I Don't Give a Straw About Your Autism Stereotypes

If I had my own reality show, I'd  do a Mythbusters spin-off called Exploding Stereotypes, in which my team and I would travel the world, methodically exploring stereotype histories and flaws. I'd want to start with autism, of course. Should I begin with the "special gifts" savant stereotype, or with the "no empathy" stereotype? How about the latter?

Because people with autism or Asperger's can have difficulty interpreting body language cues, they are stereotyped as unable to feel empathy. So untrue! My son is not much for conversation, but he can be highly sensitive to my body language, snuggling with me when I'm physically slumped and low, dancing with me when I'm happy. Ours is a genuine emotional connection.

Body language isn't required to feel empathy, anyhow. How else to explain the actions of the gracious and thoughtful Lindsey Nebeker, who gathered and sent Leo his latest supply of green Sbux straws,  even though she was in the middle of an interstate move? L.U.S.T., the League of Unrepentant Straw Thieves, is honored to have Lindsey join our ranks. And I am grateful to her for living a stereotype-exploding life.

So many straws! Leo says Thank You, Lindsey!


  1. How fantastic! I also feel to bust stereotypes to shreds. You're changing the way we view Asperger's and I am changing the face of Alzheimer's.Together we're redefining what "functioning" and "normal" are.Yeah team!

  2. ROCK ON, US!

    Thanks for stopping by, Adrienne.

  3. Anonymous11:32 PM

    OMG, my son is hypersensitive to my facial expression and body language....I would argue that these kids are more perceptive than neurotypicals. Keep on kicking ass, squid!

  4. This reminded me of something I meant to say after your bday post for Leo, and I forgot -- I work for the 'Bucks, and I'd be happy to purloin a whole bunch of straws for you folks, if you feel comfortable giving me an address to send them to. Email me at mignureal at ankh dot morp dot org if you're interested...


Respectful disagreement encouraged.