On Loyalty

SHARE:

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to write about Euan for The Herald Magazine, the Glasgow-based newspaper supplement where I work (yo...

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to write about Euan for The Herald Magazine, the Glasgow-based newspaper supplement where I work (you can read the finished article here). As part of the exercise I interviewed Simon Baron-Cohen, and while talking to him I took the chance to ask him about a less obvious trait of autism that I'd recently found out about. His answers were enlightening and, in a way, heartening.
Let's start with a well-known drawback: autistic people have great difficulty making friends. Those with Asperger's syndrome, in particular, often experience extreme frustration and worse from their difficulties in forming social relationships. It can seem as if the real world is something that happens on the opposite side of a ravine: you can look and shout across, but unless someone is prepared to throw you a rope bridge, you have little hope of joining in.
And yet there's a lot of anecdotal evidence that autistic people make extremely good friends to those who can manage to put up with their anti-social quirks (which can be equally frustrating to the non-autistic friend). In short, they can be fiercely, almost intimidatingly loyal. Baron-Cohen put it this way: "A lot of people with autism figure out their own rules of morality and believe passionately in things being done correctly, and certainly don�t have any wish to harm other people. So they may well have figured out that the world can be divided into people who are good to you or people who are bad to you, and they want to be good to other people and expect the same back in return. So that notion of loyalty is simply because people with autism don�t typically engage in deception ... I think there�s a huge honesty in people with autism, and you could say that that�s not common in the wider social world."
So there you have it: part of autism is not "getting" the notion of lying; of deceiving others for your own advantage; of ingratiating oneself with people one secretly can't stand. It can make autistic people look blunt, rude and stand-offish; but it also reflects a desire to stay true to yourself and not to sacrifice your principles for short-term personal gain. Baron-Cohen likened it to the habit, common among autistic children, of taking toys and pens apart: "When you take a toy apart to try and understand how it works, you�re trying to get at the truth of the world: what is the truth of this object? When you interact with people you also expect that what they tell you should be true, and what you tell other people should be true. So I think there�s a strong focus on the truth and they don�t necessarily see the point in lies or not being genuine."
Looked at from that perspective, it begs the question: who's really disabled - The autistic child, or the neurotypical adult who's built a labyrinth of lies to excuse their behaviour?

COMMENTS

Thanks for reading OUR Post! DID YOU ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? Subscribe to OUR Blog and you'll never miss a single post.

Name

adult autism,1,Andrew Wakefield,1,Asperger's,1,autism,7,autism awareness week,1,autism spectrum disorder,7,autism: the first steps,1,autistic adults,1,autistic children,3,awkward conversations,1,bedtime routine,1,Bernard Hogan-Howe,1,cancer,2,cause and effect,1,counselling,1,cuts,1,Daily Mail,1,displacement,1,emigration,2,epilepsy,1,facts of life,1,fixed routines,2,grief,2,growing up,2,Ikea,1,John Matson,1,Josh,1,journalism,1,Julia Donaldson,1,language,2,late diagnosis,1,leveson inquiry,1,Mail on Sunday,1,meatballs,1,metropolitan police,1,MMR,1,National Autistic Society,2,Paul Dacre,1,people first,1,police and autism,1,Rain Man,1,reading to children,1,recovery,1,respite,1,rigidity,1,Snail and the Whale,1,social services,1,Softwares,48,Stephen Wiltshire,1,telephone,1,ZH,1,
ltr
item
Tetra Computer World: On Loyalty
On Loyalty
Tetra Computer World
https://www.hindsoftech.com/2009/01/on-loyalty.html
https://www.hindsoftech.com/
https://www.hindsoftech.com/
https://www.hindsoftech.com/2009/01/on-loyalty.html
true
1183783158600813784
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy