63 Things About Children with Autism Want to Tell You

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24 Things Parents Of Children On The Autism Spectrum Want To Tell You

1. Don’t fear diagnosis – it’s a good thing.

“After the initial shock, the ‘why us?’ and upset I’ve actually cried less and felt more positive since the diagnosis” writes Georgy Jamieson. “We’re no longer in ‘limbo’ waiting for something to happen and feeling lost somewhere in the system.

“The boy is still the boy. He hasn’t changed. His world is still as it always was and we’re very keen to keep as much stability and normality in his life as possible.

“The school are being brilliant and so supportive. We have an additional homework schedule in place to assist with his phonics, letters, numbers and handwriting and as a result they are all improving.”

2. But the diagnosis doesn’t define my child – they are more than a label. 

“You may look at my son and see a child with autism. Or you may look at my son and think he doesn’t look autistic at all,” writes Michelle Myers.

“But when I look at him all I see is his bright toothy smile, his infectious giggle and the long locks of brown hair that he hides behind when he talks to people, I see my son. (Who also happens to be autistic).

“One of the wonders of humanity is that two people can look at something and see very different things, it’s all a matter of perspective.”

3. We have nothing to be ashamed of.

“Why am I telling the world that my kid has autism? Quite simply because there is no shame in having a child on the autistic spectrum,” writes Reneé Davis.

“P’s condition hasn’t been caused by anything that anyone has done, or could have done differently.

“There will be no guilt. There will be no apologising.

“Attitudes will only change once people start talking about this stuff out in the open.”

4. My child does not suffer with autism.

“I very much dislike the word ‘suffer’ and its association to individuals on the spectrum,” writes Jo Worgan.

“This conjures up images of bleakness and more importantly I feel creates a link to the medical model, making autism appear as a disease which it is not.

“Autism is a neurological and developmental ‘disorder’ in which it is all persuasive. Therefore, yes it is disabling, but it is not a disease.

“Autism is entwined into an individual’s life but this does not equate to suffering. It is simply a different way of life.

“My little boy is on the autistic spectrum and although I cannot truly speak for him as only he knows how he feels, I do feel that he is a happy, energetic and fun-loving little boy.

“We have our daily challenges it is true, but we adapt and make changes, we enjoy life. He is a little boy who is on the autistic spectrum; he is not an ‘autism sufferer’.

“Children on the autism spectrum when all said and done are still children, they play, laugh and have fun just as any other child.”

5. Something my child DOES suffer from is bullying.

“Trying to protect a child with special needs from being bullied is like trying to stop ice melting in the desert,” writes Kathy Lette.

“There were calls to the school, meetings, promises of closer scrutiny in the playground. But basically, when it comes to defeating bullying – particularly when your child is an obvious target – a parent might as well be standing up to Voldermort with a butter knife.”

According to the National Autistic Society over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school.

6. When you see my child expressing anger, rather than stare, try a smile.

“We all have those desperate situations as parents, regardless of whether your child is impaired or not. Those moments when you think, “what the fuck am I doing? I have no idea what to do next,” writes Nicole Thomas.

“You know you’ll get through it. You always do, but that bit of recognition speaks volumes and makes it feel okay. A smile is really all it takes to make things feel a little better.” writes Nicole Thomas.

7. Children with autism are individuals, so generalisations like ‘children with autism lack empathy’ simply aren’t true.

“[My daughter is] incredibly empathetic, but you may not realise it as she feels her own and others’ emotions so deeply she can’t bear it, and so sometimes she has to just shut down. Forget about a hug,” writes Jill Finch.

“She is also desperately trying to come to terms with having a hidden disability that few people can understand.

“This is just one story among thousands of different stories of autism, not everyone is like Rainman or like my daughter.”

8. Behind every child with autism there’s a parent with “ninja skills”.

“I have the ability to predict a strike and intercept with lightening precision, 86% of the time.” writes Nicole Thomas. “Not only could I catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks, I could also put a jumper on it, get a pair of trousers on, not bother with shoes and get it strapped into a car seat all whilst blocking blows to the face and keeping a calm demeanour.”

ARIEL SKELLEY VIA GETTY IMAGES
“The boy is still the boy. He hasn’t changed.” (photo posed by models)

 9. We don’t have the answers.

“It’s hard to express how difficult it can be when your child is diagnosed with something you have no knowledge of – there just simply isn’t enough information out there for parents and the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming,” writes Sadia Nakimera.

