World Autism Awareness Day- tomorrow

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My cousins son has autism.

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My stepdaughter works with people who have intellectual disabilities , some of whom also have autism.

There’s a wide range within the spectrum from the kind of people my stepdaughter works with to those who are highly capable and intelligent.

A lot of people in silicon valley have Aspergers. A lot of billionaires too.

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A criticism of the day.

Back in January 2015, after a three and a half year wait, I was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome (which is now recognised as Autism Spectrum Disorder). A label like this doesn’t change anything, and yet it changes everything. It’s just a word to describe people like me, but as soon as you say ‘I’m autistic’ out loud, it alters the way people behave towards you. The awareness – how others see me – is why I, as an autistic person, will not be supporting Autism Awareness Week.

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I get pissed when people say I don’t look autistic because I make good eye contact and can connect with people. It took years to do this. I also think meds help to make eye contact and to increase empathy. I also think our illness makes us more empathetic and more compassionate because we have struggled and been through so much. It really makes you humble.

I think if you have a well established mental illness it can bias even professionals in seeing everything to be due to that mental illness , rather than some things being indicative of your being on the spectrum.

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