This is one of the best descriptions of how autistic people interact with information. And this is one of the best essays for how it describes the challenges autistic people faced for how they are categorized.
I believe the problem with categorizing autistic people is that there are no good alternatives to choose from as of yet. The DSM has categorized personality disorders and mental illnesses in terms of behaviors. Behaviors are involuntary responses to how one is understanding and managing information in any given moment. It is impossible to isolate behaviors to determine who is mentally ill or not because it is not accurate enough.
If we changed the way we actually defined a human being to how he or she is able to understand, manipulate, and manage information, we would come up with more accurate categories. We could come up with categories that are descriptive without being stigmatizing.
The idea a person can have a disordered personality or a mental illness would not make sense if we assumed every brain is making sense of information the way it is able to. We would instead categorize all people according to the information they are able to understand and manage and the information they are not able to understand or manage.
If we understand each human being in terms of how they understand and manage information we could streamline our ability to educate, employ, and house all of the various types of information managers. We could also optimize our ability to assist those who need assistance along the way in on stigmatizing ways.
Thank you for this well thought out, well written, extremely informative piece.