I read an unfortunate article in science daily. You can read it here.
They note that autistics think about others and themselves with the part of the brain active when thinking about oneself. This makes sense. Autistics only think about themselves. We don't really have filters so we filter through ourselves. How is this like me. How does it relate. It is all about me because I am the only constant in my world.
However, they somehow screwed it up and decided: This is strong evidence that in the autistic brain, processing information about the self is atypical.
Wait. What? Everything processed through the area that thinks about the self and this proves that autistics don't think about the self?
Doesn't "strong evidence that in the autistic brain, all information is processed as about the self" make more sense? As a friend pointed out: "Everything is through the filter of you, and no one else truly exists. Object permanance can't happen unless you can think of the object not in relation to yourself."
Lombardo added: "Navigating social interactions with others requires keeping track of the relationship between oneself and others. In some social situations it is important to notice that 'I am similar to you', while in other situations it might be important to notice that 'I am different to you'. The atypical way the autistic brain treats self-relevant information as equivalent to information about others could derail a child's social development, particularly in understanding how they relate to the social world around them."
I think the scientists are missing the entire point here. "...in other situations it might be important to notice that 'I am different to you'." Yes, that is the issue. We don't know the difference between ourselves and you outsiders. This, however, is not because we don't have a sense of ourselves. It is because we do not have a sense of yourselves. It is very hard to understand that you feel differently than I do. I can easily see that you would feel the way I do. I am very good at thinking about myself.
My friend has a low functioning autie son. He thinks about himself just fine. That hurt me. That bothered me. This effects me. If it doesn't effect HIM it doesn't count. We are small children, unable to see beyond our personal little worlds because we haven't developed enough to have a sense of object permanence or empathy. When he speaks quietly, he is unable to realize that Mom didn't hear, because he did hear himself. Saying "I didn't hear you" makes no sense to him. Yes you did hear me, I heard me. There is no difference. She has had to learn to say "I wasn't able to make words out of what I heard" and he can say "I do that often. Mom didn't understand me" and repeat himself.
We don't naturally filter. We don't naturally generalize. Therefore, we are not easily capable of grasping social situations or being trained emotionally. A cause and effect is a cause and effect of that particular thing. It is not now a general rule for all similar situations. So how can we generalize enough to see people as their own selves, not only separate from us but as individual to their own little world as we are to our own!
Honestly, I don't think most humans have really developed well enough to see beyond their own little worlds. They all huddle in the boxes, with blinders on, terrified of the great big world. We huddle in terror, too. The only difference seems to be that we can't filter it out. We don't have blinders, so we rock and hum and try to force the world away by sheer force of will.
And then they say we don't have a sense of ourselves. Maybe it scares them to know we have no sense of you and this suits us fine. It is supposed to make one feel guilty to realize one thinks only of oneself. It doesn't bother autistics as much. We don't have that social training. I learned to accept that everyone is living in their own isolated world so that I can say "well this is true for me but not for you." I don't have any better understanding of your world, but I am now capable of differentiating. It is still totally egocentric and all about me, but it's a starting point.
In any case, this blog started with a point: That study was totally inverted in its conclusions! We have very strong senses of self. Egocentric as hell! We are just lacking a sense of anyone else. Stoopid scientists.