Google+ Badge

Friday, 9 December 2016

Minor but irritating Asperger traits #1: Magic tricks

For the last few weeks we’ve taken to having ‘Sunday night family time’ watching Britain’s Next Great Magician on TV. Everyone’s a winner. The kids love it, it’s actually, for the most part, quite entertaining and it requires far less effort at the end of a busy week than reading a bedtime story.

However, I do have one complaint: Ethan.

He either has to smugly claim that he knows how each trick is done (and thus take the magic out of magic trick for us all) or, if there’s a trick he can’t explain, he’ll rewind the programme, slow it right down (the wonders of modern technology for a person with Asperger’s) and carry out a detailed study. Needless to say, this is really annoying for everyone else watching the programme. I also find it sad (and infuriating) that he needs to know how everything works – fiercely practical always. Where’s the space for dreaming, wonder, make-believe? But anything he can’t explain, pin down to science and reason, seems to bother him. It’s part of him feeling in control of his world, I guess.

I think that being able to explain a magic trick, if only to himself, makes him feel good, self-assured, right. And being right boosts his self-esteem when so often in life and social situations, he is wrong.


The rest of us, weirdly, watch a magic show for the magic. So, this week, I’m keeping tight hold of the remote control!

4 comments:

  1. I don't know if that's the case for him, but I actually enjoy figuring out how these things work, uncovering the truth behind the illusion is like a fun puzzle to me. I also find it hard to understand what's so great about "believing" something that you clearly know is untrue... I don't do that in order to reassure myself though, it's just my way of enjoying magic

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know if that's the case for him, but I actually enjoy figuring out how these things work, uncovering the truth behind the illusion is like a fun puzzle to me. I also find it hard to understand what's so great about "believing" something that you clearly know is untrue... I don't do that in order to reassure myself though, it's just my way of enjoying magic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But no one actually believes the magic trick. Everyone knows it's just a trick. What (most) people are interested in is just seeing the performance and the showmanship of the magician. Aspies seem to have this thing where they can't do something JUST TO ENJOY IT, it's like there has to be a reason for everything otherwise it's pointless.

      Delete
  3. This is my first insight into Aspergers though I have LONG suspected that my partner of 30 years has this ... I am almost excited already at reading various comments and somewhat relieved...the "magic trick" if you like, for my husband is trying to workout how the plumber, electrician, whoever, is going to do the job we have called them in to do...he will spend MANY minutes looking at the "job"...analysing it in great details...and of course, it's not going to be easy! Now I just walk away but used to always say, "but they are experienced and know what they are doing...!" because I just didn't get it...I have always said it's like pushing an elephant up the stairs....!

    ReplyDelete