Research demonstrates that autistic traits are distributed into the non-autistic population; some people have more of them, some have fewer. History suggests that many individuals whom we would today diagnose as autistic - some severely so - contributed profoundly to our art, our math, our science, and our literature.
Morton Ann Gernsbacher
In America we've spent over a billion dollars on autism research. What have we got for that? We've not seen anything that's appreciably impacted the quality of life of autistic people, regardless of their place on the spectrum. Quite frankly, we've spent $1bn figuring out how to make mice autistic and we'll spend another $1bn figuring out how to make them not autistic. And that's not what the average person wakes up in the morning aspiring to. They think: am I going to be able to find a job, to communicate, to live independently, either on my own or with support? Those are the real priorities.
Animals are like autistic savants. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that animals might actually be autistic savants. Animals have special talents normal people don't, the same way autistic people have special talents normal people don't; and at least some animals have special forms of genius normal people don't, the same way some autistic savants have special forms of genius. I think most of the time animal genius probably happens for the same reason autistic genius does: a difference in the brain autistic people share with animals.
By looking at autistic kids, you can't tell when you're working with them who you're going to pull out, who is going to become verbal and who's not. And there seem to be certain kids who, as they learn more and more, they get less autistic acting, and they learn social skills enough so that they can turn out socially normal.
Normal people have an incredible lack of empathy. They have good emotional empathy, but they don't have much empathy for the autistic kid who is screaming at the baseball game because he can't stand the sensory overload. Or the autistic kid having a meltdown in the school cafeteria because there's too much stimulation.
When parents say, 'I wish my child did not have autism,' what they're really saying is, 'I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead.' Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.
Much attention has been focused on the MMR shot itself, whereas in all probability it is a combination of the three factors listed above: the increasing number of vaccines, the large amount of mercury, and the inherent danger of the triple vaccine.....The MMR vaccine is also especially suspect because laboratories in England, Ireland, and Japan have found evidence of MMR vaccine viruses in the intestinal tracts of autistic children, but not in control group, non-autistic children.
Try to understand how they feel - put yourselves in their place. Imagine you are in a foreign country with no money, possessions or friends. You cannot speak the language; the culture is completely different to your normal environment; isolated and helpless. You would be dependent on someone supporting you. Think of that when you next meet someone who is autistic...
We are convinced, then, that autistic people have their place in the organism of the social community. They fulfil their role well, perhaps better than anyone else could, and we are talking of people who as children had the greatest difficulties and caused untold worries to their care-givers.
There's no doubt having an autistic child represents tremendous challenges for both the children and their parents, but in my experience, it has brought me closer to my family and has given me an appreciation for how the human brain develops and the uniqueness of each child it afflicts.
The inanity of her remark infuriated him. 'Good grief don't you understand Janet? At this point I'm thoroughly delusional. I'm as mentally ill as it's possible to be. It's incredible that I can communicate with you at all. It's a credit to my ego-strength that I'm not at this point totally autistic.
Philip K. Dick
I have watched the tears of frustration of a stroke victim or the autistic child who struggles to communicate a need or thought, but no one understands. Eventually, the soul grows quiet and gives up. At every stage of life, and in every circumstance, we search for someone who understands what we are going through.
No relationship is without its difficulties and this is certainly true when one or both of the persons involved has an autistic spectrum disorder. Even so, I believe what is truly essential to the success of any relationship is not so much compatibility, but love. When you love someone, virtually anything is possible.
No one's forcing you to do this. You willingly tie yourself to these leashes. And you willingly become utterly socially autistic. You no longer pick up on basic human communication clues. You're at a table with three humans, all of whom are looking at you and trying to talk to you, and you're staring at a screen, searching for strangers in Dubai.
It's very important for the parents of young autistic children to encourage them to talk, or for those that don't talk, to give them a way of communicating, like a picture board, where they can point to a glass of milk, or a jacket if they're cold, or the bathroom. If they want something, then they need to learn to request that thing.
Here though, there are no oppressors. No one's forcing you to do this. You willingly tie yourself to these leashes. And you willingly become utterly socially autistic. You no longer pick up on basic human communication clues. You're at a table with three humans, all of whom are looking at you and trying to talk to you, and you're staring at a screen! Searching for strangers in... Dubai!
I am much less autistic now, compared to when I was young. I remember some behaviors like picking carpet fuzz and watching spinning plates for hours. I didn't want to be touched. I couldn't shut out background noise. I didn't talk until I was about 4 years old. I screamed. I hummed. But as I grew up, I improved.
In relation to the earth we have been autistic for centuries. Only now have we begun to listen with some attention and with a willingness to respond to the earth's demands that we cease our industrial assault, that we abandon our inner rage against the conditions of our earthly existence, that we renew our human participation in the grand liturgy of the universe.
The first expert said he had attention deficit disorder. The second expert said the first was out of order. One said he was autistic, another that he was artistic. One said he had Tourette's syndrome. One said he had Asperger's syndrome. And one said the problem was that his parents had Munchausen syndrome. Still another said all he needed was a good old-fashioned spanking.
