Autism Spectrum Disorder occurs in 1 out of 67 people. As the word “spectrum” suggests, autism expresses itself across a range of severity.
|John French Sloan’s “Stein, Profile (Foreign Girl)”|
It’s not that they don’t want to form bonds of affection and mutual understanding. On the contrary, those with high functioning autism often yearn to be known and loved, to have companionship and understanding. But the way their brains are wired makes it very difficult for them to read other people.
Without thinking, your foot hovers over and then applies pressure to the brake. You may be thinking about something else entirely and, once you arrive at your destination, you may have no recollection of stopping at that sign.
But that’s exactly what you did. You understood the sign’s meaning instinctively. You have long ago internalized the key to such a sign’s meaning.
The transportation department of this country uses different shapes and colors from any you’ve ever seen. You know that there are traffic signs, but you haven’t a clue what those signs are actually telling you. Are you supposed to stop? Yield? Slow down? Watch for pedestrians or wildlife?
|Fornasetti’s “Face in Key”|
You would do well to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, pick up a driver’s manual, and study the section about traffic signs (with a foreign language dictionary in one hand). You’ll probably need to spend some time driving while you’re still learning the key.
Gaining a complete comprehension of the key involves learning the proper responses to the signs when you’re behind the wheel. But eventually, you’ll respond instinctively to those signs. Your responses will be second nature. You will have internalized the key.