top of page

Why mainstream school is incompatible with autistic minds.

DISCLAIMER – There are so many more reasons, and I will probably waffle about those in other posts, but I've only got space for this particular nugget today.

Today I'm going to touch on Monotropism and how it helps us understand Autistic experience.

Monotropism IMHO is the best explanation for why we do what we do, and forms the starting point for understanding autistic experience.

It basically means that we can only focus (intensely) on a few things at any one time. We get drawn into attention tunnels and flow state (hyperfocus).

When we think about what we might have to focus on in a classroom environment, this will also go a long way to explaining why autistic minds are incompatible with the current schooling system.

Baring in mind that we can only maintain a few channels of attention, albeit in great detail.

Imagine being sat in a classroom….

Little Mel at the back is fidgeting, Eliza next to you just farted and it stinks, Jodie is vocal stimming because she's overloaded, the teacher is talking, and Kieran just walked past you to escape to the loo. The lights are really, really bright, it's a bit cold, but you aren't allowed to wear your coat inside. You're probably hungry because the lunch hall was so overwhelming that you were unable to focus on eating lunch…. Etc etc etc.

Can you see how our attention is forced in so many different directions?

THEN, if by some minor miracle you manage to get into flow state regarding a particular task or project (which to be honest is nigh on impossible because we can't CHOOSE what we focus on, it has to be interest-led), the lesson lasts an hour, ONLY 60 MINUTES…. That's not a long time for an autistic person to be focused on something at all!!!



Think about how far our brains are stretched doing this for 6 hours a day 5 days a week, way past what our cognitive processing is capable of. Is it any wonder we shut down, burn out, explode at home, avoid demands?

If only "professionals" had this basic understanding, the world would be a far more accessible place for us to exist in.

Maybe they do understand it? Perhaps they are just so attached to the current status quo that they are actively ignoring it? Perhaps it would be far too expensive to accommodate Autistic minds?

What a disgusting waste of all our potential at the expense of our mental health!!


Hope that helps?

Much Love

Tanya <3

To get in touch or book a consultation click on the contact tab or email

248 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page