Autism in Positive Light

See also:    Cure?   

Internet Resources

you can always speak your mind. you have a mind. and a heart.
Vanessa Sodd
The focus of Autism Culture is to show that Autism is a natural difference among the neurologically typical, though lightly sprinkled throughout, yet rapidly growing in number.
We are a group of students at the University of Chicago who have Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism, and we're here to provide a window into the autistic worldview. We can provide information from our own personal experience, point you towards information in the thriving online autistic community, or give you a history of Middle English Pronouns. We're aspies. Between us, we know a lot of random stuff.
Having Asperger's offers wonderful opportunities to take in all kinds of information of special interest, to remember most things very well, to think way outside the box and to be quite unique in many ways. The very high intelligence that is seen in most with AS is testament to an largely untapped gold mine of resources, talents and strengths.
A.J. Mahari
For some time now, the site has pushed the culture model of Asperger's in a very provocative way. By arguing that individuals with spectrum disorders are a unique genetic pool with a unique neurology, they are attempting to "culture-ize" rather than "pathologize" this group. They welcome group identification as a means of connecting with each other and with their unique characteristics. In today's podcast, I begin to scratch the surface of cultural issues and Asperger's/Autism. I address the fundamental question of "Who changes?"
Larry Welkowitz
In particular, I would like to examine how the condition is depicted in the media. I would like to question the usually negative view of the condition, and suggest that a more positive attitude is possible.
Mark Heinmiller
This is your roll call: there are 20 million of us around the world! most don't know it!
Aspergian Pride advocates recognition and acceptance of the autistic community as an intelligent, competent minority group with many worthwhile qualities. This site contains articles, web links, and forums that present positive views of autistic identity as a unique, meaningful culture and as a way of being. Here we affirm our strengths, our joy in life, and the value of our existence as capable, healthy, purposeful individuals within the normal range of human variation. We are a part of creation in all its beauty and wonder.
Be proud of who and what you are, and never forget the differences... which is not to say to dwell on them.
Frank Klein
the UK newspaper, The Guardian, is THE newspaper of the year 2000 in terms of assisting in speading awareness of Asperger's Syndrome.
Redefining Ability and Quality of Life
Estee Wolfond
It seems as if anyone who has ever been a mover and shaker in our society has always had a reputation of eccentricity. And many of these people have seemed to be loners.
Donna Eustice
"I love the way my brain works, I always have and it's one of the things I can now admit to myself. I like the way I think in terms of numbers. I like the way I visualize things. I like the way most especially that I can bury myself in work that I love to a degree that makes everybody else in the world looks at me and go, 'God! I wish I could do that.' No, I am not changing anything."
Joseph Shapiro, National Public Radio
"I love the way my brain works, I always have and it's one of the things I can now admit to myself. I like the way I think in terms of numbers. I like the way I visualize things. I like the way most especially that I can bury myself in work that I love to a degree that makes everybody else in the world looks at me and go, 'God! I wish I could do that.' No, I am not changing anything."
National Public Radio
Celebrate small successes, encourage happiness, foster learning and appropriate proportion of fun. Speak out on behalf all children, especially if they're your own.
Dad of Cameron
When I read about someone's child who is doing such and such, and they attribute it to pills or chelation, I think, oh yeah, Mulan is doing that. And it's not because of a pill or chelation, it's because of good old-fashioned hard work! There's a short movie that someone at [name removed] suggested I watch. It's about how chelation has supposedly helped their children. It's horrible! I thought that Mulan could easily be on that as well - I have pictures of her freaking of getting her picture taken, and then I could use her kindergarten picture, before hours of therapy and hard work, etc.
Dad of Cameron
People with autism are more intelligent and able to function better than previously believed, but mistrust of doctors, biased tests and the Internet have bred myths about the condition... At a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers presented reports showing that even autistics who do not speak can have above-average intelligence. They also offered additional studies disputing claims that vaccines can cause autism.
Maggie Fox, Reuters
The theory points out that lack of social ability is the main feature of autism. The theory shows that although some forms of autism are difficult, autism in general is not a disease.
