It is clear and obvious that communication requires two parties.
But, effective communication requires two parties that are each willing to say that his or her respective world is not the only world. An essence of learning requires a person to be humble enough to recognize there can be something about how he thinks that is missing or distorted and that can be improved. Empathy is a learning that involves a strong willingness to putting oneself in another’s position and to reevaluate especially those things considered “obvious” within himself.
In some sense, we all live in fishbowls. Just knowing that another world is outside of our own provides much of the impetus to at least recognize it and perhaps incorporate it into our own world.
After watching this video created by a person with autism, I went over to the director’s impressive and extensive website. I think I have spent the past hour there at least. Please note, the first several minutes of the YouTube video are “In My Language” – wait for the 3:12 mark for the translation.
There are several people who are saying that the methods of communication presented by the writer/director are possibly a hoax. I’ll let you decide for yourself. As far as I can tell, though, there are a ton of well written posts and responses on her website that ring very true to the autistic’s plight.
In this respect, regardless of whether of not presentation is “fake,” the movies and blog function well as a wake up call to others to say that there are worlds of people out there that do not receive the respect they deserve as human beings – simply because of a breakdown of communication.
How much of this communication could even happen without the presently evolving systems of multi-player/multi-user environments such as virtual worlds and the Internet? It is fascinating to see that this massive communication project, in process of being built by individual bloggers, technicians, electricians, gamers etc., is also in turn helping us to better recognize the limitations we’ve had in understanding each other.
So in some sense, humanity is (unconsciously?) attempting to gain connections to one another. But it is still the onus of the individual to recognize his limitations in order to learn from others.
“We’re just two lost souls, swimming in a fishbowl …” – Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here
Your paragraph …”the movies and blog function well as a wake up call to others to say that there are worlds of people out there that do not receive the respect they deserve as human beings – simply because of a breakdown of communication…” rings true, especially for those special people who are autistic and display lesser verbal communication abilities. What people today put emphasis is on VERBAL communication abilities, and relegate other communication skills as lesser abilities, and in some cases such as the use of sign language as a form of lesser or lower ability or skill or even belonging to only people with disabilities or deformities. However, for example, when you watch say Elton John playing the piano, you will want to observe the manner of play and especially the finger play on the piano keys. The mind of the audience is keyed in on the spectacular finger movements, while enjoying the fine music. No one downplays the use of the fingers or hands while intense communication is offered throughthe fingers, the same elements involved in sign language.
There is a need for the public to understand the plight of the autistic that communication does not lies totally in verbal skills, but that special people may communicate with the help of other skills such as sign language, body language and even behavioral patterns, with some displaying spectacular compensatory skills in mathematics, arts and memory skills such as the autistic savants.
Thanks for posting a thought provoking article.
Thanks for the info. Great writing skills by the way. It is really good to have people like you in our comunity