Is Autism the Next Stage of Evolution? | Friday Q&A [CC]

Is Autism the Next Stage of Evolution? | Friday Q&A [CC]

Is this my last video before December? Oh my god, it’s nearly Christmas! Hey everyone, it’s Katy, and welcome back to my channel and welcome back to yet another Friday, Q&A. This is where I take the questions that you guys have asked me and I answer them in a video. But it has been so long since I’ve done a Friday Q&A that I needed to sit and film one and hopefully I can get around to filming another Q&A before the end of 2018 so if you have any nice kind of reflective questions or questions about the year that you would like to ask me it’d be really a good time to get them in so that we can kind of close the year with a really awesome Q&A but shall we get into today’s questions because I have had a load of really awesome questions and I am hoping it to power through as many as possible today. Do you think you would have been employed in your first job had you disclosed your ASD? That is a good question and obviously one that I cannot answer fully, I would like to hope that they were decent enough human beings to see past my autism and know that I was a good candidate for the role because I think I turned out to be a really, really good person to be hired and a good person for that role. The role itself was actually really good for autistic traits because it was very repetitive, the weekly structure never changed so I knew exactly what I was doing on a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday because the clinics would always stay the same. I worked in a hospital at my first job, there’ll be a video all about that up by here if you want to go check it out but if you haven’t seen that, I did hospital work. So yeah, it was really quite autism friendly so if I had been discriminated against I think they would have lost out on quite a good candidate and that’s not me like really blowing my own trumpet but I think it was a really good role for an autistic person. I don’t know do we ever fully really know when we’re being discriminated against? Like, before that interview, before that job, I was interviewed for another like four or five different roles. Obviously didn’t get them. Was that because I was a bad candidate for the role or was that because I had autism? Or was up because that I ticked that I was disabled like… But yeah do we ever fully know the extent of the discrimination within our society, especially in the workplace when you know they can just give you another stupid excuse as to why you weren’t employed or they don’t even have to tell you why they didn’t employ you they’re just like yeah, sorry, you weren’t the right person for the job. Tricky one, tricky one. I’d like to think that I would have still got that role, but I guess you never know. Have you ever experienced body image issues and have you ever suffered from an eating disorder? No, I haven’t really experienced either I don’t think and that’s not me sitting here being like I love my body, it’s perfect woohoo, because I’m still human at the end of the day, there are bits of my body that I don’t like. Not necessarily things that I would change because I’m scared of plastic surgery and surgery in general and general anaesthetic so I think my fear kind of trumps my insecurities, but… (sigh) I have done a video about my relationship with food and how that has progressed throughout my life which I’ll leave in a card up by here if you want to go and check that out. But in terms of body image issues, I’ve always been fairly happy with the way that my body is despite the fact that other people around me are telling me that it looks unhealthy. It sort of ebbs and flows, there are times where I’m a little bit knocked with my confidence. If someone’s said something to me or if I’ve you know seen something and it’s sort of like oh god, that’s a bit jarring. Or if I’ve lost weight or anything like that. I get quite self-conscious of that but it’s most of the time I’m pretty happy in my own skin and I’m very appreciative of that because as a female in my twenties I know that that is a rarity and I’m very pleased and grateful that I am at that point where I’m happy with my body. In terms of have I ever had an eating disorder: no, I haven’t despite the fact that lots of people have told me that I am anorexic or have told me that I have an eating disorder because of the way that I look or the way that I eat and it’s not the case. I have had a bumpy relationship with food but that’s more for sensory issues and my emetophobia, which are two things that aren’t really classically linked to eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia. I just sort of kind of – oh there’s a fly… Bye! I always try to explain this and I never feel like I’m explaining myself fully or in the best way but despite the fact that I’ve never had an eating disorder, I am really scared of them. I’m really scared of developing one because I was constantly told that I had one throughout my life, I’m still getting told that I have one. I don’t ordinarily care what people think about me but there’s one thing that I can’t stand and I can’t get over and I can’t process and that is someone thinking that I have an eating disorder. I feel like every person who accuses me of having an eating disorder I just have to sit down with and explain all of the reasons why I don’t and justify myself to them because it really scares me when people think that I do have an eating disorder. I could honestly go on about this topic all day. Maybe I could do a whole video about it at some point let me know if you want to see that in the comment section but I don’t know, it’s sort of like, it’s all a bit of a mess in my head and it doesn’t really make logical sense and I often feel like when I tell people that I have a fear of developing eating disorders and that I constantly feel the need to prove to others that I don’t have an eating disorder, I worry that they’re looking at me and being like oh well you’re trying too hard to convince yourself that you don’t actually have an eating disorder when you do and then I get really freaked then, because I’m like no I definitely don’t and this isn’t me trying to prove anything to myself is trying to prove things to you guys and it’s just, oh… My brain is just really, really messed up sometimes. Was there ever a fictional character, whether it be from a TV show, book, or movie, that you’ve thought exhibited autistic traits, but was not explicitly autistic in the work itself? That is a really fun question and I feel like that is one that lots of people will want to get involved with in the comment section so be sure to give us all your answers in the comments to this question. For me it is Eleanor from Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, the book that came out earlier this year I believe, it’s a best seller. I’ll put a little photo of it by here, you’ve probably seen it on Amazon or in bookstores because it’s hugely, hugely popular and with good reason it is a very, very good book. I really feel like Eleanor displayed so many autistic traits that I really related to in terms of her inability to really understand social etiquette, the way that she approached social situations, her humour, and just how she just very cringely went through life and I could laugh and cringe with her from experience. But I am so, so glad that the author didn’t create an autistic character within