By Judy Endow, MSW (taken from 'Special-Ism website)
"I am an adult with autism. My thinking is visual rather than word based. Autism gifts me with a literal and concrete way of thinking. My thoughts are all in full moving color. You can read about this and about my life in my book called Paper Words: Discovering and Living with My Autism. (Endow, 2009a)" read more ...
Those who live with Autism 24/7, 365 days each year will be at the core of these cuts and will have to live with whatever ensues as a result. We are not opposed to cuts as such and understand that reductions need to be made, however the magnitude of the changes that these cuts will bring about and how they will impact on a community that is already marginalised and discriminated against, must be taken into account"
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The Geek Syndrome - By Steve Silberman - see full article
"Autism gets to fundamental issues of how we view talents and disabilities," he says. "The flip side of dyslexia is enhanced abilities in math and architecture. There may be an aspect of this going on with autism and assortative mating in places like Silicon Valley. In the parents, who carry a few of the genes, they're a good thing. In the kids, who carry too many, it's very bad."
Issues like this were at the crux of arguments that Bryna Siegel had with Bruno Bettelheim in a Stanford graduate seminar in the early '80s, published in Bettelheim's The Art of the Obvious. (Siegel's name was changed to Dan Berenson.) The text makes poignant reading, as two paradigms of scientific humanism clash in the night. Siegel told "Dr. B" that she wanted to do a large study of children with various developmental disorders to search for a shared biochemical defect. Bettelheim shot back that if such a marker were to be uncovered it would dehumanize autistic children, by making them essentially different from ourselves.
Still an iconoclast, Siegel questions whether a "cure" for autism could ever be found. "The genetics of autism may turn out to be no simpler to unravel than the genetics of personality. I think what we'll end up with is something more like, 'Mrs. Smith, here are the results of your amnio. There's a 1 in 10 chance that you'll have an autistic child, or the next Bill Gates. Would you like to have an abortion?'"
For UCSF neurologist Kirk Wilhelmsen - who describes himself and his son as being "somewhere on that grand spectrum" - such statements cut to the heart of the most difficult issue that autism raises for society. It may be that autistic people are essentially different from "normal" people, he says, and that it is precisely those differences that make them invaluable to the ongoing evolution of the human race.
"If we could eliminate the genes for things like autism, I think it would be disastrous," says Wilhelmsen. "The healthiest state for a gene pool is maximum diversity of things that might be good."
One of the first people to intuit the significance of this was Asperger himself - weaving his continuum like a protective blanket over the young patients in his clinic as the Nazis shipped so-called mental defectives to the camps. "It seems that for success in science and art," he wrote, "a dash of autism is essential."
For all we know, the first tools on earth might have been developed by a loner sitting at the back of the cave, chipping at thousands of rocks to find the one that made the sharpest spear, while the neurotypicals chattered away in the firelight. Perhaps certain arcane systems of logic, mathematics, music, and stories - particularly remote and fantastic ones - have been passed down from phenotype to phenotype, in parallel with the DNA that helped shape minds which would know exactly what to do with these strange and elegant creations." continue reading this article......
Over 70% of children with autism also have a mental health problem. It doesn’t have to be like this. Children with autism can have good mental health just as anyone else can, and this campaign aims to make this a reality.
We all need to know that by giving children with autism the understanding and support they need, we help promote their health and happiness.
The Government needs to know that the mental health system is failing children with autism and that by acting now we can change our children’s future.
Mental health practitioners need to know how to help and support children with autism and mental health problems.
Families need to know that they are not alone – that we are here to help them every step of the way.
Sign the Campaign: 'You Need To Know'