Daily Archives: April 3, 2006

Blowing noses and perception of learning


After a few years of rather messy and gross experimentation, I have, at twenty-five years old, finally figured out how to blow my nose.

It’s interesting to note that:

(a) Most people figure this out much younger.
(b) It is likely to now be taken as a given that I’ve been able to do this since the age most people have, rather than at the age I learned it.

Although it is not given the importance that, for instance, speech is given, I notice that learning things works like that. Autistic people who figure out speech at the age of twelve, fifteen, or twenty, get treated the same, at forty, as autistic people who figure out speech between the ages of one and six. Laura, who finally got complete sentences in her early twenties, now gets people disbelieving her about that because she’s nearly fifty and speaks superficially semi-fluently. Our entire pattern and rate of learning certain things is dismissed in the wave of a hand, we know it now so it doesn’t matter how or when we learned it, how we do it now, or how good at it we really are as opposed to appear to be.

But for now, I am finding the ability to clear out my nasal passages at will sometimes to be a major achievement, and the ability to do so into tissue in a reasonably clean manner to be even more major. Taking actions that involve the motions of internal body parts that are extremely difficult to model or understand, is much harder than other actions, and other actions aren’t the easiest either.