Gregory Yates
Autism's biological etiology is due not to a defect, but to an advantage, a superiority, a surfeit, a super-sufficiency, a beautiful feature of human beings - in scientific terms, a biological change that provides an additional capability, a mutation.
Francesca Happe
This article will argue that we can discover more about developmental disorders such as autism through demonstrations of task success than through examples of task failure. Even in exploring and explaining what people with autism find hard, such as social interaction, demonstration of competence on contrasting tasks has been crucial to defining the nature of the specific deficit. Current deficit accounts of autism cannot explain, however, the assets seen in this disorder; for example, savant skills in maths, music, drawing, islets of ability in visuo-spatial tests and rote-memory. An alternative account is reviewed here that suggests that autism is characterised by a cognitive style biased toward local versus global information processing; 'weak central coherence'. A tendency for featural processing in autism, often leading to superior performance, has been demonstrated at several levels. Normal individual differences may span a continuum of cognitive style from weak to strong coherence, with both assets and deficits associated with each extreme.
Francesca Happe
Our aim is to portray some of the realities of living with autism. (NOTE: To gain the full meaning and benefit from this site, please devote the time to read from beginning to end.)
An Autistic Woman
What Baron-Cohen's theory says is that autistic people also have something positive: They're good at something. They're obsessed with systems, and they're good at systemizing, even when they don't happen to be mathematics professors or savants.
Robert Kunzig, Psychology Today
Autism is not 'a fate worse than death.' Autistic people have some disadvantages, but some live very happy and rewarding lives. Many autistic people wouldn't want to be 'cured,' as this would be like erasing them and replacing them with different people.
Jared Blackburn
Can you imagine what it would be like if, every time that one of your kind was born, the parents of that child typically responded in shock and horror, as if a horrible tragedy had happened?
Frank Klein
Retrospective consideration of the lives of exceptional human beings offers credible evidence that the autistic distinction has persisted throughout history, and has been a valuable element of human culture... Autism is as much a part of humanity as is the capacity to dream.
Kathleen Seidel,
Autistic Pride Day is a day that adult autistics chose to commemorate the fact of their autism and the fact that they were proud to be autistic. It should not be confused with Autism Awareness which is a campaign set up and managed mostly by parents and carers of autistics to highlight what they see as the tragic blight of autism.
Kevin Leitch
June 18th is Autistic Pride day around the world. The day is for positive events relating to autism spectrum conditions, for people on the spectrum and their families and friends. The autism spectrum includes autism, asperger's, hyperlexia, PDD-nos and dyspraxia.
Aspies for Freedom
One of the saddest, most chilling aspects of reading the words of those who claim autism is solely mercury poisoning is the cheapening of the word 'autistic' to reflect illness, negativity, inhuman, uncaring, amorality. To those who would rob my daughter of the identity she has I would like to ask: why? So your children may be ill. Your children may have been misdiagnosed as autistic and your children may be in pain. None of that gives you the right to denigrate the person that my daughter and thousands of other autistics is/are. Imagine the public outcry if we suddenly decided that a dark skin was a 'treatable illness' and that we could 'reclaim our dark-skinned children'. If your children had dark skin as, for example, a result of being burnt in a fire, then no-one would deny them medical treatment. But would it be right to categorise all dark skinned children in this way? Of course not.
Kevin Leitch
Lots of Doctors and other professionals will tell parents that encouraging stimming (stimming is autistic behaviours that the autistic finds stimulating -- usually hand flapping, rocking, singing, walking on tip toes, circling a room etc) is A Bad Thing (and yes, you can hear the caps in their voice when they say it) but I say -- bollocks to that -- she enjoys it and as far as I can see it does no harm. Lots of autistics say its a calming thing and help them 'synchronise' with the sensory input all around them. Sounds pretty good to me.
