Top 30 interesting facts about autism
1. Autism wasn’t always referred to as autism. One hundred years ago, people who met the “rare” criteria were referred to as “idiot savants”. This dimunitive title focused first on what they couldn’t do, and thus were considered extremely mentally retarded. The second part focused on the disjunction of the seemingly incongruous splinter skills they had that were on the level with giftedness, or “savantism”.
2. The title of “idiot savant” changed to the more politically correct autism in the eighties.
3. In the late nineties, the diagnostic title changed again to reflect an even more politically correct social environment. Now the proper expression is “people/ children with autism or autism spectrum disorders”.
4. “Rain Man” is the most famous movie in the last thirty years that addresses autism in adults and what institutional life was like for them. There are some very solid truths about the disorder in the movie that got everyone thinking about it.
5. Diagnostic criteria changed so much for autism disorders in the late nineties that more and more children were found to have it. Adults were discovering they, too, were on the spectrum. Adults who were lower functioning and institutionalized were being rediagnosed and introduced back into society slowly.
6. “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” with Jack Nicholson portrayed institution life as it was in the fifties and sixties and one or two characters in the script were thought to be “idiot savants”.
7. Reexamining famously gifted children in history suggests that some musicians were touched by autism, but because of the affluence of their families, were allowed to flourish and thrive outside of an institution.
8. With increased awareness of autism, people are less afraid of those who have the disorder.
9. Several organizations and foundations have established themselves with the purpose of helping families who have autistic children or need supports they can’t get from their communities. Get assistance for children with autism today.
10. Additional therapy groups are available through most county programs for children with autism and their families to help cope and catch the autistic child up to his or her peers.
11. Autism spectrum disorders were originally thought to be just a male problem. In the past ten years, studies have shown that it is less prevalent in girls but still exists.
12. More than three hundred books on autism, (fiction, nonfiction, and self-help/ parenting) have been published since autism became less rare than originally thought.
13. Autism disorders affect all nationalities, all creeds, all religions, all races and both sexes. It doesn’t differentiate or affect only one group or another. How to fight discrimination against autistic children.
14. Autism is being caught quicker and treated sooner with therapy.
15. Screenings for autism are frequently offered in local schools every fall.
16. Autism doesn’t have “a look”. Perfectly normal looking children can have autism.
17. Children with autism can have a co-diagnosis with other developmental disorders and mental
health issues. Read more on, “Autism Vs. Developmental Delay”
18. Children with autism do not have pain or other sensation filters; they feel everything more intently. Do children with autism laugh?
19. High functioning children with autism can grow up to lead very normal lives; even marry and have children of their own.
20. Technology is leading the way in connecting to and communicating with, children with autism. Explore assistive technology for children with autism.
21. Teens and preteens with autism express, verbally and nonverbally, their human sexuality.
22. Parents are more uncomfortable with their teens’ sexuality when the teens have autism than they would be with average children. This has everything to do with the lack of restraint and social cues for appropriate behavior that teens and children with autism exhibit.
23. Children, teens and adults with autism are very creative and find a passion and talent for music, theater, art, dance and singing quite easily.
24. Their natural curiosity, verbatim memories, and fixations make adults with autism perfect for mundane jobs where counting and engineering tasks challenge them contentedly but bore everyone else.
25. Hyperlexia, the ability to read above one’s age or grade level in school, commonly accompanies autism.
26. Teens with autism are unaware of those who consider themselves friends to the teens with autism, but will spend time with them anyway.
27. Children, teens, and adults with autism do quite well with learning foreign languages, despite their lack of understanding with certain expressions of speech. Their excellent memories play a part in being able to repeat what they see, hear, write, and speak.
28. Autism seems to have a genetic link and run in families.
29. People with autism can’t apply their hypersensitivity to others. Squeezing the family cat is for their own sensation and it’s not understood that it hurts the cat.
30. People with autism need understanding, love and acceptance, just like everyone else.