The blackness he woke to on those nights was sightless and impenetrable. A blackness to hurt your ears with listening. Often he had to get up. No sound but the wind in the trees. He rose and stood tottering in that cold autistic dark with his arms outheld for balance while the vestibular calculations in his skull cranked out their reckonings.
If a baby really has no awareness of himself and is totally thing-directed and at the same time all his states of mind are projected onto things, our second paradox makes sense: on the one hand, thought in babies can be viewed as pure accommodation or exploratory movements, but on the other this very same thought is only one, long, completely autistic waking dream.
I am the father of a 9 year-old son whose descent into the world of autism began at the age of 7 months old after receiving numerous vaccinations in a single day; the same story that is told by thousands of other parents of children throughout the country whose healthy, normally developing children have become autistic after vaccinations.
I have no affinity for animals. I don't hate animals and I would never hurt an animal; I just don't actively care about them. When a coworker shows me cute pictures of her dog, I struggle to respond correctly, like an autistic person who has been taught to recognize human emotions from flash cards. In short, I am the worst.
There should be no single representation in the autism world. Think about this if someone got up on stage and talked about having 'non-autistic syndrome' and made the assumption every one with this syndrome is the same we would be in big trouble. That applies to autism as well - it isn't one condition, there are profile differences between Autism and AS and all autism "fruits salads" are different. That is how diverse autism is.
A solitary American monk named Thomas Berry writes that in our relationship to nature, we have been autistic for centuries. Wrapped tightly in our own version of knowledge, we have been unreceptive to the wisdom of the natural world. To tune in again, to have the "spontaneous environmental rapport" that characterized our ancestors, will take doing something that is perfectly delightful: reimmersing ourselves in the natural world.
I had never had any experience of autism before and I would come home and look at my son, Billy, who is now two, and be absolutely paranoid, particularly because he loves Thomas the Tank Engine, and lots of autys love Thomas. But he is not very good at pointing, and autistic children absolutely love pointing.
Helena Bonham Carter
There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don't give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you - yer kid is NOT autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.
Looking ahead, future generations may learn their social skills from robots in the first place. The cute yellow Keepon robot from Carnegie Mellon University has shown the ability to facilitate social interactions with autistic children. Morphy at the University of Washington happily teaches gestures to children by demonstration.
Daniel H. Wilson
You try to sit down at approximately the same time every day. This is how you train your unconscious to kick in for you creatively. ... You put a piece of paper in the typewriter, or you turn on your computer and bring up the right file. ... You begin rocking, just a little at first, and then like a huge autistic child. ... Then your mental illnesses arrive at the desk like your sickest, most secretive relatives. And they pull up chairs in a semicircle around the computer, and they try to be quiet but you know they are there with their weird coppery breath, leering at you behind your back.
The other thing that's happened with writing is that I'm not afraid it will go away. Up until a couple of years ago, I feared that sitting down with paper and pencil revealed too much desire and that for such ambition I would be punished. My vocabulary would contract anorexia, ideas would be born autistic, even titles would not come to flirt with me anymore. I suppose this was tied to that internal judge, the serpent who eats her own tail. She insinuates you're not good enough; you believe her and try less, ratifying her assessment; so you try even less; and on and on. This snake survives on your dying. Finally, now, the elided words of my wisest writing teacher, the poet David Wojahn, make sense. 'Be ambitious, ' he said, 'for the work.' Not for the in-dwelling editor. That bitch was impossible to please anyway.
Marsha L. Larsen
But how?" my students ask. "How do you actually do it?" You sit down, I say. You try to sit down at approximately the same time every day. This is how you train your unconscious to kick in for you creatively. So you sit down at, say, nine every morning, or ten every night. You put a piece of paper in the typewriter, or you turn on the computer and bring up the right file, and then you stare at it for an hour or so. You begin rocking, just a little at first, and then like a huge autistic child. You look at the ceiling, and over at the clock, yawn, and stare at the paper again. Then, with your fingers poised on the keyboard, you squint at an image that is forming in your mind - a scene, a locale, a character, whatever - and you try to quiet your mind so you can hear what that landscape or character has to say above the other voices in your mind.
Exploring Feelings for Young Children with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger's Disorder: The STAMP Treatment Manual offers practical recommendations and creative practices that will certainly help young children with high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome overcome their struggles with the really tough issues blocking their positive growth and development. Therapists, educators and parents caring for autistic children who endure a heavy load of anger, distrust, difficult interpersonal relationships, poor self-esteem and self-doubt need this excellent book.
Liane Holliday Willey
I go to all the appointments. All the meetings. I sit with the team of inclusion teachers, occupational therapists, doctors, social workers, remedial teachers, and the cab driver that gets him from appointment to appointment, and I push for everything that can be done for my autistic boy. But I will never have a plan that will fix him. Noah is not something to be fixed. And our life will never be normal. And people always say, oh well what's normal, there's no such thing really, and I say - sure there is... there's a spectrum... and there's lots and lots of possibilities within that spectrum, and trust me buddy, ducks on the moon ain't one of them... but ... In this abnormal life, I get to live with a pirate, and a bird fancier, and an ogre, and a hedgehog, and many many superheroes, and aliens and monsters - and an angel. I get to go to infinity and beyond.
Kelley Jo Burke