About Autism

What is the Autism Spectrum?

  1. Lifelong disability (Unique Neurology) whose symptoms often improve with time, maturity and effort;
  2. Some consider OCD (obsessive compulsive Disorder) and Tourette’s Syndrome on the spectrum
  3. People on the spectrum are generally detail oriented, socially challenged and have “odd” behaviors
  4. Sensory/nervous system differences are at the heart of the challenge.  Those on the spectrum often have unusual sensory reactions, lack of body awareness, difficulty with environmental change and think in pictures.  They don’t know others experience the world differently.
  5. Autism has a large social/communication component and impact (stories provide examples)
  6. Actual autism usually diagnosed before age 3; diagnosis after 3 is often Asperger’s because speech is not usually delayed
  7. 4 times more likely in boys than girls
  8. Cause is still unknown (may be multiple conditions).  Genetics/vaccination/immune system/environment are all suspect and may interact.   Double-blind studies seem to indicate vaccinations are not at fault.  If you have 1 autistic child, the risk of having another is 20 to 40 times higher than the general population.
  9. A significant portion (about 25%) of autistic children experience “regression” around 18 months.  (Matt Ward did not.)
  10. Diagnosis has increased alarmingly in the past 2 decades.  It is not clear how much more accurate diagnosis is affecting counts.
  11. Current estimate = 1 person out of 88 on the spectrum.    Acknowledged by CDC in Atlanta as fastest growing disability.
  12. Autism is NOT a mental illness, it is a mental difference.
  13. An overwhelming majority of adults on the spectrum do not want to be “cured” even if it were possible.  Their autism is part of who they are.
  14. Refer to Autism Society of Wisconsin http://www.asw4autism.org/  for a detailed autism definition.

Additional Resource References:

  1. Autism Society of Greater Madison http://www.autismmadison.org/
  2. Autism Society of Wisconsin http://www.asw4autism.org/
  3. Any writings by Temple Grandin (http://www.templegrandin.com/) especially Thinking in Pictures
  4. Any writings by Judy Endow (http://www.judyendow.com/ )
  5. Any writings by Tony Attwood (http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/) international expert on Asperger’s Syndrome
  6. The Gray Center for Social Understanding http://www.thegraycenter.org/
  7. Publications  by James Williams (http://www.jamesmw.com/)
  8. Pretending to be Normal by Liane Holliday Wiley
  9. Freaks, Geeks and Asperger’s Syndrome by Luke Jackson

Comments are closed.