There are certain epistemological questions that plague only the very young or the very stoned. When I was a kid, before my cognitive development peeled away so noticeably from that of my peers, these questions seemed trivial. Did other people see the same colors or feel the same things in the same way? It didn’t matter, and then it did.
When I was diagnosed with a developmental disorder—a non-specified, “high-functioning” place on the autism spectrum—the things I’d always asked myself seemed, suddenly, to have a very serious dimension. I wasn’t the same as other kids, and the differences felt fundamental, as though the materials and structures that composed me were [...]