this story because I feel like if Eleanor was explicitly autistic and was kind of made out to have autism in the book, I feel like a lot of people would have got the wrong end of the stick because without giving too much away Eleanor had a very tragic and traumatic childhood and I feel like a lot of people reading the book would kind of put two and two together very incorrectly and assume that the tragedy, the trauma, bad parenting, her upbringing, caused her autism and I feel like a lot of people would have got the wrong end of the stick. So I’m very glad that they didn’t go down that route but I definitely think she had a lot of autistic traits and I really loved the book. I would recommend it to anybody. I’ll leave it in a link in the description if you want to check it out. It is great. Have it as a Christmas present! It’s so good. Treat yourself, treat yourself to a nice book this Christmas because it’s a great one. Do you find that special interests are helpful in your professional pursuit? Yes, I do and I’ve spoken about this a couple of times on my channel, but I do really feel like the jobs that I’ve had over the years and by jobs, I mean two, and by over the years, I mean three years but I do feel like I wouldn’t have been able to do either of the jobs that I’ve done in my life as successfully if I didn’t have a special interest in the field that I worked in. When I started working in the cancer hospital, I developed a very massive interest in chemotherapy, which was obviously the area that I was working in and I feel like that’s kind of the case for a lot of autistic people. You kind of just fall into it in many respects. I know of a lot of people who have special interests who never set out to fully work within that area of special interest but have either created a special interest from the field of work that they were in or they managed to create a job within the world of their special interest so it kind of works in both ways and I’ve seen it work in both ways. I didn’t have a special interest in cancer treatment and chemotherapy until I got into that job, and then I was able to kind of really push forward with that role because I started to learn more and really get interested in it and really kind of put my all into it but also I have had an experience where my passion of autism and my special interest of disability equality and awareness has created a job for me. So I’ve had both experiences and I feel like a lot of autistic people, people with special interests can relate to one or both of these experiences because I feel like in many ways that is how we are able to cope and function and work in this world. We kind of create our own world of special interests and we are able to kind of motivate ourselves and push ourselves because we have such an interest in this area and it allows us to see past some of the difficulties that work can sometimes bring us and it enables us to kind of thrive in that environment. I noticed that you wear a lot of earrings and rings in your videos. I can’t tolerate jewellery at all. Do you know if this is common for those on the spectrum? I think it’s usually common for those on the spectrum to not be able to tolerate jewellery or certain accessories and it’s been something that I’ve gone like back and forth with, up and down and I… I don’t know. I think in many ways I do tolerate jewellery quite well as an autistic person. But I guess it kind of goes back to the last question really because I never used to wear rings and the first ring that I got like properly that I chose that was a little bit more expensive that was a proper you know, jeweller’s kind of ring. It was when I was 16 and I’d finished my GCSEs so it had more of like a symbolic meaning and then ever since then all of the rings that I have and that I wear every single day, they have meanings to me. I bought them at certain times in my life like after my A-levels, my first paycheck, my birthday, so they all have like little meanings and little kind of times in my life. They’re almost like tattoos to me, they have very like, they kind of are snapshots in time to that point in my life that I bought them and they became a special interest of mine, they became an area that I was hugely passionate about, all of my rings are Welsh gold and they all come from the same store and I like get really excited and very passionate about them and they are a huge area of love of mine. So maybe that is because it’s a special interest of mine in many respects that I’m able to tolerate them. But it did take me a very long time to tolerate rings and if ever I get a ring on a new finger, it takes me a good few weeks to get used to it but because I never take these off yeah, I’m used to them they’re kind of a part of my body now. They are literally like tattoos in my eyes because they just literally come with me but I know that also a lot of you kind of look at it from the other angle a lot of people with autism and sensory issues enjoy having them to fidget with and to kind of I don’t know but, stim with in many respects so it can work both ways, a lot of people really rely heavily on jewellery, other people cannot tolerate it. It’s just another beautiful part of the spectrum and how we’re all very different. And final question for today is do you believe that autism is the next stage in human evolution? Great question! I would love to believe that, every time I see this on social media or in things that I read, I get a little bit of a boost not gonna lie, because I’d love to be able to go around and be like yeah, I’m more evolved than you but obviously I don’t do that because that would be really annoying. But yeah, I do kind of get a little bit of a boost when people say that and that is really because I am hugely passionate about advocating the positives of being autistic. A lot of people feel like in order to spread awareness of autism and to get the message across they have to tell everyone where we struggle and the deficits that we have in our life and why we can’t do things and the things that we can’t do and it’s all “can’t” and “don’t” and “struggle with”. We need to balance it with the things that we can do, the things that we’re really good at, the things that we’re maybe better than average at, and the things that we bring to this world. I don’t know. I don’t know. I just got kind of a kick out of being complimented for autistic traits and almost feeling like people are going yeah take the flame, take this human race and move it forward and I’m like I volunteer I will do that for you. You know, it’s I don’t know. It’s a good feeling. I’m not sure if I hugely believe it. I would love to, um, I think it’s a lovely thing to say and to read as an autistic person but let me know what you guys think about this. That’s a really good topic of conversation to end on. Let me know in the comments below. Do you think that autism is the next stage of human evolution? So there we have it thank you so much to everybody who asked amazing questions I know I still have a lot of questions to go through but feel free if you want to, to add to that pile and comment any questions below if you have any or if you have any that would make for a really good end of year Christmassy Q&A feel free to pop them in the comment section. Let me know if you’ve enjoyed this video by giving it a big, big thumbs up. I hope you’ve had a really, really good day, and I will see you soon. Bye guys!

