Input From Autistic Adults...
Please read this page in its entirety... it provides valuable insights into the world of adults with autism...
There is no doubt that having autistic adults explain "their views" is invaluable in breaking the code to what we see in these disorders... as such, I wanted to provide a link on my webpage to sites provided by autistic adults... amazing information indeed!
Prior to going to these links, however, there is are issues I wanted to address as they relate to the autistic adult perspective.
There is a tremendous variation in what autistic adults seem to experience... with many clearly very confused as to how to explain and/or understand what they experience and/or feel as autistics... and other autistic adults saying they are fine with the way they are... that they do not want to be changed...
I think many may interpret this second group as a "leave me alone, I don't need any help". I don't think that is necessarily true, however. The simple fact is that a person can come to terms with living with cancer also and come to appreciate the beauty in every day, come to appreciate the inner person and who they truly are, but that does not mean that they need no help in addressing a very real medical condition and autism certainly does involve many immune system issues and that therefore indicates the body/brain are not functioning properly. To anyone who does not believe this, you need simply take a look at the "list of things" that are "not normal" in autism to realize that things are simply not working as they should be...
Also, obviously, the words in the links below are from very high functioning autistics... most autistics fall in the category of "non-verbal" and are unable to communicate with those around them and that is something that needs to be kept in mind also. Too many of these young children engage in things like self-injurious behaviors (head banging, biting, etc.), and certainly, with these issues - as with the very real immune system issues - there must be a determination to help these children to break from their shell, and to help heal their bodies - and yes, their minds - because there is no doubt that although some have what would be considered "productive" obsessions, that is not true for many, many children with autism.
Thus, although some autistic adults state they are "fine with who they are"... that may very well be true... but keep in mind... you have the ability to communicate... many of these children do not and are locked into their own world... and thus, how can we know they truly "like who they are" if they have never known anything else... Truly, I think many of them are fighting desperately to get out of "their own world" and into ours but their inability to communicate prevents them from doing that.
What I personally have difficulty with - as a parent - is that too many may come to think that autistics don't want to be helped or don't need to be helped because of a few highly functioning autistics who are fine in "their world" and feel they are fine or ok the way they are. The danger with that is that society may come to think that other autistics - especially those who are now just children - may simply "grow out of it" or "be fine as adults too"... and clearly, some of the perspectives below very much indicate that not all autistic adults are "fine" with who they are... many of them are seeking a way of understanding what they feel/experience/perceive, etc.
The thing to remember, however, is that if indeed autism is tied to metal toxicity - as I very, very much suspect it is - those who are autistic adults today would have been exposed to much less mercury and other toxins - via vaccines, etc. - than children have been since the late 1980s... when the Hep B and HIB shots were added to the vaccination schedule and in effect tripled the amount of mercury children were receiving via vaccinations. As such, yes, we may have many, many high functioning adult autistics who may very well be "just fine" with who they are - however - parents of young children who have autism today need to keep in mind that these now autistic adults received much less mercury, multiple toxins and viruses at once (that can then go on to mutate), than our children did via vaccinations - and as such, it would not be prudent in my opinion, to think that our young children today don't have "broken minds" and/or "broken bodies"... because, clearly, anyone can see that they do have major issues with their minds and bodies in terms of functioning. To believe that they don't... is simply fooling yourself!
When we have 50% of these children today who are non-verbal... that is a serious issue that needs to be understood and addressed... we can't assume these children will be "happy with who they are... in their own world"... just because some of today's autistic adults say "they are ok with who they are"... if that is true... I am happy for them... however... I see too much in terms of parallels with schizophrenia... and indeed the very common history autism shares with schizophrenia... and knowing what may await my son in terms of gray matter loss associated with schizophrenia... personally, I will never stop fighting to understand my son and trying to prevent what I very much believe may await him down the road... tremendous gray matter loss with puberty onset... because, I've just seen too much that has now convinced me that autism-schizophrenia-Alzheimer's are all the same disorder over the life spectrum... and to any autistic adult who would tell me that "the brain is not broken" in these disorders... I can only reply that - if indeed I am correct and that these are the same disorder over the life spectrum - I simply do not agree... you can not have such devastation of the human brain and say that things are "just fine" or that they will continue to be "just fine"...
Perhaps autistic adults who say parents should "not be sad" because their child has autism need to understand why those of us who are parents of children with autism - today - and who have done a tremendous amount of research into these issues also understand... the very undeniable link between autism and schizophrenia... and the very real fact that many with autism go on to develop schizophrenia... and the very real fact that with schizophrenia comes tremendous gray matter loss... and with that knowledge... yes, there does come tremendous sadness ...