“I decided to educate myself, not about autism, but about Jayden. I needed to look beyond his autism and concentrate on Jayden as a person, not his disability. However, it was hard to find out how to do this.”

10. It’s a myth that all autistic children are antisocial – if anything, it is the children who avoid them who are being antisocial.

“A big misconception with autistic children is that they don’t like being in social situations,” writes Kerry Gibb. “They often would love to socialise with friends they just find it harder.

“Maybe your child could grow up to be the one to make this easier for them. Let your child be that one person who makes a difference.

“I am urging you as parents to look beyond what you may initially see in a child. Look beyond what your child is telling you about them.

“Lead your child by example and teach them that not all of us are the same and they should accept peoples different ways and embrace them for their individuality.”

11. Autism is NOT ‘just an excuse for naughty children’.

“I first heard the words, ‘autism is an excuse for naughty children’ a year ago and I honestly thought that I would never hear them again, that this was just a one off ignorant comment made by an uneducated and ‘nasty’ person, but how wrong was I?” writes Jo Worgan.

“I am surrounded by people who know and understand Tom, so it is always a shock to the system when comments are made like this.

“It was upsetting because she questioned my ability as a parent, and as a parent of a special needs child I constantly question myself, I am not the confident and self assured mother that many people think I am, I too am vulnerable.

“Secondly, and more importantly in my eyes, her insult was aimed at Tom, whom she has no understanding or knowledge of, she judged him without knowing him.”

12. If you are not a parent of an autistic child, please don’t try to tell me about ‘all’ autistic children.

“There is still very little understanding of autism and when it is mentioned, people often know a friend of a friend whose child has autism,” writes Hannah-Jane Miles.

“The mythical autistic child is often very ‘naughty’ and these horror stories can be hard to listen to on a regular basis.

“It is much like being subjected to strangers’ birth stories once you are noticeably pregnant.”

13. Yes some days are tough, so we need support.

“Sometimes the scars that autism leaves behind are visible. When the pinching has been so relentless we go to bed with patches of red raw, or bruised skin,” writes Reneé Davis.

“When quick decisions made in pure anger actually draw blood. To big heads and small ones.

“My biggest fears are for the invisible scars that we’ll be left with. Memories of traumatic days when the screaming and hitting and pushing and throwing and name calling has reduced some or all of us to tears.

“These invisible scars are a bit like my daughter’s autism itself. Unnoticeable to most. Being ‘high functioning’ she has learnt to mask her true self when she has to, but it all comes out at home, where she feels safe to express her feelings.”

14. One phrase I never want to hear again is: ‘But he seems so normal’.

“Did my son seem ‘normal’ to you in the 10 minutes you spent with him? Well, that’s nice, because he is normal… he’s a sweet, normal, beautiful boy with autism,”writes Lauren Casper.

“If you’re trying to tell me that you didn’t notice any signs of autism in your limited experience with him, that’s OK, too. Please keep in mind that Mareto has good days and bad days, and sometimes he has good hours and bad hours.

“But if what you’re really trying to tell me is that you don’t think he has autism, then please consider how hurtful that might be to us, his parents.

“Please consider how that might invalidate all our efforts, all our battles and all our triumphs.

“What you are really implying is that we’ve wasted all of our time for the last 2 1/2 years because he’s just ‘normal’.”

15. Having a child with autism is life changing – and that can be a good thing.

“It’s important parents realise the new world that a child with a disability can give to you. You see the world differently and in a way you never could have imagined,”writes Sadia Nakimera.

16) The rest of you are weird. We are completely normal.

17) You definitely know a few autistic people. Maybe you don’t know it, but you do. Maybe they don’t know it either. We’re 1% of the general population, which is higher than it sounds.

18) Autistic people aren’t always similar to one another, for exactly the same reason that non-autistic people aren’t either.

19) 81% of us aren’t in full-time employment. Personally I’ve spent less than two years of my life being one of the 19%.

20) If you have it mildly, you’re at the awkward midpoint of being ‘normal enough’ for everyone to expect the same from you as everyone else, but ‘autistic enough’ to not always reach those expectations.

21) The above means that a LOT of things are Your Fault. They’re not actually your fault, but they are definitely Your Fault.

22) If you don’t notice that a girl is interested in you, it’s Your Fault. Not theirs for not bothering to actually tell you.

