June 20th, 2014


Allism as a disorder

On my scifi world Traipah, the Ah'Koi Bahnis people are all autistic by human standards, but since they've always been that way, their whole society is set up for them. There is a neurological condition among them called Hyeh'theydj'mah [hje ðeɪʒ mʌ] Disorder that makes some of them more like neurotypical humans, and for their culture is a disorder.

Anyway, here I'm gonna go with a possible article from that world on the subject, from a less enlightened era in their culture:

Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder gives its sufferers diminished sensory input, makes it difficult for them to find a job by not having a proper special interest (because they know a little about a lot of things, and what use is that?) and by their being unable to hyperfocus like a normal person. They have to rely on body language rather than empathic knowledge or verbal cues, in order to know a person's feelings, and of course normal people don't give the kind of body language cues that would really be useful for someone with Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder.

The condition also tends to give its sufferers a preoccupation with talking about unimportant and often uninteresting things like the weather. Any buffoon can tell by looking what the weather is doing, and such a topic is only interesting when something unusual like a tropical storm is on its way. They also tend to have a preoccupation with talking about what other people are doing, but not about their work; more likely what they're wearing, who they're dating, what they do in the bedroom, and other highly personal things like that, thus coming across as very creepy.

People with Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder have an unsettling tendency to look other people right in the eyes, and show other signs of having little grasp of the concept of "personal space," such as touching people without getting consent first. Often they cannot simply sit with friends and quietly do their own thing while gently enjoying the friend's company, at least not for long without becoming bored or frustrated; instead, they feel compelled to focus solely on conversing with the other person, and get irritated if the other person does not do the same. This is exacerbated by their compulsion to touch other people, even if the other person is a total stranger to them.

Those who suffer this condition tend to be bad about boundaries in general, and since they have at least one diminished sense, and often all their senses are diminished, are less prone to sensory overload and meltdowns, thus can drive a normal person into sensory overloads and meltdowns with absurd ease. They will then often become irritated by the consequences of their actions, being unable to see what is obvious to normal people, and thus are unable to see the obvious signs of impending overload/meltdown. This irritation can, if left uncountered, cause the sufferer to make an already bad situation worse by continuing to invade the normal person's personal space.

There is no known cure for Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder, though treatment can help them become more functional in society. Negative reinforcement can train them out of their habit of direct eye contact, or if they are high functioning enough to begin with, they can be taught how to focus on some other part of a person's body so as to not look people directly in the eyes. Teachers with children suspected of having this disorder can enforce alone time or strap the unfortunate soul to a chair so they won't invade the personal space of others.

Teachers are also encouraged to grab their hands when they attempt to touch without consent, and say "quiet hands" as they do so to attempt to teach them respect for boundaries.

Sufferers also do not need to stim, due to their diminished capacities, and therefore should be encouraged to stim anyway so as to not disturb others. If the child is resistant to this, keep trying. If they are obstinate about it, something called "spanking" may be used; this is using the hand or a paddle to hit the rear end of the child in order to cause pain. Yes, using this on a normal child would be unthinkable, but it does not hurt these children as much as a normal child would be hurt by it, and is effective on this sort of child because they have a more physical communication than normal children do, due to their verbal learning deficits and their touch compulsion.

Raising a child with this disorder can be extremely taxing, frustrating, exhausting, and emotionally draining. Therefore, there are many Orders that have books, pamphlets, and other reading materials to help, and other services like specialized day care centers, stress counselling, and classes on how to care for these damaged souls. There are also locations where you can anonymously drop off such problematic children for groups such as The Order of Nahtahdjaiz to care for them if you have come to your wits end with such a child. The Order of Nahtahdjaiz is dedicated to the safety and well-being of all children, even mentally disabled children such as these.

It is unknown what causes Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder. Some suspect certain medications taken by those who are pregnant or nursing may cause the disorder, but the evidence is inconclusive. And without knowing the cause, the cure is equally elusive. So until a cure is discovered, we simply have to be patient with these poor damaged souls and find somewhere for them to try to be useful.

This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1244163.html
You can comment either here or there.

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