auditory processing disorder. For those unfamiliar with that diagnosis, what it essentially means is that my hearing is technically fine, but the way my brain processes auditory input isn’t quite normal.


Filed under: Auditory Processing,Sensory Issues — codeman38 @ 11:10 pm

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