23) If someone drops an extremely subtle hint and it goes over your head, it’s Your Fault. Not theirs for not bothering to actually tell you.

24) If you ask people whether they want the last potato and everyone says ‘no, that’s fine’, it’s Your Fault if you take it. You should have read them correctly and interpreted their ‘no’ as a ‘yes’. Because that’s what normal people do, apparently.

9 Things You Should Know About Autism

1. Autism is the common term used to refer to Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), adevelopmental disorder that involves abnormal development and function of the brain. People with autism show decreased social communication skills and restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviors or interests. (Throughout the rest of this article autism will be referred to as ASD.)

2. The term autism (from Greek autos ‘self’ + -ism, a form of “morbid self-absorption”) wascoined by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in 1910 to refer to a subset of childhood schizophrenia. However, the first-ever clinical account of the disorder didn’t appear until 1943 when Leo Kanner, a pioneer in child psychiatry, published “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Disorder.” Around that same time Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger wrote about the condition and noticed that many of the children he identified as being autistic were able touse their behaviors to their vocational advantage in adulthood. Asperger’s work was relatively unknown until 1981 when Lorna Wing coined the term “Asperger syndrome” in her paper on the condition.

3. Prior to 2013, autism was considered one of five different pervasive developmental disorders that included Asperger’s Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not-Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Rett’s Syndrome. In 2013 the American Psychiatric Association published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-V), and the five disorders were subsumed under the diagnosis of ASD. (You can read the diagnostic criteria for the disorder here.)

4. Estimates are that 14.6 per 1,000 (one in 68) children aged 8 years are affected by the condition. ASD is estimated to be about four times higher among boys (23.6 per 1,000 or 1 in 42) than among girls (5.3 per 1,000 or 1 in 189), and significantly higher among non-Hispanic white children (15.5 per 1,000) compared with non-Hispanic black children (13.2 per 1,000), and Hispanic children (10.1 per 1,000).

5. The causes of ASD remain unknown, though it appears to have a strong genetic component. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), studies have shown that among identical twins, if one child has ASD, then the other will be affected between 36 percent and 95 percent of the time. In non-identical twins, if one child has ASD, then the other is affected about 0 percent to 31 percent of the time. Parents who have a child with ASD have a 2 percent to 18 percent chance of having a second child who is also affected. ASD tends to occur more often in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions. About 10 percent of children with autism are also identified as having Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, or other genetic and chromosomal disorders. ASD commonly co-occurs with other developmental, psychiatric, neurologic, chromosomal, and genetic diagnoses. The co-occurrence of one or more non-ASD developmental diagnoses is 83 percent, and the co-occurrence of one or more psychiatric diagnoses is 10 percent.

6. Despite nearly 30 years of research, there has been no causal connection established between vaccinations and ASD. The claim that vaccines caused ASD was given credence in 1998, though, by the publication of a fraudulent research paper in the British medical journal The Lancet. That paper was later retracted when it was discovered that the chief researcher, a British surgeon named Andrew Wakefield, had manipulated the data and failed to disclose that he had been paid more than $600,000 by lawyers looking to win a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers. Wakefield also was found to have committed numerous breaches in medical ethics, and in May 2010 British regulators revoked Wakefield’s license, finding him guilty of “serious professional misconduct.” They concluded that his work was “irresponsible and dishonest” and that he had shown a “callous disregard” for the children in his study. Despite being discredited for fraud and unethical conduct, Wakefield is still considered the primary source and champion for those who believe there is a connection between vaccines and ASD.

7. ASD imposes a significant economic burden on families. Children and adolescents with ASD had average medical expenditures that exceeded those without ASD by $4,110 to $6,200 per year, the CDC notes. On average, medical expenditures for children and adolescents with ASD were 4.1 to 6.2 times greater than for those without ASD.  In addition to medical costs, intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASD cost $40,000 to $60,000 per child per year.

8. ASD can also impose a significant disadvantage later in life. A study found that for youth with a ASD, only 34.7 percent had attended college (in comparison, about 68 percent of all U.S. students enroll in college after high school graduation, and about half will graduate). Additionally, only 55.1 percent had held paid employment during the first six years after high school. More than 50 percent of youth with ASD who had left high school in the past two years had no participation in employment or education. Youth with ASD had the lowest rates of participation in employment, and the highest rates of no participation compared with youth in other disability categories.

