And it's considered in poor taste to highlight how infantile the group is, and to hold adolescent and adult norms as ideal, as though nothing could be meaner than grown-ups ganging up on or ostracizing the little kids who can't stick up for themselves.
The main example of this is, of course, the homo acceptance movement. You can't get much more infantile than a bunch of hyperactive airheads who build their very identity on the foundation of finding girls yucky.
After them is the autism acceptance movement. As with homosexual drama queens disturbing you at your hang-outs and place of work, we're just supposed to "not judge" autistics and let them disturb us or our children with their toddler-like self-centeredness. "They can't help it, they were born that way." Oh yeah, I forgot -- why bother holding quasi-children to any norms or standards, when parents these days already let normal children act like total brats?
I feel bad taking on autistics now, because they aren't as loathsome as faggots. They aren't aggressively in-your-face, and while the parent / surrogate parents who promote autism acceptance are engaging in a form of attempting to normalize deviance, at least it's not a viscerally disgusting crime-against-nature kind of deviance.
Still, I'm fed up with normal people not being allowed to point out how infantile autistics are, to get the individuals themselves, their caregivers, teachers, or community members to start reining in their toddlerness. For their own good, and for ours.
I just spent the weekend with an autistic step-relative who I only see once or twice a year. I didn't pick up on her eating habits before, but they became crystal-clear this weekend because she's put on so much weight. Knowing the basics of what causes obesity, I suspected that she ate too much carbs.
Well, it turned out far worse -- it was like she ate only carbs, in fact only starch and sugar. She might have had a piece of cod or salmon one night, but as a rule she stuck to starch and sugar. Three or four kinds of candy, potato chips, pretzels, rice (with a little egg foo young), bread, cinnamon buns, raspberry pie (that had little filling, mostly the crumbly pastry stuff), ice cream, fruit juice, fries, milkshakes...
I've never seen someone so determined to eat only sucrose, or in a pinch, glucose and fructose from separate foods. She eats like a 2 year-old, not a 22 year-old. Food preference would seem to go along with their poor motor, language, and social skills, keeping them in toddlerhood. Is that typical?
From the background section of a recent presentation:
Food selectivity (i.e., consuming a narrow range of food by type, texture, and/or presentation) is often cited among children with [Autism Spectrum Disorders]. Typically, children with ASD have strong preferences for carbohydrates, snacks, and/or processed foods and rejection of fruits and vegetables.
Bingo. Keep that in mind any time you hear about "picky eaters," autistic or otherwise. Their kid isn't a hardcore carnivore, or a strict spinach-eater. He's a sugar-sucking starch junkie.
Here is a lit review that suggests the picture isn't so clear on the tastes of autistics, other than their wanting less variety. Going through the references, though, it seems like most of the ones showing that autistics are getting mostly normal nutrition reflect the intervention of parents who put their kids on a strict diet. Especially the data showing a lack of dairy intake, which suggests the parents put them on a gluten-free / casein-free diet. These super-parents are the minority who over-ride their kids' preferences for their own good.
In the lab studies where the kid was offered different types of food by an experimenter, and who therefore expressed their underlying preferences, they were more likely to refuse non-starchy foods, and were more accepting of starch.
Not surprisingly, autistics are much more likely to be overweight or obese (source):
In the new study [of autistic children], researchers classified...about 15 percent as being overweight... Another...almost 18 percent were obese...
In comparison, a previous estimate based on a nationwide sample of children of similar age...found that about 11 percent are overweight and 10 percent obese.
That amounts to a difference between the average autistic and the average normal kid of 0.37 standard deviations. If we thought of being lean as like being tall, it's as though autistic children were on average an inch shorter than normal kids. Not the largest gap in the world, but still something you'd notice in real life. Particularly at the extremes like morbid obesity.
And remember that autism is a "spectrum" disorder, not a black-and-white thing. There are spergs who are less extreme than autistics, and the semi-spergs just below them. They will show these food traits too, if not to quite the same extreme. But just think of what the typical geek or nerd subsists on -- a 7-11 diet. All starch and sugar, perhaps with a little animal protein and fat somewhere down there, like those puny little shrimp underneath the mound of ramen noodles.
Every time you see someone eating that stuff, you want to try to shame them by asking them if they're still 5 years old. Or at least give them that disgusted, disappointed, and disapproving look, like "seriously bro, wtf?" or however you say that.
But, you're not supposed to judge or shame anyone anymore. Hence why the parents of autistic children allow them to blimp out even more than today's already lardass children. Helicopter parents of normal kids set at least some kind of boundaries. But since autistic kids can't help it, it feels too mean to deny them whatever they want at any given moment. If that warps their bodies and minds even more than they already are, well, that's their problem, not yours. You feel nice and generous for letting them get what they want.
To project into the future, as our population becomes more and more autistic, we can see how joyless and addictive our daily lives will become. Feeding is such a basic thing, and we're going to feel no satisfaction or fulfillment from it because there will be less animal fat and protein, and more carby junk that puts you on a treadmill of addiction, leaving you perpetually hungry and aching to snack.
It also goes to show how lacking in pleasure a cerebral person's life is, even when it comes down to something as material and corporeal as food. It's just another joyless addiction in their repetitive OCD existence. Autistics are the prototypical group of people who live entirely within their minds, whose senses are all outta-whack and whose bodies don't work right in the world. The void of satisfaction, fulfillment, and pleasure ought to be the strongest wake-up call to all these cheerleaders for our Revenge of the Nerds zeitgeist.