Springingtiger's Blog


The Beautiful Letter
April 1, 2013, 23:09
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism, disability, social media, Writing | Tags:

Recently I shared one of my blog posts “Lucky in Love” . On my team call it was described as a “beautiful letter” which at first surprised me, but on reflection it made perfect sense. Everything I publish is to some extent a “letter”, a communication, a sharing of myself in writing. And anything which talks about another person is a communication of my feelings about them, so it is little wonder if a post about my wife is “beautiful”.

There was a time, and it was not so very long ago, when it was quite normal to express one’s feelings in letters. There are volumes of collected correspondence, on all sorts of matters, from the conduct of war to the consummation of love. Since the invention of the telephone writing has gone somewhat out of fashion. Although it may be argued that the internet has led to a revival of writing, we will never return to the carefully crafted, handwritten letters of yore.

The thing about the internet I love is that it adds immediacy to written communication. This matters to me as an autistic because of the barriers I experience to expressing myself verbally. Much of my spoken communication uses a library of stored phrases from various sources. I very rarely say anything without carefully scripting it first as spontaneous self expression is a minefield I prefer not to negotiate.

I have written before about how being able to read what I have written enables me to see and understand what I am thinking, a facility I tend to lack when speaking. The other great thing about writing is the ability to edit my words before releasing them. I do not have a natural ability to negotiate the conventions of social behaviour, being able to edit my words enables me to communicate in a manner appropriate to the world in which I find myself. (Yes, I do tend to speak as I write, which is another reason for prescripting my speech.)

The internet supplies autistic people with a place, albeit virtual, where we can communicate as equals. This month is Autism Awareness Month, many of us will be writing to make people aware of the world in which we live and how it differs from what those who do not live in it may assume. You may, should you wish, enter our world, or you may choose to believe, as some organisations that purport to support us do, that we are an aberration. Whatever you choose to believe, I am deeply honoured that you have allowed me to speak to you (because this me speaking to you as I could not face to face) Thank you for listening.

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