9. While there is no cure for ASD, children who receive therapies and behavioral interventions—especially when begun early in life—can have improved symptoms as they reach adolescence and adulthood. TheNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes also notes that families and siblings of children often need help with coping with the special challenges that come with having a family member with ASD. (Christina Fox offers four ways to serve families affected by autism.)

10 Things Every Teacher Should Know About Autism

1. Every child with autism is unique. Some children are nonverbal and may never be able to speak. Many children with autism are highly intelligent and learn to read and write at an early age. Some children with an autism diagnosis can have an unbelievable gift for math, music, or art. Teachers should know that autism is a spectrum, and each child is distinct and should not be labeled based on his or her place on the bell-shaped curve. A child labeled low functioning today with proper therapy can move up the spectrum.

2. Every child with autism has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. My strength was memory, and I was able to memorize in one year more than 2,000 Scripture verses. Phonetics was my weakness, and I was unable to spell a word by sounding it out. Teachers must use learning styles that fit the child’s strengths.

3. Children with autism usually have a special interest. Teachers should use the child’s passion as a motivational tool for learning new subjects. Julie Ann Reed, whose son has Asperger’s, said, “If your son or daughter has an obsession, use it to help him or her to learn new material. My son Paul is obsessed with computers; so I use computers as a reward system.”

4. Children with autism usually have repetitive behavioral patterns. Teachers should understand the child’s routine and help him to follow his patterns to prevent a tantrum or meltdown. In high school, my repetitive pattern was weightlifting every day at four o’clock. If I was prohibited from weightlifting at my set-time, I experienced anxiety and became angry.

5. Children with autism usually have sensory issues. Most of us pay little attention to our senses. When you feel cold, you put on a sweater. When music is too loud, you turn down the volume. For some children with autism, senses provide unreliable information causing great discomfort and anxiety. These children may experience sensory issues with touch, sound, taste, smell, or sight. Teachers need to be aware of any sensory issues the child may experience in the classroom.

6. Children with autism may display stimming behavior. When you bite your nails, tap your pencil, or twirl your hair, you are engaging in the behavior pattern called stimming. This behavior with children of autism can include flapping their hands up-and-down, pacing in circles, rocking back-and-forth, or spinning their whole body. Autistic stimming can be a hindrance by prohibiting the child from interacting with peers.

7. Children with autism tend to experience difficulty with understanding verbal instructions. Teachers should write their instructions in easy-to-follow steps and also use visual aids in the classroom. Make sure your student understands your instructions.

8. Children with autism may have difficultly decoding social cues. Inability to interpret nonverbal communication will cause a child to feel awkward in social settings. Teachers should teach students with autism to model their peers on the playground.

9. Children with autism who lack social skills may make inappropriate and mean comments. Teachers need to be prepared for a child with autism to say hurtful words and not to take those comments personally. Teach the child by your own example to say words of praise and thanksgiving.

10. Like all children, children with autism need your love and encouragement. Many children with autism may feel isolated due to having been bullied. Your love and support will encourage your students.

20 Things Children with Autism Want to Tell You

RaiseYourIQautisticchildren

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder (ICD 10, DSM-IV) that occurs on a spectrum and thankfully is no longer considered a psychosis. Persons diagnosed with ASD are commonly accepted as presenting with a triad of impairment. These impairments usually include; 1) social skills deficits which mean that forming friendships is a frequent difficulty, 2) language and communication difficulties which often mean that the person will have trouble understanding and retaining information provided in the verbal format and will struggle with subtleties of language such as sarcasm or inuendo, and 3) difficulties with flexible thinking which often means that a person with ASD has difficulty taking different perspectives, empathy, and any sudden changes to routines. Persons with ASD will often find comfort in repetitive routines which others cannot understand or may find unusual. Persons with ASD also regularly have difficulties with motor coordination and may have difficulties processing incoming sensory information. This list of difficulties is by no means exhaustive. There are many other daily struggles for a person presenting anywhere on the Autistic spectrum. But whether you are into brain training for children, are a parent or a teacher of a child with ASD, or are a certified Applied Behavior Analyst, here is a list of things that I think a child with Autism wants you to know.