57 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Yes, autism is an evolutionary divergence of modern humans that not only will lead to future humankind but has already had a profound effect on the nature of our world over the last hundred plus years. Who do you think came up with all the inventions that have changed the world? People who are socially obsessed with fitting into a social structure, or people with the minds capable of focusing on the science to develop the technology in the first place?

  2. my experience as an autistic person is that not only do companies discriminate but, also professors in college discriminate against students who have autism. I have lived both of these experiences.

  3. To answer the last/title question, I'm not sure if autism is the next step in human evolution but I'd say it is a distinct milestone in our evolution.

    New Year related 2 or 4 part question: what are your views on new year's resolutions and would you say your autism affects those views? Do you have any new year's resolutions this year and if so what are they?

  4. I hate that people accuse you of having an eating disorder or saying that you look anorexic. That must be annoying.

  5. the groke in tove jansson's moomin stories. she is very misunderstood by everyone in the moomin valley and relatable to me, and naturally my favourite character.

  6. Evolution doesn't have a goal, so in that sense we can't be more evolved, but perhaps we are another branch growing on the tree of life. I often feel like I don't know how to human. Also, it's been suggested that Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts is autistic and I can see it.

  7. I would say that in many ways autism is evolutionary, though I don’t think this should be viewed in an egotistical light. However, without “a touch of autism”, as people say, we would probably not have progressed at all as a species in a creative sense. ( then again there are evolution theories that give credit to psilocybin but that’s a whole other topic) Temple Grandin often says in her lectures that it probably wasn’t the social butterflies who created the first stone spear back in the primitive days of human existence. Lol

    On another note, I was wondering if anyone in here has the experience with small talk where when a person makes a comment or statement towards you, you have to scan your brain for the “correct” phrase of response because it doesn’t come naturally to you? (Almost like a computer) I do this a lot and I thought that everyone sort of did that but I’m realizing it’s an autistic thing.

  8. 6:09 Thanks for answering my question! I think Katie "Pidge" Holt, Keith, and Leifsdottir from the Netflix series Voltron: Legendary have a lot of autistic traits.

  9. They're canon autistic, but worth mentioning because we don't see a lot of autistic women in books – Steris Harms from Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn 2nd Era, and Genevieve Lenard in Estelle Ryan's "Connection " series are great representation.

  10. In response to the bit about eating disorders… I have a 4-year degree in psychology. I'm not a psychologist or anything, but I know stuff about eating disorders. There is absolutely no way for a person to be able to accurately tell whether or not you have an eating disorder just by looking at you or even by being around you when you eat. It takes medical and psychological evaluations to tell you whether or not you have one. So the fact that people are telling you that you have one shows that they know little to nothing about eating disorders or how they work. Next time someone does say that to you, ask the person if they are a professional at diagnosing eating disorders. If they say no, turn around and walk away. If it's someone you know is well-meaning, then explain it to them like you mentioned. But if the person isn't even that important to you, ignore them and know that what they just said to you is beyond stupid.