Kevin Leitch
Autistic Pride Day. Why June 18th, you may ask? It commemorates the day that Temple Grandin graduated from 3rd grade. It was the day that Stephen Shore first learned to make a noise while flapping his hands at the wrist. It was on that date that Gerry Newport's autistic adult support group first met in Los Angeles, California. On this very day, the parents of Alex and Ben Bain met. It was on this sunny date in history that Michelle Dawson decided that she didn't hate being autistic after all. It was the first day of filming of "Rain Man." It was the day I received my diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome at 43years old. Well, actually, no...
Kevin Leitch
For me Autistic Pride Day is a chance to show the world, and that being autistic is not completely negative. It is to show the world that Autistics the world over do have a voice and are not afraid to use it. That we can help show parents that Autism is not a complete negative; that sometimes we can be amongst the best, and that there is hope for their children. (Helen Ford)
Kevin Leitch
In the past I felt like my autism was a disability, now I know its just a difference, and its something to be proud of. In the future I hope that the world will be a better place for autistics to live in. People should respect that were aren't people with a disease. (Dragon) I don't think there is any badge of autism or colour of autism (except for the rainbow) I show my individuality and pride by not becoming part of the crowd, perhaps I am a Groucho Marxist, not wanting to belong to any club that would have me as a member, or wanting to march gloriosly out of step with everyone aware that marching together out of step is a paradox and the biggest paradox for me is wanting a world where it does not matter if I am autistic or not, just that I am and entitled to be in the world. (Larry Arnold)
Kevin Leitch
Autistic awareness, to me, is a movement for (neurotypical) parents of autistic children. it centers on bringing understanding of autism to the general public, and while this is a laudable aim, I do feel that parts of it have gone sadly awry. In some circles 'Awareness' seems to have become confused with 'hatred', opinion and personal disappointment presented as information and fact and compassion has been replaced with self indulgent pity. In an attempt to become all things to all people, awareness seems to be more about the parent's struggles than the child's humanity. Awareness is about people who are broken. 'Awareness' just isn't doing it for my son.
Beth Clark, Silver Cuckoo Special Needs
There are autistics like me, parents like my husband and I, children like ours. We do not view our lives as "horrors", our autism or each other's as "worse than cancer"... I believe in choices. I will not tell you that there is one treatment for autism or even that autistics need treatment. We need education, and surely we need assistance, but there is nothing "all autistics need"... The sensationalist language being used to describe autism is getting worse and spreading. Including autism in this committee, giving a platform to parents who say the Auton decision was horrible and who want to give a voice to their cause and call it mine and/or my children's is not helping. Autism is a developmental disability, not a mental illness.
jypsy (Janet Norman-Bain)
We are not people with a defective NT (neuro-typical) operating system, we are people with a different (autistic) but intact operating system.
Jane Meyerding
Exactly who has a problem taking another person's perspective? Who can't appreciate the feelings of others?
Morton Ann Gernsbacher
No one knows why autistic children are often so beautiful, but it can be a great comfort to their parents
"A film about the hardships of rainy days should show *accurate* rainy days. Rain brings flowers, and crops, and rainbows. Clouds erase shadows and make the world soft. Fog and mist make the world a mystery. Thunder and lightening are the world's best and cheapest entertainment. Thrills and chills, folks! Colors seem brighter in drizzle - clear and neat, instead of dulled by the constant sunshine. Who hasn't enjoyed splashing in puddles, or standing with their tongues out to catch raindrops? How can you say that the only part of the rainy day that's worth talking about is the part where your shoes get wet and your hair frizzes? Sunny days have their virtue too, but also their faults, which are separate from the faults of rainy days. But I do prefer the rainy ones - even outside the bounds of this analogy, and even considering how much I hatehateHATE walking in wet shoes."
We are looking for friends and associates to help us build a positive image of autism and to help us write papers and devise ways for NT's to communicate effectively with us without conflicts.
Wise up to the smarmy deceit of some neurotypicals . Remember it's not just second nature to them, it's a survival instinct. Study their behaviour and consider the hidden meanings behind their words and deeds!
Neil Gardner
Why do we need to make social space for autistic people? Because people at present believe that autism is "a terrible disease" - or at best a disabling dysfunction that needs fixing.