1. We struggle to make friends

This doesn’t mean that we don’t want to have friends, but we have varying degrees of success depending on how we seek people out. In Lorna Wing’s classic book, The Autistic Spectrum, she identifies four types of social interaction impairments faced by persons with the condition. These included the aloof type (who often behave as though other people simply don’t exist), the passive type (who accept social approaches but do not initiate them), the active-but-odd type (this group will often actively seek out social contact but often will do so in a peculiar, one-sided fashion, or can go on about their own interests only without realizing that others may not share those interests), and, finally, the overly formal or stilted type (who try very hard to behave well and rigidly adhere to all rules and conventions). So, whichever category your autistic person falls into, struggling socially tends to be part of their condition.

2. We struggle to communicate, but this does not mean we are not trying to be heard

In 1943, when Leo Kanner first started talking about ‘early infantile autism’, this was one of the things that he reported. A person with autism may or may not have difficulty with their grammar or vocabulary, but most of them will struggle in the manner in which they use language. Many children with autism never learn to speak. However, many others do learn to speak and can speak quite well, but may learn much later than their same-age peers. Please do not confuse a difficulty communicating with not wanting to be heard. A person with Autism may try very hard to have their needs met or their feelings understood, but it can be very difficult to effectively get your point across when your expressive language skills are limited or your manner of communicating is not the same as those around you.

3. We have difficulties understanding the spoken words of other people

People with autism have extremely varied abilities to understand language. Lorna Wing reports that most do have some understanding, but this often does not include things like jokes or the finer nuances of language. Many take a literal interpretation of language that can make things like sarcasm and analogy quite confusing. However, many persons with autism, with practice, can make great gains in these areas, even though it may not ever come as naturally to them as it does their to their peers. We also have trouble understanding and using non-verbal communication. Sign language may not be enough if our spoken language is not well developed, because we often have equal difficulties understanding facial expressions, body language, and any range of gestures that usually coincide with the spoken word.

4. We sometimes use a different intonation than other people

In fact, sometimes we use a different accent from our families and communities completely. Sometimes our voices sound robotic or mechanical. This is not atypical for someone with autism, even though it might sound unusual to other people.

5. Imagination and pretend games are not fun for us

We like repetition and routine, not spontaneity and surprises. So, what seems like great fun for a person without Autism may actually be very upsetting for someone on the Autistic spectrum.

6. We love simple, repetitive activities, but we may graduate to more elaborate, repetitive routines as we get older

In 1973, Kanner described how some autistic children would invent routines for themselves such as tapping on a chair before sitting down or standing up and sitting down three times before eating a meal. He went on to describe how other children might require each member of the family to always sit in the exact same place at the dinner table or insist that a morning walk should always take exactly the same route. This is all part-and-parcel of how persons with ASD find comfort in sameness and are fearful of changes, but it can seem quite unusual to an outsider looking in. In fact, sometimes in our need for sameness, we might cling to an object that others simply cannot see the value of. Indeed, some of these objects may become our most preferred items.

7. Many of us like Thomas the Tank Engine

Some experts have speculated that this is because of the mechanical and repetitive characteristics of the characters in the show, but nobody really knows exactly why there is such a draw to Thomas the Tank Engine. Of course, there are many other shows and television characters that people with autism enjoy, but they often tend to be programs where there is a significant amount of repetition by the actors in a certain sequence.

8. We often engage in stereotyped movements

In plain English, this means that we might do things like repetitively flick our fingers, flap our arms and hands, jump up and down, roll our heads around, or rock while standing up. It is not known why autistic people perform stereotyped movements, but there seems to be an escalation of these movements when the person is excited or when they are trying to seek sensory input. Typically-developing babies and toddlers will engage in a lot of these movements too, but with increasing age and self control, many of these physical behaviors cease or greatly decrease. However, they may not cease in people with ASD. In fact, a person with ASD can become very distressed if forced to suppress these movements. If you want to help a person with ASD when they are in distress, please be aware that they may need this type of sensory stimulation, and indeed it might be very calming for them to engage in it.

9. Some of us can be very clumsy, and we might have unusual gaits and posture

When Dr. Hans Asperger originally described the syndrome as he saw it in 1944, he noted that many of these children had underdeveloped motor coordination skills, handwriting, and time management. This is still true today, but not every person with ASD has awkward or underdeveloped fine or gross motor skills. Indeed, there are many persons, particularly those that are on the higher-functioning end of the Autistic spectrum, that can be very skilled athletes.

