The Autistic Child

based on graphic produced by, for or associated with "autism puzzles" and "halcyon", source unknown

Compare the clinical or parental viewpoint on the left, used to diagnose a child with a particular disorder, with the right side which represents the innate characteristics of the child, as seen from the inside. There is great value in early diagnosis. Treatment is an essential element of care and improves the lives of many autistic children, but that doesn’t change who they are.

We can cope and adopt to life in a human world, but we are different, and ever so. I have been autistic since birth and will die autistic. In some ways being autistic is an advantage: there are things we can do that humans can’t. It can also be a hardship to be autistic, especially considering that the social environment around us was not constructed with us in mind.

I appreciate the purpose of the original document. There are many children who will benefit from early identification of their nature. There are many adults—such as me—that have endured great difficulties in life that might have been lessened if such tools had been available during our youth. The graphic is reproduced here under the principle of fair use, to provide commentary and criticism of a singular viewpoint that doesn’t capture the way many autistic people view themselves. I count myself in that group. I live amongst humans. Humans have a lot to learn, as do we all.

57 Comments on "The Autistic Child"


Guest
LizzieT
July 31, 2015

This poster is wonderful! Everyone needs to see this.

Member
August 1, 2015

Thank you for putting into words, the reality of our intentions, that our kids go through and how we get ‘re-interpreted’ by those who label us as somehow less than others. I’ve shared this.

Guest
Del Harries
August 2, 2015

Great stuff – highlights our arrogance in assuming that we own the concept of appropriate / normal etc

Guest
Ash
August 4, 2015

This is wonderful! I have two kids on the spectrum (so is their dad), and this would have been SUCH a blessing when they were smaller. Sharing everywhere!

Member
August 4, 2015

It’s wonderful it provides the same information but in a positive way. The first one has always bugged me a bit extra, I mean as long as you don’t harm yourself or others how can you use a toy inappropriately? It’s a toy! Have fun, isn’t neurotypical the ones that think we are inflexible in our thinking, yet they fret over if a toy is used “the right way”?

Member
August 5, 2015

I eagerly look for anything that can help me understand what our grandson might feel or think. Since he does not speak, he cannot tell us directly much more than his ipad apps allow. One can infer some things, but it would be nice if I could put myself inside his head and see what he sees. I’m sure it is frustrating for him when we don’t understand.

Anything that could help teach him to be more aware of danger would also be useful. He has learned from experience not to do some things, but I’d like him to stay alive!

Guest
Anonymous
August 11, 2015

Michelle mc i found this wonderful i have grandson wit autism his only 2 and half and its given me some idea of wot is goin tru his head thank you

Guest
Anonymous
August 12, 2015

I prefer to say a Child with Autism rather than an autisc child. If you know the person, then you always say their name first, for example, John who has Autism.

Guest
Anonymous
August 21, 2015

Most autistics I know don’t like” person first” language . I don’t, i am an aspie, not person with aspergers.
It implies our neural difference is somehow not integral to who we are, like it’s a disease . Plf ispotentially offensiv.

Guest
Cody {has Aspergers}
August 12, 2015

i think your opinion is valid, I myself got diagnosed with aspergers at 17, when other medical problems brought it into the light. I cant help but wonder if i would be in a better position if i had gotten diagnosed at a younger age.

Member
August 18, 2015

So Instructive and point well made.

Guest
Jill Finch
August 18, 2015

Amazing. Says so much in such a simple way. Sharing as widely as I can xx

Guest
Anonymous
September 5, 2015

Thank you for giving us the view from the other side.

Guest
Lisa Steadman
September 8, 2015

Interesting… I just posted this on another post, but find it equally applicable for this post as well:

Lisa Steadman

Today 7:09 pm

It’s interesting how strong the debate is on a cause and cure for ASD. I remember kids in my elementary school (in the 70s), and kids that my Dad has described from his elementary class in the 50s, who would have definitely met the ASD criteria today. So yes, it has been around a long time. As far as an epidemic…I have to wonder. While awareness, new testing methods and peoper diagnosis have certainly boosted the number of cases being reported, I wonder whether there are actually more people with this condition. To rule out statistics, I’d have to ask: if I tested 100 kids from the 70s compared to a group of 100 elementary kids today, would there be on average the same number of kids diagnosed with ASD? Hard to tell, since the 70s kids are now middle aged adults, so it will never be apples to apples.

I do have to wonder if vaccinations havent played some part in any of this, considering the correlation between the introduction of thimersoral (?sp) and the gross increase in the number of vaccines we give children as infants. My 30 year old child received his first vaccine at 3 months old. My 13 yo daughter received her first at 1 week old, with several grouped together. I think we give too many vaccinnes too soon, and that some children are predisposed to an adverse reaction. It doesnt seem like too much of a stretch for the medical community to cut back on the number and timing of vaccines, along with a study to see if theres any correlation. Parents in the meantime should know to monitor and limit when their children are vaccinated (as opposed to no vaccines at all, which also has consequences of its own).

As far as a cure: some “treatments” being offered (ie special diets to treat leaky gut syndrome, yeast, behavioral therapies, etc) will have positive effects for some individuals regardless of their condition. A healthy diet and a reduction in yeast is a good thing for anybody, with positive results expected. On the other hand, there’s too much variance in the so-called ‘treatments’ being offered. Take the example of two children with the same type of cancer.who will react differently to the same treatment. Adherence to the treatment, consistency, and environmental factors will all affect outcome. Without strict scientific measures to study how ‘treatments’ are administered, there’s no sure way to measure efficacy. And certainly without dispute is the fact that there is no “cure” when it doesn’t work for everyone all the time.

Besides, how do you “cure” a spectrum disorder? It’s not like this is a disease, with a fix that makes it all go away. So to the Anonymous Guest with the ‘recovered’ daughter – show a little kindness, be grateful for any improvements your daughter has shown (which you so conveniently failed to share), and know that the rest of us are still searching for understanding in all of this.

My daughter was recently diagnosed ‘high functioning Aspergers’. I do not see her as flawed, or ill or diseased. I see her for who she is. Beautiful, funny, unique, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and yes, a bit awkward at times. Her diagnosis is not a testament of who she is. It’s simply a tool to help us along her journey. It will not define or limit her, or the way I see her. If anything, it just adds one more layer to an already interesting and unique individual. I would never want to ‘cure’ that.

Perhaps the only thing we have to ‘recover’ from is the narrow shortsightedness of others….

Guest
Rina
March 19, 2016

Thank you for this wonderful article. Especially, this poster is simple, but it tells us the important view. From the view of non-ASD people, ASD’s actions look inappropriate. It’s true, but we should think and understand the meanings of actions. I’m Japanese and I feel Japanese are sensitive… how they’re looked by other people. It throw the abilities and possibilities of ASDs, I think.

Guest
Anonymous
March 27, 2016

I have autuisum

Guest
Chase Mishio
April 22, 2016

Thank you for showing the world what it’s like to have autism! I, too, am autistic, and it warms me up to see that other people understand what it’s like. This could completely change the way people look at autism. God bless you.

Guest
Anonymous
April 28, 2016

joihoi

Guest
Anonymous
August 6, 2016

Shared it a year ago! And again this year! People need awareness to different behaviours. My son fits in every aspect .. he’s almost 7 now and was diagnosed when he was 2! He has improved a lot over the years thou!

Guest
Anonymous
August 6, 2016

Sorry for the anonymosity.. l’m Helena from Portugal

Guest
Lisa Hollett
November 17, 2016

Jim,
Thank you for sharing you! I refer to your site as I teach Kindergarten through grade 3 students with Autism. I simply love how you relate to everyone!

 
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