The simple fact is that too many parents of children with autism are finding that there children are getting worse with puberty onset... that they are developing epilepsy/seizures, and that their behaviors are becoming more uncontrollable, aggressive, etc... and as such... again... you have to keep in mind that children with autism today were exposed to much more mercury than those who are now autistic adults... and that, surely, would have had a much greater impact on them than perhaps was seen in those who were impacted when there was less mercury and toxins administered via vaccines a few decades ago! Too many parents are screaming "vaccines, vaccines, vaccines..." for us to ignore the potential role vaccines have played in the autism-schizophrenia-Alzheimer's epidemic... because there is simply no such thing as a "genetic epidemic" - a "genetic epidemic" is scientifically impossible!
There is no doubt that the insights provided by autistic adults are invaluable in what they can teach us... I would just caution that there are, however, issues such as those mentioned above that must be kept in mind as we try to better understand autism... and that the message of "I'm just fine with who I am" that is portrayed by some with autism is certainly not a "universal message" as clearly, many adults with autism are struggling with this disorder.
As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, yes... I have been able to once again find joy... but it does not come from denying there are tremendous issues in terms of the brain and body... rather it comes from my faith and knowing that one day, I will know my son... exactly the way God intended him to be... forever... and forever is a very long time... so, I can enjoy this life and enjoy my son... and love him deeply in spite of autism... and look forward to better days... for all of us... and yes... I say "in spite of autism"... because that is what I feel... I do not love "autism"... nor do I particularly "love" what it has done to us as a family or what it may potentially bring in the future... and it is because of that uncertainty in my son's future that I need to continue to seek answers and that so many parents and professionals try to "study" autism... because without understanding the issues... how can we even begin to address them?
To those who are autistic adults who find themselves offended at my views that autism-schizophrenia-Alzheimer's appear to be the same disorder over the life spectrum... well... that really changes nothing in terms of "who you are"... a label is just that... a label... it does nothing to change the person... the person remains the same... it is perhaps just the understanding of the issues that this changes... and again... how can you begin to address the issues unless you first understand them.
I guess I take issue with those who wear the label of autism as "a badge" of sorts... well... if autism-schizophrenia-Alzheimer's are all one and the same over the life spectrum... I wonder if you would wear your label as proudly if it were all of a sudden changed to "schizophrenia"? If indeed these are the same disorder over the life spectrum... what difference does "a label" make? Of course, there is no doubt that those with schizophrenia are very, very misunderstood by society and as such, perhaps it is because of our ignorance of the issues that so many choose to make fun of them and see schizophrenia as a label for "acting crazy", etc. Maybe if people realized they too faced joining the ranks of those with schizophrenia, perhaps they would take a little more time to understand the issues at play in this disorder that is so very misunderstood by society in general... and which, as a result, so pains so many when they hear what are truly very heartless comments when it comes to making fun of this disorder - schizophrenia - or those who suffer from it.
Schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer's... they certainly do appear to be very related... and "schizophrenia"... like any other "label" is just that - a label - it does not define the person - it defines the issues... and as such... I, personally, don't see "a label" - any label - as anything to be proud of or to "hold on to" as though it were what makes you special... it is not "a label" that makes a person special... it is the inner person... and that is true of everyone... not just of those on the "autism spectrum"!
Autism was not what God intended for my son when He designed my son... Zachary's autism... I squarely attribute to the doings of man... not God... but, neither do I doubt that Zachary's autism was allowed by God for a purpose in his life, mine and that of so many others he has touched. :o)
My son... I love and will continue to love dearly with all my heart... he has been a tremendous blessing and I wouldn't trade him for any other... that also is very true... and it is a truth I hope all families of children with autism can finally come to as they look "beyond autism" in their children... to the beauty that life can be... even with autism! :o)
The following provide a glimpse into the world of adults who have autism:
http://members.aol.com/Autismfg/vrfng.html (take the time to also check out this man's many revealing poems (truly a glimpse into the world of a person with autism)... and note the issues... loss of sense of reality, self, fragmented sensory perception/integration, face recognition/distortion issues, etc...
Personally, as I read this, it only confirmed the many views I expressed in "Book 3" about the fragmentation of thoughts/senses and the overall lack of communication among the various parts of the brain... and it very much confirms my word of caution when it comes to the whole issue of "teaching pretend play" to children who may already have huge issues with the ability to distinguish between the "real" and the "non-real". Please read "Book 3" - and I think these thoughts by autistic adults will make a whole lot more sense to you!)
Others resources/books by autistics:
Anyone finding other good sites by autistic adults explaining "their view of the world" is asked to send me the link so that I may include it here...