Eye contact is one of the first signs of Neurotypical Disorder.
(Photo Courtesy of Kansas State University)
Long thought to be just bad parenting, researchers at Autismland State University (ASU) have uncovered new details about the infamous NTD (Neurotypical Disorder) epidemic. Although research suggests it is not contagious, NTD is a disease with increasing diagnoses in all social classes and people groups.
A recent study conducted at ASU proves that children on the Neurotypical Spectrum can now be diagnosed as early as 15 months, by looking for certain signs and behaviours common among Neurotypicals.
Early signs of NTD include:
- Early onset of Human Speech Imitation (called “Babbling”)
- Disturbing lack of repetitive motions and stimming, such as hand flapping
- Disorganized behaviours
- Communication by Staring Syndrome (CSS)—an eerie or unnatural obsession with human retinas, often leading to a sort of constant staring match (a condition colloquially coined, “Eye contact”)
- Impaired visual thinking skills
- Impaired senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, etc.)
- Unclear Communication, such as frequent use of idiomatic phrases
- Frequent Spontaneity
- STWC (Sole-to-Toe-Walking-Complex)—a rare condition when the sufferer prefers the method of utilizing their entire foot to walk (including the heel).
- Inability to have strong interests in any particular subject
- Unusual imitations of human movements and exaggerated facial expressions
- Overly-intense interest in communication
- Impaired Long-term Memory
- Handicapped Attention Span
NTD is a rising epidemic, with new evidence suggesting that as many as 1 in 5 children being born now may be somewhere on the Neurotypical Spectrum. There is currently no known cure for this disability. Although environmental factors appear to play a role in the overall functionality of Neurotypicals, the main cause appears to be completely genetic—scientists speculate that the lack of new mutations in a human genome may be the leading cause. To understand more deeply the gravity of the situation, we interviewed Dr. Julius Garrett, who is both a senior professor at ASU and current president of the non-profit group NASANI (National Association for the Self Advocacy of Neurotypical Individuals).
“Despite the name, we don’t really do any self-advocacy here,” explained Dr. Garrett, “Neurotypicals simply aren’t capable nor aware enough to advocate for themselves. What’s more important is talking to doctors and experts like me. I have a PhD in Neuroscience, so I’m much more qualified to talk about how Neurotypicals experience the world and view themselves than Neurotypicals and their families. Book-learned education is much more important than first-hand experience. I guess you could say that’s why our board of directors isn’t run by any Neurotypical people; even though we’re all Autistics, we’re more qualified to talk about being Neurotypical than Neurotypicals. It’s rather like a charity for women’s rights that’s run entirely by men.”
When asked how NASANI uses its funds, Dr. Garrett said,
“Yes, we are a completely non-profit charity, and the betterment of Neurotypicals is our main priority. We use 40% of our funds on Research and Development (mainly trying to find possible cures and genetic causes of NTD), 30% on advertisements meant to scare people into giving us money, 20% on Administrative Costs and Salaries, 8% on ‘Miscellaneous’ (Company Pool Party), and 2% on Services and Therapies for Neurotypical Families. So I guess you could say spending money we’ve raised to fundraise more money is another one of our many priorities.”
Contrary to Dr. Garrett’s advice about book-learning vs. first-hand experience, we decided we wanted a second opinion and interviewed Emily Baird, who’s daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed with NTD when she was 3. Sadly, Mrs. Baird’s story is just one of a growing number of similar tragedies.
“Kaitlyn’s always been different,” said Baird, “We knew little or nothing about Neurotypical Disorder, but decided to have her evaluated because, as my husband puts it, we thought something was ‘a bit off.’ When we found out Kaitlyn was a Neurotypie, my husband and I… Were heartbroken. We stayed up late at night making a list of things we knew she would never be able to do. I can’t think of any parent who wouldn’t be heartbroken to know that their kids would never see the sound of their voice.”
When asked whether Neurotypicals “outgrow” their condition, Baird said,
“Kaitlyn’s 12 years old now. Some things have gotten easier for Kaitlyn as she’s gotten older, but other things have gotten much worse. No one can understand how hard it is for us parents of Neurotypies. [We] pump [Kaitlyn] full of medications and spend thousands of dollars a year in therapies and treatments to try to make her seem less Neurotypical. And, of course, there’s the usual stigma of being different; I don’t even go to church anymore, because I was sick of getting the stink eye from people, like I’d committed some sort of terrible crime bringing my daughter into a public place.”
However, despite the incredible difficulties of daily life, Baird says she thinks being Neurotypical might have its perks.
“Kaitlyn really is brilliant,” says Baird, “Don’t listen to what organizations like NASANI tell you about Neuropties being mentally impaired. Although most of her senses aren’t very acute, she even seems to have abilities that most people don’t; her spacial skills are simply amazing. I remember when she was 4 or 5, and she was sitting at a table, and she told me that she could tell exactly where her feet were in space, even though they weren’t touching anything and she couldn’t see them! There’s that, and this sort of psychic talent she has with understanding people nonverbally. She says she can tell what someone is thinking just by the way they raise or lower their eyebrows!”
When asked whether she thought Neurotypicals lacked empathy or affection, Baird said,
“Kaitlyn certainly doesn’t lack empathy or affection; she just shows them in different ways.”
Despite her positive attitude, Baird is not optimistic for Kaitlyn’s future.
“I don’t think she’ll ever be able to function on her own,” said Mrs. Baird, “I know I won’t always be there for her; I would be much more at peace if I knew she had someone else to take care of her.”
We had interviewed both an expert and a parent, so we thought we’d call it a day, but our ride got stuck in traffic and our reporters got bored, so we decided to interview Kaitlyn Baird as well. This is the first time an Autistic Newspaper has interviewed a Neurotypical directly, and we were surprised by some of Kaitlyn’s insights.
“There’s so much stuff out there in the media these days about us Neurotypies,” said Kaitlyn, “Most of it talks about the negative side of things and ignoring the positives. There are both pros and cons to being Neuroptyical, and I think people need to learn more about the positive side.”
Contrary to her mother’s opinion, Kaitlyn is hopeful about her future.
“[Neurotypicals] perceive the world differently than most people, but we’re all just people like you, human beings looking for love, life, and work. Many of us can grow up, fall in love, get married and have children. We want jobs with good pay where our talents will pay off the most.”
When questioned about any possible NTD myths, Kaitlyn replied,
“It’s not impossible for Neurotypicals to have strong interests. I have a Neurotypie friend at school named Jacob, and he’s really into sports. Most of us are just more into a broader range of subjects than Autistics, and we don’t really derive any comfort or pleasure from memorizing facts related to those subjects.”
We asked Kaitlyn whether she thought Neurotypical Disorder had a cure. This was her response:
“Being Neurotypical is just another way of perceiving the world; it’s part of who I am. There is no cure, so stop looking for one! Even if there were such a cure, I wouldn’t give up being Neurotypical for anything… [About causes of Neurotypical Disorder] I’m sure it’s mostly genetic; but research on the genetic cause of [Neurotypical Disorder] makes me nervous, because I have a feeling that eugenists would use the information gathered by such studies to try to eliminate us. We’re all people, and that’s something I think people don’t seem to realize sometimes. We’re not possessed by a demon called ‘Neurotypical Disorder’, there is no ‘perfect, ordinary Autistic child’ underneath our skin; this is just who we are. We’re not diseased, just different. We’re all human beings, just like you, and we all have the same right to live just the same as everyone else.”
Want to read more poorly-written articles like this one? Just remember to subscribe to us, and we'll spam your inbox even after you're dead! If that's not enough, sign up for our nonexistent weekly newsletter!