10. We have great difficulty imitating other people’s facial expressions, and yet we often imitate other people’s actions or echo their words

The technical terms for these behaviors are echopraxia and echolalia (Wing, 1996). It is often seen as paradoxical that it is so common for an autistic person to echo another person’s words and actions in what seems to be a meaningless fashion, when it is so essential to social development to meaningfully imitate things like two-way conversations, facial expressions, and eye contact.

11. We may ignore or seem not to hear loud noises, yet we might be extremely sensitive to sounds that other people barely notice

This is another paradox of the autistic spectrum. It was first noted by Itard in 1801 in Victor, The Wild Boy of Aveyron. Itard noted that Victor never responded at all to the loudest of noises like the explosion of firearms, yet never failed to respond to the sound of a walnut being cracked open or any other “eatable” which he enjoyed. Other children with autism can become extremely distressed by certain sounds and noises, but this will often fade with increased age.

12. We can have seemingly contradictory responses to visual stimuli

For example, we may be fascinated by bright lights, but very distressed by flash photography. We also may not always look at a whole item or person, preferring instead to focus on an outline of a person or what others might consider some arbitrary physical features of an object (e.g., the leg of a chair rather than the whole chair). It has been suggested that the autistic child may make more use of the peripheral part of the retina which focuses on outline and movement, rather than central vision, for details. This part of the retina is mainly used by others in near-dark conditions. It is interesting to note that many autistic children can find their way perfectly well in the dark and may not always turn a light on. This, too, tends to fade with age.

13. Certain textures, tastes, and smells that are barely noticeable to others can be very offensive and distressing to us

While we might not be able to handle certain fabrics of clothing, we might not notice when something is too hot or too cold. We may not even notice if we have been badly hurt or injured. This seems unusual to non-ASD people, but it is seen regularly in someone with ASD. It seems that, like with all of our other senses, we just don’t seem to interpret incoming stimuli the same way that other people do.

14. Many of us prefer the same narrow range of foods again and again

This may be related to our need for uniformity, but some have speculated that we don’t always recognize the sensation of hunger. However, many of us drink liquids excessively and our thirst cannot seem to be quenched. One piece of good news here is that when we are engaged in other activities, we can forget about this sometimes constant thirst.

15. Many of us have high levels of anxiety and fear, but this is not necessarily because we are autistic

Much of this anxiety and fear comes simply from the fact that a situation has arisen that we do not understand or did not expect. If you were in our shoes, you might be scared too.

16. Learning difficulties are common for those presenting with ASD

That being said, about 10% of autistic children have very strong skill sets, even compared with typically-developing, same-age peers. This can sometimes come about because we practice a task in such a repetitive manner that we can become much more skilled than others. We also tend to obsess about small details in our special area that other people may not take the time to notice. This can really be to our advantage in developing a specialized skill set and can set us apart in a very positive way.

17. We don’t always act the way you think we should

In fact, very often, because we struggle with language and communication, we might do things that other people think are downright strange. We might think nothing of stroking the hair of a stranger on the bus or taking off our clothes for a dip in a neighbor’s swimming pool. We might also say things that will make others very uncomfortable, like commenting on your friend’s weight gain or the bus driver’s bald patch. Furthermore, it is difficult for an autistic person to tell a lie. We describe the world as we see it, without sugar-coating or rose-colored glasses.

18. The most capable of us may go on to lead completely normal lives, and many of us might marry and even have children of our own

However, for those with more significant impairments in intellectual functioning and social skills, we may need lifelong care.

19. Whatever our age and intellectual ability, we can improve our skills

We can make progress beyond what anyone has ever thought possible through the understanding and application of the science of human behavior. Behavior analysts have published hundreds of research papers in the area of autism. For this reason, Applied Behavior Analysis is regarded as the only scientifically validated treatment for autism. Click here to see more on how ABA can be used in the treatment of autism. Click herefor conferences and training for educators, parents and clinicians interested in using behavioral technologies for effective change.

20. Finally, and for the last time, the MMR vaccine does not cause autism!

There is no debate in the scientific community about this. Read Chapter 16 in Bad Science by Dr. Ben Goldacre if you don’t believe me. Check out theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2014 report if you don’t believe Dr. Goldacre. If you still remain unconvinced, you should note that the only scientist who ever published a paper suggesting that the MMR vaccine caused Autism was stripped of the right to practice medicine in the UK as a result of the paper he published being deemed fraudulent. The journal that published that paper, The Lancet, retracted the paper in part in 2004 and in full in 2010.

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