A quick fable animates Autism as the goldfish, sharks, and lobsters await the Dolphin.
Once upon a time, deep inside the ocean, all the fish call a meeting. Everyone from goldfish, to sharks, to lobsters are waiting for the Dolphin to arrive. And he does.
“Thank you all for coming,” the Goldfish says, “we are here to address ocean behavior. Now, Mr. Dolphin it seems like every chance you get you’re swimming up out of the ocean, jumping above sea level near the island. And you’re only one! No other fish behaves this way, Mr. Dolphin. We just stay comfortably in our environment! Are you unhappy here?”
“No, I’m happy.” the Dolphin replies. “It’s just… I’m not a fish; I’m a mammal. So when I leave, I’m just 'coming up for air,' not protesting!"
“That's sounds a little 'fishy' to me,” The Lobster replies. “If you’re really a mammal, what are you doing in the ocean? Why don’t you live on land?”
“I’m not sure. But if you just trust me on this, our friendship is safe. We’re not all fish here. But we are all Ocean-Americans (ha ha).”
While some fish accept this, most do not. In fact "plenty of fish” remain suspicious and even more as a new rumor emerges that the Dolphin is actually a spy working for the fisherman! So more meetings are called, more accusations are thrown. This becomes so unbearable that the Dolphin jumps out of the ocean, onto the island. He sacrifices his comfort level and crawls onto this new land which immediately limits his movement. The Dolphin simply cannot understand why this new environment isn’t easier to adapt to! After all, he is a mammal. He can only watch the other mammals of the island playing freely and far away from any water. And suddenly the Lobster’s words don’t seem so “fishy” to him anymore.
“Maybe I truly am a fish,” the Dolphin says to himself. “Maybe my mystery stems from my need to be tougher. I’ll try the ocean again as a permanent setting, when no one’s looking! I’ll hold my breath no matter what.”
He tries again and again. But the Dolphin's lungs simply won’t let him stick it out. And he returns back to the island sad and questioning himself even more. Peeking down at all the fish he once called friends, and staring at the comfort of the other mammals on the island, becomes too much for the Dolphin to see. So he dedicates himself to the isolated parts of the island and the ocean, switching back-and-forth with a focus on safety.
Now… what kind of life is that? This is the life of an Aspie (Asperger's Syndrome): you can't fit in without suspicion. And you can’t experiment for comfort without pain. It’s a lifestyle of damage-control… until awareness wins!
Written By Jwyan C. Johnson (Author of WordPlay: New Christian Parables)
Dedicated to "the awareness."