Autism Spectrum Behaviour Life In General

To Mimic Is Human

Have you ever found yourself listening to the way you speak, or paying attention to the way you move, and suddenly realize that you’re imitating someone else?

I certainly have, the most recent of which was about five minutes before I started writing this post!

Over the last three to four years, there have been times when I will say things a certain way, or choose certain words, that immediately call to mind a friend or close acquaintance.

“But autistics have trouble mimicking others! Mirror neuron issues!” you say?

Actually, a talent for mimicry seems to be one of the traits common to female autistics. It’s one of the reasons why female autistics are much harder to diagnose – and have a harder time getting diagnosed – than most male autistics. We tend to mimic automatically, without thinking about it, which helps us pass in general society – though it’s not without its pitfalls, of course.

I don’t know about others, but I certainly never knew I did that. Oh, as a child every so often I’d notice once I was home in Toronto after a trip to see family in Newfoundland, I would say some words with a Newfoundland accent – specifically the accent of one of my aunts – but I just thought I had a good ear for accents.

It wasn’t until a month or two after one of my CAPP meetings that I realized. My dad had just either picked me up or dropped me off one Sunday (can’t remember the specifics, I’m afraid), and I said something to him. A moment later, I went, “I sound like Patricia right now!”

And, in fact, I did – right down to my intonation and word choice.

Since then, I’ve noticed when I do it – most of the time, as far as I’m aware…. It doesn’t happen that frequently, and it can be weeks to months after I last saw the person in question, but for a minute or two, I sound exactly like someone else I know – just the actual voice is different.

It’s a bit weird… but at the same time, kind of neat. I think I’ve mentioned before that I write fanfiction (it taught me a lot for writing my own original stuff), and one thing that people have said from the very first story I wrote, way back in the days of Babylon 5, was that I had a gift for writing the characters’ voices in such a way that they could ‘hear’ the character actually saying them. It was a great compliment, and I think that talent for mimicry is at least partly responsible for that. 🙂

Anyway, just wanted to send out my thoughts on that, prompted by the inadvertent mimicry of my favourite Social Group facilitator!

(Upcoming posts: Executive Function basics, and my Sensory Issues presentation!)

😉 tagÂûght

By tagÂûght

I’m in my mid-thirties. I’ve lived in Canada all my life (Toronto and St. John’s), but I’ve travelled to Florida, Massachusetts, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Costa Rica. I love airplane travel (as long as there are no noisy kids around me!). I’m proud to be Canadian (though Harper might end up changing that!).

I have ASD, aka Autism Spectrum Disorder. Strictly speaking, I’ve been diagnosed as having Aspergers, but (for Canada and the US, at least) that diagnosis is going to be melded with ASD as of May, with the publication of DSM V. Having ASD, and the job I do at the moment (see First Post), is why reading the blogs I mentioned above inspired me to start one of my own about my life in general.

Back in October, I got my driver’s license (as opposed to driving permit for learners) – after twenty years of effort and trying. A lot of thanks is due to my instructor, who has dealt with people with ASD before, and so knew how to teach me for the test (I was able to drive before, just not pass the test, due to anxiety and problems with multi-tasking).

I’m a fanatic writer of SF and Fantasy, both fanfiction and original, and I devour books as well.

I love animals, in particular cats, and I have a fascination with wolves, wild cats (including the big cats), orcas, and the physiology of cephalopods.

I love the wilderness – though I don’t really have the endurance (at the moment, at least) to go hiking or camping out.

And, rather importantly, I’m not someone who thinks about political correctness when it comes to vocabulary. I use what seems right when it seems right. That will include calling myself a person with ASD, or an Autistic, or an Aspie. I’m me; I can call myself what I want.

So, enough about me. Go read my posts – they’re more informative!

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