  11. Thanks for being such an inspiration. I watched your food video and can understand. Not from a personal point but my daughter is much like you. She has always been extremely small and of slight build. As she grew up she and I were constantly told she must have an eating disorder because like you she was very picky and like us both she’s on the spectrum. However she came through it and now at thirty is much more comfortable with food. Thank you for sharing

  12. I don't think Autism is a evolutionary stage in human neurology because there have been instances of people in the world/society always having Autism. We just recently started noticing Autism as a society, that's why it feels like it is a 'new' and 'recent' development. We have always been here, so if it was an evolutionary stage, it would've eventually slowly evolved over time instead of having people with Autism yeeears ago all the way to now. That's just my idea.

  13. To me saying that autism is "the next stage of human evolution" sounds like ableism. We're just as human as neurotypical people, all of us have talents and can contribute to the world in our own ways. I don't think it's right to say one type of person is better than the other.

  14. Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon to me has Autistic Traits but is not labeled in the shows as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  15. People thought I had an eating disorder and I think part of it was that I have a lot of texture and GI issues with food that I now know is autism related. When I’d try to explain how and why I’m a picky eater they would see that as proof of the eating disorder 😑 But now I can be more clear that it’s a sensory and GI thing.

  16. Katy, you don't need to justify your looks to anyone. if you're happy, just diffuse the situation, and move onto a different subject.

    I am a believer that the autistic evolution has been happening for quite a long time, and it shows when they are put into a creative position. However, individuals that cannot control their meltdowns, end up damaging themselves if the public finds out. The general public needs to understand patience and accept where a non-neural typical is coming from, which is very hard to come by.

  17. Newt Scamander seems to exhibit autistic traits, despite not explicitly being said to have autism. Boy, i sure do love me some Fantastic Beasts.

  18. The thing with evolution is that there is no clear 'next step' and it doesn't always work towards a better species. Evolution is just a product of different mutations entering the gene pool and through reproduction getting more and more common.

    With the world as it is, humans have many traits that make us objectively worse because most people have children even if they do have bad teeth etc., traits that can be fixed through medicine and such. It is still evolution when those traits get more common.

    So basically, autism among intelligence and not gaining weight easily are a part of evolution as it is genetic, but so are schizophrenia and ALS. Where, if anywhere, evolution will take humans, is just about who gets the most kids.

  19. I don't have body image issues, but I have an eating disorder and so I am very curious about your fears of one and the way that it presents when you feel defensive about your lifestyle habits.

  20. I think as all people we have forms of autistic traits depending on the situation. I think everyone has situations where they will slip into a meltdown or a shutdown depending on the situation. I watched my partner lose his pet and witnessed repetitive thoughts and stimming for him to cope through the situation as he has to face this world without her now.

  21. You once mentioned a book about aspergers in girls from tony attwood. Could you recommend any titles of books that helped you to educate yourself about aspergers/ASD?

  22. I have a question – is that a Georgia Tech sweatshirt? When I go back and get my Masters in computer science, I’ve already decided I’m going to do their online masters program. 😀

  23. I so get that fear of getting an eating disorder. I suffer from chronic pain/illness so their are days I just can’t eat. I get questioned all the time about food and my eating patterns. It is so frustrating

  24. I was discriminated against on my school work experience because even though I did all the tasks I apparently didn’t talk enough and didn’t gossip at lunch times

  25. My answer to the Autistic characters question: The Doctor (especially 11 & 13), Mabel Pines In Gravity Falls, Tina Belcher In Bob’s Burgers, the main detective woman in Killing Eve, Roy on Corrie

  26. Eddie Redmanye says he thinks Newt Scamander is on the spectrum. However since fantastic beast takes place in the 1930s and autism wasn't discovered yet it may never be canon.

  27. Can you make a video about your experience with eye contact? I've always struggles with it and I was wondering if you struggled with it as well. I love your videos by the way

  28. I have been watching "Frasier" everyday for years. It is a repetitive special interest of mine; I think both Frasier and his brother Niles characters have Asperger's! I just found out that I have autism this year. So after I found out and continue to watch Frasier, I noticed the character is very much so also have Asperger's.

  29. I think Barry Allen aka The Flash and Nora Allen-West aka XS are both on the autism spectrum. In the Marvel graphic novels Doctor Hank Philip McCoy aka The Beast and Wade Wilson aka Deadpool have autistic traits.

