For many years, I have known an Indian woman who has what she calls a "condition" which is associated with "learning difficulties", or rather more precisely autism. I will refer to her as MJi.
I originally met her at the Indian Temple in Keel Drive Slough. It was there she admitted that other people thought she was "mad". One reason this may be so is that she tends to excitedly jabber away rather loudly (which can irritate people in the vicinity) and repeat herself at times which seems to be a common symptom of autism.
I always feel sorry when I see her...notably in the library! MJi seems to regard me as her brother, and revealed very sadly that her family had "disowned" her. And yet she comes across as a happy intelligent little thing with her childlike charm, and smile. Unfortunately, her glasses make her eyes look bigger than they are, and this makes her look a bit wild, or "mad". She used to have long black hair which reached nearly down to the ground to a point. I always found that very charming from behind as she walked in her green coat in Slough High Street. But her social worker thought otherwise, and had it cut. She also had a problem with head lice too..!
Another dimension to her which fits in with the profile of autism is her love of routine. I have tried in vain to break her routine....and attempted to get her to live a more normal, and flexible existence...but no chance. However, she does seems to be changing very gradually on "her own accord."
Another strange thing is that if she is talking intently with me, and a friend sits nearby in the library (notably ofcourse!) she would just rudely ignore him, or her as if they did not exist. Indeed, a Jewish friend of mine called Tom told me that MJi or the "little mouse" as he calls her was with him on a computer course. She would all the while just ignore him as if he was not there.
In spite of what has just been said I did fall in love with her, and she likewise with myself. She seemed such a very human person in spite of her "condition," and I cannot help feeling protective towards her. She is more of a sister to me than anything else ( though I never had one, or even a brother) I prefer it that way because I would not be able live with someone like that. This is something she would intelligently understand.