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Quick General Autism Info –
- The term “Aspergers” is the same as being autistic. “Autistic” should be used in place of “Aspergers.”
- Functioning labels are not helpful, relatively vague, and should not be used for autistic people.
- “Severe autism” is not severe, it is a person being autistic who has other co-occurring conditions, such as intellectual disability, epilepsy, apraxia, dyspraxia, speech disabilities, etc.
- Autistic people need alternative ways to communicate besides speaking (Yes, even “highly verbal” autistic people often have difficulty expressing emotions to others through speaking and explaining everything they want to say through speaking.)
- Meltdowns are not a child “behaving badly” – a child having a meltdown needs to be supported through sensory supports and with compassion. It is not a “choice.”
- Sensory sensitivities cannot be “desensitized” – otherwise we wouldn’t have them in the first place, because we’d already be desensitized by just existing and experiencing outside stimuli. Support sensory sensitivities through sensory supports, such as headphones/earplugs/sunglasses/tinted glasses/weighted blanket.
- A lot of parents do not know they are autistic until their child is diagnosed as autistic and relate to their child’s experiences.
- Most autistic people prefer identity-first language (i.e. “autistic person,” not “person with autism” and not “person has autism”) because autism is how our brains are structured and how they work. Just like you wouldn’t say “person with gayness,” most autistic people do not like the term “person with autism” because autism is not separate from us.
- Autistic adults exist and are not going to tell you they’re autistic immediately. There is no specific “look” for being autistic. There is still a large stigma to disclosing being autistic and it can affect a person’s employment, healthcare, and many other aspects of their life.
- It is important that autistic people know they are autistic. It is better to know your brain works differently than to think that you are “weird” or “bad.” It’s important to our self-esteem for use to know we are autistic as early as possible.
- It is important for autistic people to have autistic role models to look up to, and to interact with other autistic people. Otherwise, being different and feeling isolated can lower our self-esteem and confidence in ourselves as people.