My father is a cross cultural linguist.
He was one of the first white/Caucasian people to meet the Sanuma tribe, a sub-group of the Yanomami people.
As a linguist creating the first written grammar for this people, he needed to make sure that the he recorded the language as accurately as possible.
After every translation effort, he reviewed the manuscript in-depth with one or more native Sanuma speakers.
Because, of course, my father is not a Sanuma himself, he needed someone from the culture to help him produce the best translation.
Philip Wylie, my Aspergian colleague, challenges non-autistic parents, educators, and partners to think about Apergers autism as a different culture. As non-autistics, we need autistics to guide us in learning how to empower our children, students, and partners.
Philp Wylie is going to be one of our guides today.
I’m excited today to share part two of my interview (you can listen to part 1 here) with Philip Wylie, author of Very Late Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, Psychobiography of a Systemiser, and The Nine Degrees of Autism.
An Aspergers Autism Perspective: Philip Wylie’s Tips to Empower Autistic Children, Students, and Partners
Disclosure: Philip graciously provided the following tips from his interview notes. Thanks, Philip!
General Tips To Remember
- Every person on the planet has a life purpose and can contribute something positive to humanity
- Never lie to autistic people because although we may appear stupid we will know whether you are lying to us
Tips For Parents
- Try to consider autism as a ‘different culture’ rather than a disease
- Consider the social model of autism rather than the medical model
- Accept and respect your son or daughter always and treat as an equal
- Never try to coerce him or her into doing something they don’t want to do
- Since autism is primarily inherited genetically, consider the possibility that
- you may be on the autism spectrum
- Encourage physical exercise and contact with nature
- Protect him or her from bullies, abusers, psychopaths etc who prey on AS
- Avoid blame and regret always
Tips for Educators and Therapists
- Never coerce him or her into doing anything against their will
- The best panacea is love and dependable financial support alongside
- cardiovascular exercise (running for me)
- Don’t forget that autistic people process info much slower than NTs so we need more time to adjust / change
- Encourage parents in denial to take responsibility and to evaluate themselves
- Focus on gifts, strengths and passions rather than impairments, disorders and deficits
- Remember that every being on this planet has a purpose and something to offer; also degrees of success need to be evaluated alongside the cards that each individual is dealt in life. And nobody should be made to feel bad about themselves because society wants everyone to behave in a uniform manner.
Tips For Relationship Partners
- Always be direct in communications
- Never tell lies because people on the spectrum are often highly intuitive
- Always be tolerant, accepting and available
- Don’t patronize because people with HFA are usually highly intelligent
- If you need emotional support and you are not receiving it, ASK!
Links and Resources
Very Late Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome: How Seeking A Diagnosis In Adulthood Can Change Your Life, by Philip Wylie
Psychobiography of a Systemiser, by Philip Wylie
In early 2012, Philip received a pre-diagnostic assessment from Sara Heath of Autonomy (UK) after a one hour Skype interview / evaluation. In 2013, he obtained a formal diagnosis from a psychiatrist who consults for the UN in Asia.
The Nine Degrees of Autism: A Developmental Model for the Alignment and Reconciliation of Hidden Neurological Conditions.
Philip Wylie writes,
About 15 years ago I identified a numerology system which resonated with my life and became a special interest but I did not understand why until 2012/2013.
I shared my “Nine Degrees of Autism” with Dr Luke Beardon at SHU and he
recognized it as being a valid developmental model for autism and other hidden
In 2014 Routledge accepted my publishing proposal for this model. This book has
contributions from the leading authorities on autism including Temple Grandin and
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