Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another View of Behavior Management

Although I am aware that my dissatisfaction with how a computer works is my own personal issue, I sometimes have to remind myself that the computer doesn't have the ability to do something other than what I tell it. I really wish that it could be blamed for being abhorrent, deceptive, and manipulative but of course these behaviors are human.

People are always much more complex than computers. We act and think in totally random ways, have a multitude of inconsistencies, and often insist on including others to help with punishing ourselves in whatever ways we ourselves feel we need to be punished. All people are that way to some degree even if they reason in a different way than is considered typical such as may be the case with an autistic person.

I don't think that humans are ever more complex than when we choose to hurt others within our own species. Although I don't completely understand it, it seems to have something to do with someone's internal process of protection that gets acted out in a twisted way against those who were more convenient, vulnerable, and accessible rather than against their true enemy. Sometimes it even seems that their enemy is revered in a way that promotes their repeating of that person's behavior.

The need to do this seems like the most complicated and detrimental aspect of our humanness.

I guess no one who is involved in interpersonal relationships can completely avoid that kind of communal grooming but when it turns into a pattern with harmful and even destructive consequences, I think people need to discourage it (even go so far as to write a blog post about it).

If autistic people really were less than human and soulless shells (as it seems we are too often described), I don't believe that we would really bring out strong emotions in others at all. I think it would be quite easy to ignore us and exterminate us.... and I don't see that as being an easy task at all. : )

I don't know what it would look like for the majority of people in charge of promoting the best behavior for autistic people if they primarily had our best interests at heart because that isn't what I have seen and experienced.

My best way of understanding why someone wants my behavior to change is by looking at which behaviors they choose as the ones they feel need to be changed, what their motivation seems to be when they attempt this, but mainly what seems to me to be what really aggravates them about what I'm doing and why they believe that anyone else would be aggravated by this.

The majority of behaviors that people seem to want to change in autistic people are not what is best for us but what makes the people we are directly involved with uncomfortable and maybe even what they are convinced that others will be uncomfortable with. This lack of their comfort is puzzling. : )

How ever it may seem that we are not understanding situations that involve other people does not mean that we don't understand the world. Sometimes it means to me that someone's actions are completely contradictory to what I feel would be practical and effective behavior. Not understanding something also does not mean that the responsibility to learn to interact with others needs to be completely ours anymore than it is with anyone else.

I don't see how anyone who wants to interact with another person can place the entire responsibility on the person they want interact with and not be willing to have some introspection about how they themselves may be acting that may seem to that person to be impractical, indirect, or contradictory to what they claim is their purpose. To punish someone for what is seen to simply be "their" lack of understanding crosses some serious boundaries for me.

So, why do people take such extreme measures to get rid of behaviors that don't look good or are uncomfortable to those around us? What values is this kind of treatment encouraging in anyone? Are those who are receiving this treatment really being spared the kind of pruning and exclusion that the rest of society will ultimately subject us to otherwise or has the means of the objective of this treatment been lost within an unreasonable amount of effort being used to eliminate a problem in a convenient way? Are people choosing that convenience rather than taking the extra time and effort to evaluate their own emotions and objectives to see if they are really doing what is best for everyone?

I think some people who take unfair advantage of others can only learn if they are being aided in punishing themselves. Sometimes it seems like this is the only language they understand. Their understanding of life often seems to me to be very shallow and their means for dealing with life seems very temporary and convenient. Their lack of understanding what they see seems to be more of a deficit of compassion rather than of intellect.

The shame that results from their cycle of abuse seems to be the primary motivating force for their lives. The only lasting change comes when they are able to look past the flat-isms of their unrealistic beliefs and overly strict performance evaluations that obstruct their view and limit their understanding of the real world.

I believe that those of us who are most directly affected by the maladjusted views of these people who have been infected by their personal and often unbearable emotional turmoil need to closely examine the effect their misbehavior has on us as well as on themselves. If they cannot be saved from themselves, we cannot allow them to infect the rest of us.

If those who abuse others can't adjust to healthier ways of expressing themselves, and we don't find a way to adjust their behaviors or avoid them, we may all be subjected to the designs of their prisons.

9 Comments:

At 5:00 PM , Anonymous CS said...

One of your best posts Ed. I fully understood what you wrote, but find I'm without words to try to explain why I liked what you wrote. It wasn't one thing but all of it.

"I don't think that humans are ever more complex than when we choose to hurt others within our own species. Although I don't completely understand it, it seems to have something to do with someone's internal process of protection that gets acted out in a twisted way against those who were more convenient, vulnerable, and accessible rather than against their true enemy. "

Why is it that we choose hurt and pain to enforce our view of how someone should be? I don't know, but it is so true.

 
At 11:32 PM , Blogger AnneC said...

Ed wrote: I don't think that humans are ever more complex than when we choose to hurt others within our own species. Although I don't completely understand it, it seems to have something to do with someone's internal process of protection that gets acted out in a twisted way against those who were more convenient, vulnerable, and accessible rather than against their true enemy. Sometimes it even seems that their enemy is revered in a way that promotes their repeating of that person's behavior.

This is a really insightful statement. Like CS, though, I'm sort of without words to elaborate. I like your blog a lot, though, and have now linked you in my sidebar.

 
At 8:04 AM , Blogger Ed said...

Hey CS,

I don't know why either.

Patrick left a good comment on an earlier post using the word twisted when refering to Autism Speaks and Matthew Israel.

Twisted is the best word I can think of to describe their behavior and this dynamic.

I think it is in our makeup to feel hurt in order to signal to us that something is wrong in what we are experiancing.

To me, being aware would mean recognizing that repeating the same or similar needless offensive behavior that caused our pain and hurting others that are more vulnerable is at least the act of being unaware and being off track. Allowing that or even encouraging others to repeat the same or similar needless offenses toward others and even ourselves with our manipulative aggression or passivity (or passive aggression) is just plain twisted.

Hi Anne C,

I like your blog too. I have been without words to elaborate on some of the longer post you have written in the past also although I liked what you were saying.

Thanks for adding my blog to your sidebar. I added yours to mine as well.

 
At 9:08 AM , Blogger Casdok said...

Couldnt agree with you more! Great post.

And thank you for your suggestions on my blog.

 
At 4:15 PM , Blogger Ed said...

Casdok,

You're a great mother. : )

 
At 5:52 AM , OpenID lastcrazyhorn said...

Well written. I just spent an hour composing an email to a woman which read somewhat the same way. She asked me to email her after my failed attempt to explain "truth" in regards to autism.

 
At 6:08 AM , Blogger Ed said...

Lastcrazyhorn,

Most truth that I see seems to transcend any words I can think of.

Knowledge and wisdom can be so burdensome at times.~sigh~ :)

I hope she got it this time.

 
At 7:47 AM , OpenID lastcrazyhorn said...

I think she did this time. She wrote me back and asked if I had the title of "philosopher" after my name, as well as student and blogger. She was the one who suggested that I "blogify it" - her words. lol

 
At 5:12 PM , Blogger lichen said...

Ed, I wonder if you are at all familiar with the writing of Alice Miller? In her book, For Your Own Good (readable online here, for free: http://www.nospank.net/fyog.htm)
she writes about these issues with a great deal of insight and depth.

 

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