Why would someone honestly need to make a seemingly terrible diagnosis out of a remarkably positive one? Why would anyone do such a slanted thing? We must consider what the intent might have been.
With diminished hope, people are more willing to donate. There is a billion dollar industry comprised of selling books and DVD’s, unnecessary treatments, and expensive self proclaimed ‘Autism experts. ‘ Then there are millions of dollars of so called ‘Autism drugs’ which not only mask the lack of correct treatment but worse, actually hide the abilities of our loved ones with Autism. All of this was made even easier because of the misunderstandings surrounding a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ASD. This globally rising diagnosis has brought out the very worst and the very best in all of us. The intentional misconceptions and “doomsday’ prognosis would seemingly be fueled by greed.
Rather than harp on the dark negatives, I would like to bring out the shining light which cannot be ignored. My personal story began with the diagnosis of ASD pertaining to my son and hence, my own research, observations and results.
I can see such overwhelming areas of accelerated intelligence in my son. Our same discoveries are being mirrored around the globe. Though my son has definite behavioral areas which are not typical and his speech is grossly disturbed, the majority of my time is spent in complete awe over his abilities, not his disabilities. I kept trying to see the hopelessness that has been propagated throughout our society but instead keep bumping into a level of brilliance I did not expect!
That is exactly what has happened and continues to be happening!
The man who co-diagnosed Autism and Asperger’s, (Autistic Spectrum Disorders, or ASD), is Dr. Hans Asperger. While describing his study group, Dr. Asperger called the boys “little professors” because once they fell upon a topic of which they had knowlege…they could talk endlessly! They, like my son also had behavioral issues. Dr. Asperger’s notes left me with was a sense of the remarkable nature of ASD, not the stereo-typical picture our society is being fed. ” Little professors” didn’t sound bad at all, in fact, those words intrigued me to look beyond what was considered trendy and acceptable to develop my own techniques and theories.
Why weren’t we embracing this rather exciting and wonderful description?
Less than 10-15% of all persons diagnosed with ASD should be ‘low functioning’, (defined as having an I.Q.of 80 or below). There is no such term or category as ‘middle functioning’, ‘average Autism,’ or ‘moderate ASD’. The rest ARE high functioning. This is NOT the same as ‘savant’ as it is often confused. ‘Rain Man’ was a savant and there are countless ASD affected persons in our society with savant/ genius skills. We are just now considering that a tremendous portion of the persons diagnosed with ASD could potentially realize at least some levels of savant skills. The persuasive factor will be if the parents/ caregivers/community/ world would begin to see Autism as the spectacular gift that it is!
Seeing is believing. Please join me on an incredible ‘treasure hunt’ of phenomenal persons with ASD demonstrating unprecedented skills and talents!
The Early Interventions needed to round out the functional aspects of a person with ASD are being researched, proven and improved upon daily, BUT NOT WIDELY BEING USED. (??????) IN fact, only 8 States in the US actually have correct therapies and funding for them in place. It seems so sad that our President is not being informed about this detrimental imbalance. There ARE 42 STATES WHICH DON’T WANT THIS NEWS TO GET OUT AS IT WILL JEOPARDIZE THE MILLIONS THEY ARE TAKING IN STIMULUS WITHOUT ACCOMMODATING APPROPRIATE THERAPIES!
If you would glance at any part of the list of Famous People with Autism, (in addition to those within our own communities who did not get a diagnosis), you would see that many of the most brilliant, talented and creative minds of all time had/ have Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
In fact, the ongoing research into the link between Autism and Genius suggests that the same genes may be responsible for BOTH. How very exciting! Further, whereas it was once thought that only 10-15% of persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorders also had genius/ savant skills, the belief is now growing that if the correct individual niche’ can be found, a much larger portion of all Autistics could conceivably be amongst the genius and savant ranks.
I contend that there is nothing to suggest otherwise. We are only beginning to scratch the surface as to the full potential, (given the correct Early Interventions), of each and every person with ASD.
The overwhelming majority of persons with ASD are high functioning. Now that Asperger’s is moving towards being a sub category of Autism instead of a separate diagnosis, that number has risen dramatically. This wonderfully unique global population is certainly comprised of “little professors.” The ‘trick’ is finding, focusing and developing their niche’s of interest and expertice…then using routines and consistency to engage them in improving their more dysfunctional skills which would create functionality.
Persons affected with ASD struggle with transitions, sensory and social issues and need to learn things differently. Further, they tend to possess ‘quirky’ personality traits, but doesn’t that sound better than BORING?
I see and embrace ASD as more of a treaure hunt! Though all persons with ASD are different in diagnosis and treatments, there are also common denominators in the fields of Inventing, Engineering, Math, Sciences, Art and Literature. Of recent, there is also a trend in Sports as a successful career path as well.
I myself initially felt sad, hopeless and distraught about my son’s diagnosis. Now, I am grateful that my life has been blessed to have a child with Autism. Each day I witness miracles and am enthusiastic about the adventurous journey ahead. Every day I think of new things to interest him.
I am however, taking his lead so that I will see his personal areas of likes and dislikes. It is a mistake with Autism, ASD, and perhaps with typical kids to try and direct them into a career or field of study area without knowing what their interests and abilities really are! Make no rules and literally, shoot for the stars.
Like a Pirate of the Caribbean with a magic compass, we have embarked upon the open seas with ports of wondrous adventures and hidden treasures awaiting every single day.
Look out world, here comes my destined for greatness Autistic son, Captain Dezi!