Sunday, 20 April 2014

Daryl Hannah's Autism Should be Celebrated


Daryl Hannah revealed a truth which is not often discussed in the entertainment world. She opened up about Autism. This is not a stereotype, a label, or an excuse. It is a spectrum. She is 'normal' enough that people may not have noticed. But it is real enough that she did not know what to say to anyone. It is real enough that she had to push to avoid institutional generalisations.

Hannah spoke with Dan Ruther about her experiences with what is now known as Asperger's Syndrome. She says she was not necessarily introverted, but 'out there... off in the dream world.' There is a spectrum of what could be called simply, 'different.' Some people are just in a world of their own, a world which lends itself to creativity or courage. This imaginative nature allows individuals to attempt the impossible. They simply don't see the limits that others see. Or they see unique options and solutions to help others.

It's as though some people simply do not fit the generic mould. It's so intangible, almost inexplicable. Daryl Hannah failed an 'ink blot' when tested. Hannah explains, "My answers were all wrong, apparently." Someone's mentor once said it is like trying to fit a triangle into a circle. This allows for courageous creativity, in time.

The world should embrace all things abnormal. The Daily Mail quoted Daryl Hannah as saying, "I wasted so much time scared, self-conscious and insecure." She is doing well for being publicly open now. But it is a pity that negative public opinions are even an issue. People should have encouraged her to be as different as possible.

The media always use startling descriptions of this brilliant uniqueness. TV Guide in the USA described the situation as, "Daryl Hannah Reveals Struggle with Autism."  What struggle? Asperger's is not insanity - but this is a reminder of the old saying, 'I'm not suffering from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.' This is applicable to any form of difference. Enjoy every minute. There's a Facebook page to join if needed.

Differences are a gift. So what if someone spends 18 years of life, not knowing what to say to people? So what if someone has a neutral facial expression, or has a focus on particular interests? Why does it matter if a reliance of routine works better?

Some people go through their whole lives hearing from in-laws, employers, everyone, "You just don't have the right brain for this." Well, Lena Dunham has OCD. And plenty of celebrities have dyslexia. Here's to having the 'wrong brain' for anything typical. It might just create something extraordinary.