Dinah Murray, Mike Lesser
If Asperger's Syndrome was identified by observation of strengths and talents, it would no longer be in the DSM IV, nor would it be referred to as a syndrome.
Tony Attwood, Carol Gray
Today we would submit that Seth is probably the best thing that has ever happened to us ... or one of the best things anyway. We never have to worry about him ripping off hubcaps. A stickler for following rules, often profoundly shy (unless he knows you) he runs for the hills if he hears foul language on television. But way back when ... make no mistake about it; those early years were a real challenge. The Seth of today is almost always a joy for us. But he's still so very different, unique.
Illana Katz
Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person.
Jim Sinclair
The current research points to autism being central to one's personality, something that I and many like me tend to agree with. Removing something that fundamental would leave little of my original self. Many of the traits I identify with most strongly are those labeled autistic, such as the ability to hyperfocus, a strong attention to detail, the ability to enjoy my own company for long periods, not being controlled by the social collective, etc.
Having children who are "different" is an unexpected experience, a positive one, and I keep trying to figure out how to impart a message of experience to others who have never had the challenge, and ergo, the ultimate benefit of one... Organizations that seek to fund this “difficult and mysterious disorder,” to "cure it," as a war waged against the autistic population, instead of listening to them, may become baffled at the ability of autism, despite its superficial dysfunctions. It is finding itself at an intellectual and philosophical divide with those they are seeking to cure. Parents are baffled, or angry. Afterall, aren't they just good people trying to help others? Shouldn't parents who struggle day in and day out, whose expectations have been taken from them, have pity bestowed upon them? I say no. I say that as difficult as it is for many families, who experience a "spectrum" of challenges, this is life's test. "The best thing about the future," said Abraham Lincoln, "is that it comes one day at a time." We have time to reframe our expectations and to find joy in autism.
Estee Klar
The idea that a person could be just different, not fit into any of the hierarchical pigeonholes, is apparently too alien to even consider.
Jessadriel Darkmountain
Dr Murray and I believe that people with autistic traits are part of the normal variety of human beings and that variety is a good thing. What differentiates them is how completely their interest or attention tends to be focused, and that has an impact on their lives in a society... I do not relish the prospect of being known as something that few people understand. I would rather be included in the vaster mystery of common humanity... tyranny requires an environment of collusion. For people with autism, there is a complicity in society that amounts to oppression. Everywhere people choose to view the autistic mind as something wholly negative -- and that applies to those who are supposedly on the side of those who have had autism diagnosed.
Mike Lesser
I am autism. I invite you to question how you treat others, because I am a mirror to your soul. As you respond to others, even those you disagree with, so will I be treated. If you cannot tolerate difference, why should others tolerate me?
Beth, Silver Cuckoo Special Needs
Unlike these other diseases, autism is not fatal. Nor is it degenerative. Nor is it a disorder of a specific set of bodily functions, something essentially separable from the individual that the individual can be rid of with appropriate treatment and healing. It is a set of neurological differences in brain and central nervous system architecture that has pervasive effects upon cognition, sensory processing, experience and expression of emotion, communication, personality, and identity. These pervasive effects are not separable from the individual.
Phil Schwarz
I believe that to coin autism in any negative sense is not our prerogative -- it is the right of those with autism to tell us like it is, not for us to interpret their behaviour ("behavioural deficits") or presume that typical responses are the only or right responses. I believe that the decisions to be made on what should be done in the research and therapeutic fields should be determined by those with autism. Reading the stories of Richard Attfield, Sue Rubin, Donna Williams, Temple Grandin, Stephen Shore, Lucy Blackthorn and many others for the exhibit I put together of Jonathan Lerman (I prepared an exhibit upstairs titled "The Voices of Autism" with floating quotes from those labelled with autism), has only made my opinions more resolute.
Estee Klar
The autistic person is as different from the NT person as a cat is from a dog. While you, as a social being, are able to seamlessly blend into a group, the autistic person has no concept of what it means to be a part of a group. He may not even realize that these other people are other living beings like him. They may appear to be moving pieces of the landscape, no more important or similar to him than a tree or a rock. In time, he will begin to understand, but the social connectedness, the ability to truly feel like a part of it all, will never be there. He may learn to relate to others relatively well, and maybe to be social at times. Even so, he will always be in a group only of one... himself. That is simply the nature of the independent being that he is. There is nothing wrong with being a cat. In a world of dogs, though, it seems abnormal and pathological...
