Sunday, November 11, 2012

Autism and Competition; She Just Won't Compete

From Donna Williams of

I got a letter from a lovely parent about her teenage daughter, a wonderful long distance runner. Yet the coach was stumped. Why wouldn’t she compete? She’d just let the others pass her, retaining her same rhythmic pace.
Non-autistic people have a consistent capacity to simultaneously process sense of self and other. This is necessary to many things… to imagining what another person might think, to gaining insight about one’s effect on others, to having that insight AND being able to then apply that in altering one’s own behavior, to being fluent in social game playing, to remembering why to say hello, and to holding onto the point of a game, a race, a competition.
But whilst many people with Asperger’s get enough simultaneous processing of sense of self and other to gain some entry to these things, even they may find this cognitively waxes and wanes.

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