How we might struggle with the abstract

Personally speaking, I and many others on the spectrum seem to struggle with abstract concepts; those strange grey areas in life, which are neither black nor white. Almost two decades ago, when I studied law, I could resolve this lack of clarity by simply determining that my role, as a law student, and subsequently as a lawyer, was one of translating what one person saw as monochrome into either black or white. The law, and  any ‘social science’ however, refuses to sit in either black or white boxes, continuing to occupy a multitude of untidy and disorganised boxes, shelves, files and sometimes it seemed to have got lost down the back of the sofa.

That’s one of the reasons I left legal practice after only a few years. Other things sat more readily into either one thing or another. I’ve always been fascinated with language and the use of words. It’s something that I’m reasonably clever with, even though the rules of the English language can be confusing and my French is only at a GCSE grade despite having lived in a French speaking region of Switzerland for three years. Hence, I kind of drifted into teaching English as a Foreign Language and was due to have started my PGCE last year and will do this year.

Anyway, I’ve digressed (a tendency of mine) today I had to be practical and follow diagrams on how to fix a buckle on a cycling shoe. One hour later and I got the parts dismantled, and reassembled. As a person who finds reading diagrams, or instructions damn near impossible, I was rather pleased with myself; my language had not been ‘too colourful’ and things had not be thrown. The proof is in the testing, had I managed to fix it?

No, I didn’t. I gave it a good try. I’d followed a series of diagrams for as much sense as I could make of them. For the want to not causing myself a meltdown, I have opted to put them down and approach the problem another day.

In the meantime, I am resolute that simple stimming is good for me and I’m sat doing so whilst getting my thoughts in order enough to type.


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