Frank Klein
The term 'difference' in relation to AS is a more neutral, value-free, and fairer description, and that the term 'disability' better applies to the lower functioning cases of autism.
Simon Baron-Cohen
Concepts of disability and handicap are relative to particular environments, both cultural and biological . It may be time to extend this way of thinking to the field of AS/HFA.
Simon Baron-Cohen
Rather than searching for the holy grail of the fundamental 'deficit' of autism or the ultimate teaching approach that can effect a 'cure', we should perhaps be looking at ways of understanding and valuing the difference.
Rita Jordan
Simon Baron-Cohen
We have heard that Autism is a Plague, A Disease that needs to be Stamped Out. Nothing is Further from the Truth. Do not be swayed to believe this lie. Teach your Autistic child as you would any child but with an understanding that this child just may have some unconventional ways of learning. This does not make the process invalid - Any way in which a person learns is a valid way. It does take a little more work to find the right method in which your child learns, though. A little hard work for a parent is not too much to ask to help a young mind take flight.
Patti Shepard
Learn from autistic people. Learn to love us as unique beings, not as damaged or defective versions of yourselves. Learn to be devoted to us, instead of being devoted against us. Learn that being devoted against autism is to be devoted against us.
Amanda Baggs
People with the capacity for deep concentration have a great capacity to learn skills which are beyond the broad mind. The forager mind, insensitive to the way everybody knows things should be done, creates the paradigm transforming technologies.
Dinah Murray, Mike Lesser
We believe that autistic individuals are maintained 'locked into their own minds' largely because of others being `mind blind' towards them, consequently they often appear to be agitated and distressed.
Chris Creed et al
Examination of common behaviors, needs, and interests within autistic adults, primarily focusing on their musical culture, demonstrates autistic individuals have a culture all their own.
Sarah Schuchardt
Autism to me is not 'wrong', not subhuman, not a collection of deficits, it is simply 'other'. Another reality. And like anything different, it is going to jar. But I have managed a lot better ever since I stopped fighting autism and simply went with the flow, accepted and honoured Alex's reality as equal to mine. And conversely, he has lost many of the traits that first brought him the diagnosis 'severely autistic'.
Beth, Silver Cuckoo Special Needs
Raven's Progressive Matrices, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, and Wechsler Scales are the instruments frequently used to measure intelligence in autistics. However, these instruments have been normalized for the typical population, not for autistics. Mottron, Dawson, Berthiere and Soulieres found peaks of ability in RPM and PPVTin autistic and Asperger groups relative to Wechsler PIQ and VIQ, respectively. Because no comparison with typical controls were made, these findings may have been artifacts of how PPVT and RPM are normed. PPVT is known to over- or under-estimate Wechsler IQ, depending on factors such as level of performance. Also, cautions with respect to norms in RPM has been urged. Purpose: To compare autistic, AS and typical groups in their performance on Wechsler scales, PPVT and RPM. Implications for the nature of autistic intelligence will be examined... We speculate that the results are at odds with theories proposing the disorganization of the autistic brain. While it may be argued that real-world and RPM complexity are of different magnitudes, this cannot explain the poor relative performance of of non-autistics vs. autistics on this test of fluid intelligence. Either many well-established theories of intelligence, and of the relative roles of cognitive processes, are flawed; or autistic intelligence is different from non-autistic intelligence.
Michelle Dawson, Laurent Mottron, et al
Ordinary folk display a multiplicity and duplicity which are distinguished by their absence in autism. A main theme of my paper is that normal is not necessarily wonderful.
Dinah Murray
This page is here to explain the graphic designs I have created on the theme of autism awareness and advocacy.
Officially, we don't exist. The hordes of psychological "experts" who regularly comment on the supposed near-impossibility of productive, independent lives and successful marriages among autistics, and in so doing blithely consign thousands of children to society's trash heap with every keystroke, haven't yet noticed that we're here.
