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  • I haven't told many people this,

  • but in my head, I've got

  • thousands of secret worlds all going on

  • all at the same time.

  • I am also autistic.

  • People tend to diagnose autism

  • with really specific check-box descriptions,

  • but in reality, it's a whole variation as to what we're like.

  • For instance, my little brother,

  • he's very severely autistic.

  • He's nonverbal. He can't talk at all.

  • But I love to talk.

  • People often associate autism

  • with liking maths and science and nothing else,

  • but I know so many autistic people

  • who love being creative.

  • But that is a stereotype,

  • and the stereotypes of things

  • are often, if not always, wrong.

  • For instance, a lot of people

  • think autism and think "Rain Man" immediately.

  • That's the common belief,

  • that every single autistic person is Dustin Hoffman,

  • and that's not true.

  • But that's not just with autistic people, either.

  • I've seen it with LGBTQ people,

  • with women, with POC people.

  • People are so afraid of variety

  • that they try to fit everything into a tiny little box

  • with really specific labels.

  • This is something that actually

  • happened to me in real life:

  • I googled "autistic people are ..."

  • and it comes up with suggestions

  • as to what you're going to type.

  • I googled "autistic people are ..."

  • and the top result was "demons."

  • That is the first thing that people think

  • when they think autism.

  • They know.

  • (Laughter)

  • One of the things I can do because I'm autistic

  • it's an ability rather than a disability

  • is I've got a very, very vivid imagination.

  • Let me explain it to you a bit.

  • It's like I'm walking in two worlds most of the time.

  • There's the real world, the world that we all share,

  • and there's the world in my mind,

  • and the world in my mind is often so much more real

  • than the real world.

  • Like, it's very easy for me to let my mind loose

  • because I don't try and fit myself into a tiny little box.

  • That's one of the best things about being autistic.

  • You don't have the urge to do that.

  • You find what you want to do,

  • you find a way to do it, and you get on with it.

  • If I was trying to fit myself into a box,

  • I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't have achieved

  • half the things that I have now.

  • There are problems, though.

  • There are problems with being autistic,

  • and there are problems with having too much imagination.

  • School can be a problem in general,

  • but having also to explain to a teacher

  • on a daily basis

  • that their lesson is inexplicably dull

  • and you are secretly taking refuge

  • in a world inside your head in which you are not in that lesson,

  • that adds to your list of problems.

  • (Laughter)

  • Also, when my imagination takes hold,

  • my body takes on a life of its own.

  • When something very exciting happens in my inner world,

  • I've just got to run.

  • I've got to rock backwards and forwards,

  • or sometimes scream.

  • This gives me so much energy,

  • and I've got to have an outlet for all that energy.

  • But I've done that ever since I was a child,

  • ever since I was a tiny little girl.

  • And my parents thought it was cute, so they didn't bring it up,

  • but when I got into school,

  • they didn't really agree that it was cute.

  • It can be that people don't want to be friends

  • with the girl that starts screaming in an algebra lesson.

  • And this doesn't normally happen in this day and age,

  • but it can be that people don't want to be friends with the autistic girl.

  • It can be that people don't want to associate

  • with anyone who won't or can't fit themselves

  • into a box that's labeled normal.

  • But that's fine with me,

  • because it sorts the wheat from the chaff,

  • and I can find which people are genuine and true

  • and I can pick these people as my friends.

  • But if you think about it, what is normal?

  • What does it mean?

  • Imagine if that was the best compliment you ever received.

  • "Wow, you are really normal."

  • (Laughter)

  • But compliments are,

  • "you are extraordinary"

  • or "you step outside the box."

  • It's "you're amazing."

  • So if people want to be these things,

  • why are so many people striving to be normal?

  • Why are people pouring their brilliant individual light into a mold?

  • People are so afraid of variety that they try and force everyone,

  • even people who don't want to or can't, to become normal.

  • There are camps for LGBTQ people

  • or autistic people to try and make them this "normal,"

  • and that's terrifying that people would do that in this day and age.

  • All in all, I wouldn't trade my autism and my imagination for the world.

  • Because I am autistic,

  • I've presented documentaries to the BBC,

  • I'm in the midst of writing a book,

  • I'm doing thisthis is fantastic

  • and one of the best things that I've achieved,

  • that I consider to have achieved,

  • is I've found ways of communicating

  • with my little brother and sister,

  • who as I've said are nonverbal. They can't speak.

  • And people would often write off someone who's nonverbal,

  • but that's silly, because my little brother and sister

  • are the best siblings that you could ever hope for.

  • They're just the best, and I love them so much

  • and I care about them more than anything else.

  • I'm going to leave you with one question:

  • If we can't get inside the person's minds,

  • no matter if they're autistic or not,

  • instead of punishing anything that strays from normal,

  • why not celebrate uniqueness

  • and cheer every time someone unleashes their imagination?

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I haven't told many people this,

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A2 UK TED autistic people autism imagination normal

【TED】Rosie King: How autism freed me to be myself (How autism freed me to be myself | Rosie King)

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    高鈴雅 posted on 2015/08/03
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