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In One's Own Time & Space...

This Saturday Night Live skit spoke to me back when I saw it in 1992. It took me awhile to find it again but here it is.

To me it lays bare the disconnect often experienced between neurotypicals and the neurodiverse. You can like each other, respect each other, have similar values, senses of humour and goals but that disconnect remains and it is difficult to bridge. NT's often get a bad rap in the ND world and its true that their hold over mainstream education and employment has caused a great deal of suffering, exclusion and isolation. I have to remind myself that just as they are often unable to see things like I do, I am often not able to see things like they do. Maybe the most productive lens through which to interact is shared intentions and optimal outcomes. If you use Apple and I use Android, we can still work on a presentation together, but it is going to take some adaptation. Same goes for other shared interests and pursuits. Trying to get someone to participate in your way is counterproductive if they are unable to do it your way... and vice versa. They aren't trying to be difficult, it is just not in their repertoire. By acknowledging your different operating systems, room is left to meet in the middle and find a new way. As for real time social conversations, I haven't come up with a fix for that yet.

The Maoris have a glossary called Te Reo Hāpai or The Language of Enrichment. In 2017, they added words to this glossary (after 2 years of consultation with people who have lived experience of mental health, addiction and disability issues :).  ‘Takiwātanga’ was added to this glossary to represent 'Autism'. It translates to 'in one's own time and space'. SNL nailed the challenges of ‘Takiwātanga’ with this skit.


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