  30. My special interests are basic level meteorology and space weather which is more of a hobby. I am unable to work due to chronic ill health.

  31. 4:49 You won't develop an eating disorder. Or, I should hope you won't. I have the exact same eating issues as you, more or less (emetophobia and Asperger's), and I am always perceived as having anorexia or whatever other bollocks people come up with, but there's no risk of me developing it because I know it's fundamentally wrong, it's not what I have. Even when I was put through an eating disorders clinic, I could tell they were only experienced in dealing with people with anorexia and similar conditions, and I did not improve under their treatment, but it didn't mean I started to believe I had anorexia. I know myself, and I'm sure you know yourself too, and if I won't cave in to outside labels and pressures and perceptions, hopefully you won't too.

  32. Hey Katy, may I ask if you perceive music differently with a tendency to pick up on subtle little details, be it instrumental or production, that other people just don't even notice? Also do you find it much more emotionally provocative? Cheers and merry Christmas.

  33. Do you ever feel the "world" focuses so much on how we need to change that they dont care about our perspectives? I mean, I spend my life being told how to act and how I am typical people see the world, and yet it's rare to find someone who wants to hear about how I see the world. I sometimes feel like it is all on me to change when it should be a two-way street. If I am expected to hear how you (typical people) see the world, why don't you (typical) listen to how I see it? Don't get me wrong, I always appreciate learning new social skills. I just wish more people would listen to me about my ideas and social skills. The Autism community does have an autism- specific set of social skills that are different from typical people. We have a culture, controversies and slang terms, just like everyone else.

  34. I mean this in the least derogatory way possible and I am autistic myself but I think that autism might be left over from neanderthals or early humans. They didn't have as much social interaction, had to focus on crafts like making tools, there probably wasn't much that nature could provide to overload them sensory wise compared to the modern world. There are struggles of bring autistic but there is nothing wrong with us

  35. I spotted Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine while in a bookstore last week and just had to buy it since I remembered you mentioning it, and I must say that it really was an amazingly good read and I definitely, definitely see what you mean with the autistic traits. I'm glad you talked of it so I got the pleasure to read it too! It was in fact my first book of the year (Sad? yeah, yeah probably)

  36. I think that while autism may not be the next step in human evolution, that it is definitely something that the word “disorder” has limited. For me, it is more like a different, and sometimes higher, mindset and way of thinking that should just be appreciated. The self-awareness along with many other common, positive aspects that come with ASD are something that should be respected, if not sought after by everyone.

  37. To anyone (KT) who thinks I was saying I am or autistic people in general are superior to those who are not, you are wrong. I do not think anyone better or superior to anyone else, we are all different. I'm actually jealous of those who can turn it off, and be chill. Those who don't have the deep need to understand how things work, and just use them, get to relax more from what I see. But then again, I only see this because I am downloading and dissecting data all the time, and I'm writing a comment about it, rather than relaxing. See, case in point.

  38. My understanding is that aspies run on a different wavelength. When I meet an aspie, we have no problems communicating. It is strange. But with other people communication is difficult. I get other aspies. Anyone else experience this?

  39. I absolutely agree that autism is the next phase of human evolution. I have autism myself, and I have always found that I have a better memory than those around me, not to mention acute senses such great vision, hearing, sense of touch, and taste. Humans must evolve somehow, either mentally or physically, and Autism is how we are evolving.

  40. I firmly believe Autism/Asperger's is a stage in human evolution and an evolutionary safe guard to push the species forward through either an evolutionary or cultural bottleneck.

  41. My father is an Aspie probably blocking it out and pretending that everything is fine and my mother a Borderline schizophrenic. I am cursing them for passing this shitty condition on to me. I have a higher level of Autistic traits coupled with the overemotional mental instability of my mother. Awesome! My CV is great but my whole life an utter everyday struggle with inconceivable mental torture. Why do certain people think it's a good idea to have children when they are themselves mentally weak and incapable of raising them? I had to parent them despite being Autistic myself!! Having Autism despite its gifts is already a huge challenge but then you know what, society comes into play making the whole thing at least 10x worse and adding hugely to the mental struggles. Who wants to get discriminated against every day despite having high intelligence and talents, seeing things clearer than NT's and being socially marginalised? I have sympathy for the people not wanting to leave the house anymore. Should have done the same. Thankfully I can have a medically assisted suicide next year. I am exhausted, spent and my soul crushed. I wish I had not been born at all. Anyone pointing out that Autism is not bad either has Stockholm syndrome, is completely out of his mind or should no be diagnosed as they are simply lifestyle Autistics.

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