People don't understand autism People who are not fortunate enough to live with a child who is autistic have no way of knowing the exquisite reality we are exposed to daily. Those same people do not have the opportunity to experience the limitless intelligence and inquisitiveness of autistic children. History is replete with examples of how ignorance and intolerance have resulted in some of the worst episodes of inhumanity toward others - reservations for Native Americans, relocation camps for Japanese-Americans in World War II, institutionalization of people with brain disorders. Society has become so complacent about such matters that it is regressing to a point where such reprehensible aspects of history are repeating themselves. We simply refuse to acknowledge it.
Salt Lake Tribune of sexist, 'age-ist', or culturalist biases; ability to regard others at 'face value'; speaking one's mind irrespective of social context or adherence to personal beliefs; listening without continual judgement or assumption...
Autistic individuals have a transcendent beauty. Their traits bespeak a separate, entire personality which is holistic-rather than an illness, abnormality, retardation syndrome, or disease which must be eradicated.
Jasmine Lee O'Neill
Everyone has challenges. And everyone has talents, interests, or just plain amazing personal qualities. I thought it might be a nice idea to start putting together a collection of some of our autistic loved ones' greatest talents, traits, actions and ideas. With a little design work, it could become a wonderful gift -- to ourselves and our autistic loved ones. Just as importantly, it could be a great reminder of what ability really is -- for those folks out there who can't see how gifted our loved ones really are.
I am hard-pressed to agree with the DSM's characterization of autism as a disorder, a defect, something that must be handled agressively, with early intervention. This is the same book, after all, that until the 70's told us that homosexuality was a mental illness that also needed to be handled agressively, with early intervention.
Shari Nettles
Contrary to common conceptions in psychology and psychiatry, most people with psychopathology are not developmentally immature, but instead they have taken a different pathway.
Kurt W. Fischer et al
People with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) live outside the box of the “whole group”, or society in general. This is seen, viewed, and defined by most as being “less than” and/or dysfunctional. When, in truth, what this really means is that those with AS are living lives that are of a different nature than those who are neuro-typical (NT).
A.J. Mahari
As the autistic community is showing, acceptance and accommodation of the psychologically different is a must in a society that values human diversity and potential. So my seven-year-old friend, who only recently received the diagnosis of Asperger's, has a lot to look forward to.
George Dvorsky, Betterhumans
...those who are viewed by society as having things taken away from us, and our lives viewed as being essentially barren wastelands, are not shut out of the richness of life by being who we are. And the richness we experience is not some cheap romanticized copy of the richness others experience. The richness of life is there for everyone, and whether one experiences it or not is not dependent on being autistic. How one experiences it, on the other hand, may well be dependent on neurology and life experience and everything else.
The youngster, whose specialist subject will be the Star Wars series, has shown a remarkable knowledge of the films and has been retaining precise information about a vast range of topics from an early age. Aged just four, he answered a Star Wars quiz in a newspaper and got 95 per cent of the answers right... The boy yesterday said he wanted to show other autistic children that they can use their intelligence to good effect. He said: "I wanted to show that people like me can live a normal life and also that we're not what people think. Asperger's syndrome is not a life sentence. It's a blessing, not a curse."
John Innes,
I am not defective. I am different...
Lianne Holiday Willey
Our lives are full of contradictions since our often unusual abilities are marred by an innocence of social interaction leaving us literally alienated.
This site is for all those on the autistic spectrum, including those with asperger's, ADD and ADHD, dyspraxia, PDD-NOS, hyperlexia, and Fragile X. We hope to have fun, share ideas, chat, and support each other.
