Many, many years ago I watched a strange documentary about an awkward woman who understood animals, and who noticed that a proportion of them relaxed when in a ‘crush’ (a machine designed to hold them still, with gentle pressure).
She then explained trying it herself and how she described it matched how I experienced the world – I liked being cuddled hard and being nearly smothered under the sheer weight of blankets, which restrict your movements.
I knew at that point that I was an ADHDer but didn’t see it in her; I didn’t know autism at all.
But I felt a kinship with her, like we were related in some way, and it changed how I viewed the world, that there were more of us ‘outsiders’ and that we’d probably be better in some form of alliance.
Eventually I found out that developmental disorders (eg ADHD/autism/dyslexia etc) rarely occurs as one disorder in one person, so finding common ground with someone who primarily show the major symptoms of another disorder is ‘normal’. That chance encounter made me think…and I nearly turned it off because it looked boring!
And now Dr Grandin has been recognised as a game changing individual and I’m chuffed to bits for her.
But if nobody had paid attention to her I wouldn’t have had that kick in my posterior to ‘do something’.