Saturday, July 29, 2006

what Autism is NOT

Kids with Autism often have one or more co-occuring conditions. These are not a part of Autism itself, but they are often significant problems (sometimes even more significant than the autism itself), and they can interfere with Autism remediation efforts. Some of these co-occuring conditions are Sensory Processing Disorders, Food (or other) Allergies, "Leaky Gut" (food intolerances), Apraxia/Dyspraxia, Hyperlexia (although some people believe that Hyperlexia itself may be on the Autism Spectrum), Dyslexia, Hypotonia, Mental Retardation, Central Processing Disorder, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, ADD/ADHD. Those are only the ones I can think of off the top of my head -- there are many others, I am sure. These co-occuring conditions are not Autism, but they need to be addressed. Some are curable, some can be improved/remediated, some are controllable, some are maneagable, and some are permanent impairments.

While some people with Autism have higher than average IQs or "savant" like special abilities, most do not. (As in the typical population, most have an average IQ range.) Furthermore, a high IQ is not a predictor of a good outcome. In fact, studies have shown the opposite to be true -- children with average IQ tend to make better progress with Autism Remediation programs and wind up with a better quality of life than do children with above or below average IQs.

Kids with Autism are not just "shy", "quiet", or "quirky" -- they have a serious neurological condition. Their brains are not functioning the way the human brain was intended to function.

Kids with Autism are not "happy in their own world". They are struggling every minute of every day to try to belong in the real world. Most of the "problem behaviors" that are seen in kids with Autism are a direct result of this struggle.

Autism is not caused by mothers not being good enough mothers, by parents not being strict enough with their kids, or by children not being around enough other children.

Autism is not cured by putting kids in with groups of kids to be socialized (and in most cases that sort of thing is quite detrimental).

Autism is not a life sentence. In most cases, it can not be cured. But it CAN be remediated. Posted by Picasa

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