As I mentioned in my previous posts, I am thinking of making the main character of my dinosaur book autistic. From personal experience, I know that some of the side effects of having autism includes an above average intellect and having laser focus on your interests. Due to this, my character will be a child prodigy with savant syndrome, an IQ that is off the charts, and is hyper-focused on his research. Savant syndrome is a rare condition that develops in people with mental disabilities such as autism and it gives the user highly advanced memory and calculation skills that are far above average. According to experts, an IQ that is level 130 or higher signifies high level of intelligence, but my character’s IQ will be more than twice that. I know from personal experience how focused an autistic person can be and once something interests me, my eyes are hooked into it like a hawk and I don’t take my eyes off the ball. On the outside, he won’t seem autistic to an average person, which is something I notice when people look at me. In 2018, Jack Horner, paleontologist and the mastermind behind the reverse engineering experiment, claims that we can achieve the technology to reverse engineer birds back into dinosaurs in five or ten years. However, if a scientist with the intellect and skills I mentioned engaged in this experiment, I believe the technology could be achieved a lot sooner. Unfortunately, even with all that knowledge, focus, and skills, my character will still have difficulty forming connections with his fellow human beings. These will be some of the challenges my character will face as he and the other characters struggle to survive.
I have decided to make the main character in my dinosaur book autistic. I have made this decision with some reservation. The reason for this is because even though I have lived with autism my entire life, I didn’t know how to accurately portray an autistic character. I was afraid I would unintentionally offend my readers. Now, after much thought, I have changed my mind. The reason for this is extremely personal because when I was a kid with uncontrollable autism, I absorbed prehistory data like a sponge. During this time, I was OBSESSED with the ambition to become a paleontologist, but I never fulfilled that ambition. With my writing, I get to make that ambition a reality on paper by making my protagonist an autistic scientist who brings dinosaurs back to life. I am thinking of incorporating some of my mannerisms to my main character, which will add a more personal touch to this character than some of my previous ones.
Something amazing happened on my birthday. The entire neighborhood threw a parade for me! No one has ever done that for me before! The kids on bikes even played the Imperial March from Star Wars as they went by and I did my best impersonation of Darth Vader’s breathing in response. I am beyond grateful!
All of you may have noticed this: I am a geek. I am proud of being a geek and I will NEVER apologize for it. Like many geeks, I have a very specific collection of keen interests. Because I like my interests to the point of obsession, I develop an intimate knowledge about them. At times, I feel like an outcast because I do not interact with many people who share my interests. However, at WonderCon or any other such convention, I am amongst my people. My therapist told me that many people with autism become geeks because their laser focus and strong memories allow them to thrive on whatever interests them. Because I am autistic, being a geek fits me like a slipper. I discovered that there is a very special group of geeks in Japan known as the otaku. In some countries, geeks are looked down upon, but in Japan, geeks are accepted as part of the social fabric. If I visited Japan, I think I would feel right at home.
Good news! I got to be in a documentary recently. The filmmakers are in the process of making new versions of the video and we plan to collaborate on a full-length version in the near future. Enjoy!
When I was in Middle School, I suffered a great deal of depression to the point in which I considered suicide multiple times. Thanks to the intervention and support of my parents, teachers, and therapist, I was able to overcome this depression and quelled any further thoughts about suicide. I am aware that depression can be a common symptom of being autistic, but I thought the suicide part was just something I had to deal with. Then the other day, I met a mother of an autistic boy who had the same troubled thoughts I had and I realized that more autistic people may have had suicidal thoughts like me and this boy. Fortunately, I do not have such dark thoughts anymore. Now, I acknowledge that life is worth living and I can accomplish much if I live long enough.
The other day, I met a mother of an autistic boy who suffered from depression and even contemplated suicide. I saw some similarities between myself and this boy so I recommended my therapist to this woman, who was desperately searching for someone who could help her son control his condition. Having gone through many of the struggles to mother described myself, I thought this would be a good way to contribute to the autistic community.
As a writer with a constantly active imagination, I have always been daydreaming. My earliest daydreams were the strangest I ever had and I can recall at least two of them. First, I thought getting shot turned you into a monkey. One bullet and your suddenly a chimpanzee. Second, I envisioned a series of stop-motion animation images that involve a toothless wolf climbing a pine tree. Then a guy who looks like one of the elves from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer looks up and his right eyeball pops out of its socket. Instead of blood, water poured out of the guy’s empty eye socket. As this happens, the guy yells, “Let go!” This was when I was very young, which was when my imagination was at its most raw and untamed. In such a state, I imagined outrageous things that did not make sense even to me. As I grew older, I was able to better envision my daydreams and create my stories accordingly.
I found this video about a boy with autism who possessed tremendous talent in dancing. He was home schooled and won a “YES” from all three judges of Britain’s Got Talent. This goes to show that when an autistic person focuses all of their energy on their strengths there are no limits.