We watched Snow Cake tonight, a movie that revolves around a highly verbal, high-functioning autistic woman whose daughter has just died. Sigourney Weaver is the autistic woman and she does a wonderful job. I highly recommend this movie because it's Canadian and it feels very realistic in its portrayal of the small town. Besides, it's a good story. :)
The movie is quite interesting. I'm not autistic and I don't have Asperger's but some of the things the autisitc character did and said were not so different from things that I say and do - or think about saying or doing. For example, the woman asks someone to leave because she didn't want him around. He asks if half an hour will be long enough and she tells him that she didn't know; all she knows is that right now she wants him out of there. That's so true!
I have also wanted to hide from people, as she does, and I dislike being touched, as she does. I have certainly felt inappropriate responses to situations even if I haven't behaved inappropriately. I have rituals (like reading before bed, or the way I currently eat breakfast) and I am upset when they are changed. I have behaviours that are not at all similar to hers as well (for example, I am not at all obsessive-compulsive), but I definitely have things in common with the autistic character.
This has left me wondering at what point a collection of thoughts and behaviours becomes a recognizable disorder. Does everyone have some of these thoughts or behaviours, and it's only when they're all or almost all present that the autistic spectrum label is affixed to that person? Are some behaviours more definitive or important when determining which label applies? Or am I just this side of autistic? I don't know. It's interesting to think about, though.