Objective: Determine if existing norms for Wechsler, RPM and PPVT are actually equivalent in non-autistics, and in autistic children and adults. Design/Methods: Adults: 8 autistics and 17 Aspergers (AS) received WAIS-III+RPM, 5 autistics and 13 AS received WAIS-III+PPVT, and were compared to 19 non-autistic adults tested with the three instruments. Children: 41 autistics and 20 AS received WISC-III+RPM; 30 autistics and 20 AS received WISC-III+PPVT, and were compared to the test norms. Conclusions: Assessment of intelligence in PDDs results in dramatically different levels according to the test given. A significant proportion of low-functioning autistics move into the high-functioning range when tested with two specific instruments. These results have important consequences for matching strategies in empirical design, and in understanding autistic intelligence.
M. Dawson, L. Mottron, P. Jelenic, I. Soulières
It would be as pointless, bizarre, or even cruel depending on the severity and persistence of the attempt, to try and change a Chihuahua into a St. Bernard. But what is happening to autistic humans all around the world? The world is trying to change autistic humans into nonautistic humans, and the next step is to make sure that autism never again sullies the gene pool of the human race as it is understood by nonautistic humans. It is not enough for autistic humans to be doing what autistic humans do, and it is not enough for them to be happy doing it, either. No. They must not be who and what they are. If they do not conform to the satisfaction of some families or society as a whole, many forms of societal retaliation can take place, from bullying to segregation to forced drugging to institutionalization.
Lisa Jean Collins
He isn't stubborn, he's consistent. He isn't volatile, he's passionate. He isn't obsessive, he's neat. I am not cranky; I'm the mother of three sons. -- K.C.
Autism National Committee
It is possible, then, that autism may result from an 'embarrassment of riches' at the neural level. This translates into a cognitive system only too well able todistinguish featural differences at the expense of 'the big picture'.
Francesca Happe
Interview with U.K. blogger Kevin Leitch.
Action Network UK
There are many, many people in the world. Some of them are unusual, just like some of the stones on a beach are unusual. The unusual stones can help us to understand the unusual people who are autistic.
Dave Spicer
Michelangelo might have had it. So, too, may Einstein, Socrates and Jane Austen. All are claimed to have had Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. What is it about this developmental disorder that can lead to genius?
British Broadcasting Corporation
So what do I suggest? First of all, I think everyone needs to realize that being autistic is nothing to be sad or ashamed or embarrassed about. Stop grieving about it!
Jim Sinclair
Is there something about the way we are organised as a society that makes life more difficult for people with AS than it needs to be? Society benefits by recognising our interdependence, and making room for lots of different roles.
Judy Singer
The autistic condition may have been evolved separately as a response to specific environmental conditions. We, the autistic, suffer not from a disorder, but merely from numerical inferiority in social cognitive cultural terms.
Andrew Walker
Many Autistics are told that they are broken, diseased and disfunctional. This is simply untrue. My wish for all Autistics is that they will Realize their Self-Worth and not Believe the Myth that they are Someone that needs Fixing. My goal is to Fight for the Rights and Freedom of all Autistics against those that would try to Cure All Autistics of Being who They Are. I have a Son that is Autistic. I have a Grandson that is Autistic. WE ARE AUTISM AND NO, YOU CANNOT CHANGE OUR MINDS!
Patti Shepard
Autism is a disabling and alienating disorder, cutting sufferers off from normal human contact, but milder forms have probably helped successful scientists and artists to achieve the isolation they need to do their best work.
Nigel Hawkes
Empirically documented autistic strengths include: enhanced visual search abilities; enhanced visual discrimination; superior ability in disembedding figures; enhanced auditory pitch memory, pitch labeling and pitch disembedding; superior speed of processing; superior performance in detecting and responding to visual social and non-social cues; faster sentence comprehension; superior performance in detecting changes in pitch; enhanced memory of semantic and visual stimuli with less susceptibility to false memories; superior pitch discrimination and categorization; superior accuracy in graphic cued recall; superior phonological processing; superiority in maintaining shape constancy; faster grammatical computation; superior numerical estimation; enhanced perception of static first-order visual stimuli; superior recognition of faces with a one-feature prime; and superior individual feature processing.
Michelle Dawson
This is a story about autistic creativity, guts, and resourcefulness. Some diagnostic criteria for neurotypicality emerge from the discussion.
Dinah Murray

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This page was last updated on 5 November 2008, 3:48 pm
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