It is said that we, autistics, lack social imagination, and I am sure that is true, unfortunately. Social imagination is not the same as regular imagination and it has nothing to do with creativity. Social imagination is the ability to predict how situations in our life are going to unfold and how people are going to react to our actions.
I am wondering however, how much better neurotypicals are at that?
I’m thinking now specifically about a certain phenomenon that I often saw in Polish couples and other family members of small children. Polish people like to say that if a child is demanding he or she will be able to easily ‘cope with life’. No one ever explains what the term ‘cope with life’ actually means – after all most people cope with life at least moderately well. They have jobs, have somewhere to live, something to wear and eat, so that already means to me that they are coping. Wouldn’t you agree? And if they have hobbies, relationships, friends and families and are able to go on holiday once a year, that’s even better. So most people are coping with life, whether they were demanding as a child or not.
Moreover, what I noticed in adults is that the biggest success is usually achieved by people who are hardworking but also diplomatic and can compromise – demanding a promotion is not going to give one to anybody.
So I’m really wondering who came up with the idea that an ability to demand another slice of cake by 4 year old is going to help them to achieve success in adulthood. And yet, I’ve heard that being repeatedly stated by neurotypical family members.
So what is the truth about social imagination in neurotypicals? Stating that autistics don’t have it makes me think that neurotypical must have loads of it. And possibly that is not true? Maybe they are just a little bit better than us?