For example, not so long ago, the media picked up on a heartwarming story about an autistic hiker who set off for a long trip and got lost in the Arizona desert for almost a month, and had just been found, thank God, saved after an extensive search.
The guy was actually a fairly experienced hiker. He bit off more than he could chew. After three weeks in the desert, they found him next to the river, thank God alive. This was a good story, and glad the guy was OK, so on and such forth. But something caught my eye in the news coverage of this story. One of the sheriff’s deputies who had found the man said it was very fortunate that he, the deputy, had attended an autism awareness training for law enforcement, because there he had learned that autistic people were drawn towards water. And without that crucial piece of knowledge, they would have had no idea to look for this guy who, let’s remember, had been lost in the desert for three weeks. By the river. The only body of water in the area.
Having read this story, I have a very important question to direct to all the nonautistic people in the audience tonight. Maybe you can take a moment and educate me about your kind.
What do you all look for when you’re lost in the desert? Beer? Fresca? Socially appropriate activities? Eyes to make contact with?
Social reciprocity. Social reciprocity. That’s my Neurotypical voice. I hope none of you were too offended.
Autistic people are drawn to water? The hell?