Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Accepting Imagination Deficit

Autistic people are said to have an imagination deficit. At first, when I heard that, I outright rejected it, saying things like 'the people who think autistics lack imagination are the unimaginative ones'.
In my case, I've come to realize that I actually have a form of autism in which imagination is usually a talent, certainly not a deficit. Based on that, I've been researching 'creatively gifted' kids, to better understand what that actually means.
But it just occurred to me that if, as I believe, there are some people who are inherently more creative, there must also be people who are inherently less creative - just as the presence of intellectually gifted kids requires that there also be developmentally delayed kids. Whether these unimaginative children are autistic or not, they, too, are part of neurodiversity, and should be accepted for who they really are and viewed as valuable individuals. But whereas I have no trouble accepting both gifted and delayed kids, I find it hard to accept unimaginative kids.
What would unimaginative kids be like? Well, according to this study, they'd be tolerant, practical, reliable, dependable, responsible, logical, understanding, appreciative, good-natured and sincere. To me, that sounds mostly like a mix of good organizational skills and being a people-pleaser. I can accept that people like that are useful, that they counteract some of the problems creative people tend to have, that while creative people tend to be better at coming up with ideas, these people would be better at actually implementing them. But I think of the joy and beauty of creating something new, and I don't really feel that those things make up for not having that.
Now, I'm sure I'm not being fair to them. Likely, things that have little appeal to me bring a similar kind of joy to them. I know I'm doing exactly what Amanda Baggs criticized here, but I don't know how to stop from doing that. Or, as Zilari explained in a comment on the above post, part of my checklist of things someone must have in their life to be happy is 'creating things'. It's certainly part of what I need in my life to be happy, but clearly not that way for many other people. But I just can't imagine how someone could be noncreative and happy that way.
I'll just have to keep working on it.

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9 Comments:

Blogger therextras said...

Beautiful post, Ettina. I will be directing some blog traffic your way. Thanks. Barbara

11:59 AM  
Blogger therextras said...

Beautiful post, Ettina. I will be directing some traffic your way. Thanks. Barbara

11:59 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

When my daughter who has Down syndrome was a baby one of her teachers told me that she would never have an imagination. I was devastated by this. All the other aspects of the disability didn't hurt me that much, but the idea of no imagination brought me to my knees--I just couldn't picture a quality life without it. Thankfully it wasn't long before she was pretending to feed her dolls, etc. They were wrong...

Creativity is something to cherish. Thank you for participating in the blog carnival.

4:48 AM  
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