Earthling and Autisman

In this chapter, we hear Naoki talk about the short story he made up about the discourse between the Earthling and the Autisman.  He related it back to gravity on an airplane pulling at his body.  He found this to be pleasant.  He wished for a planet where the gravitational pull would be perfect for people with autism to move freely.  Questions made up most of this chapter.

Summary of Questions

Q#25 asked the question “what’s the reason you jump?” He stated that when jumping, he can feel his body well.  He also discusses “seizing up” which means he can move the way he wants; “shaking loose the ropes that are tying up my body”.  It is when those with autism are constrained that the flapping starts.

Q26 asked the question “why do you write letters in the air?” He stated it is a way to help him remember.

Q27 asked the question “why do people with autism often cup their ears?”  He stated that noise can be terrifying and cupping the ears helps calm them down.

Q28 asked about moving arms and legs in an awkward way.  He states that he does not have clear sensations of his arms and legs being attached.  He compares it to a miswiring of his sense of touch.

Q29 asked why he does things the rest of us don’t, specific to the five senses working differently.  He stated that it’s “actually our emotions that trigger the abnormal reactions” and not the nervous system malfunctioning.

Q30 asked “Why are you too sensitive/insensitive to pain?”   He relates this to an inner pain and that negative memories are connected to the action.  He compared it to a jigsaw puzzle that requires all pieces to fit together.

Q31 asked the question “Why are you so picky about what you eat? “ He stated that it isn’t because the sense of taste is off but that people with autism need more time to appreciate unknown foods.

Q32 asked the question “when you look at something, what do you see first?”  He stated that we can never know that answer.  He talked about everything have its own unique beauty being a blessing and wished we all could appreciate the beauty that they see”

Q33 asked if it is difficult to choose appropriate clothing.  He says yes and that people with autism often have difficulty understanding the logic of layering clothes or getting themselves cooler.  Some people will only wear the same clothing day after day and that it is reassuring to wear the same clothes daily.

Q34 asked about understand or having a sense of time.  He stated that since time has no clear boundaries, it is confusing for people with autism.

Q36 asked why sleep patterns are all messed up.  He stated that he did not know why and that he rarely has this problem.

–Karen Reynolds (SLP at Hartstern Elem.)
** I (Kinsey) apologize for the late posting–I thought this post was scheduled but it was saved in a different way. Thanks for your patience!**


5 thoughts on “Earthling and Autisman

  1. allison forrester says:

    I really liked his explanation for the reason he jumps. I had a student in the past who loved to jump and it seemed like such a release for him. It was something that I would allow him to do after he completed the work that I wanted him to do. This explanation is exactly how I would think it would feel for him to jump!

    • Allison Dobbs says:

      I also liked his explanation for jumping. I have a student who asks to jump as a reward for working. Although he probably jumps for the same reasons Naoki described, I still enjoy watching the “manic glee” expression on his face. 

  2. Kim Carter- Campbell says:

    I really like Naoki’s explanation on understanding appropriate clothing. He describes clothes as an extension of their bodies. I have so many kiddos that wear sweatshirts when it is 90 degrees outside or wear the same shirt every day. I often ask, “Why are you wearing a sweatshirt? It’s so hot outside.” I failed to take their perspective of what is comfortable for them.

  3. Marie Fisher says:

    Sometimes I find myself thinking how Naoki feels when he is asked some of these questions. The way we see him jumping, cupping his ears, writing letters in the air, etc. may be things that never crossed his mind as being “abnormal” so it would probably be difficult for him to have clear explanations as to why he even does some of these things.

  4. Lindsay Manis says:

    In this post, I thought a lot about the sleep patterns. For some of my kids (pre-schoolers), this school year I am having my first IEP meetings with their families and they often mention lack of sleep or weird sleep patterns. I often find myself thinking this just has to be a commonality among students with autism, but after reading this section I realize that this is often not the case.

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