Monday, October 22, 2012

Understand: I am very pro-neurodiversity and I oppose the idea of an autism "cure" 100%. On that note....

It drives me a little nuts to see children and teens who are clearly on the spectrum who are not receiving services, learning the tools they will need in order to get by in a world which is still dominated by people who are either normal or claim to be. These kids are frequently home schooled and while I don't oppose home schooling, for a kid on the spectrum, it's often another strike against them, another barrier to their long term success, unless the parents are taking pains to expose them to opportunities in which they will learn how to mix with other people and yes, to be able to cope with the nastiness that their peers will dish out. It isn't as though people suddenly quit playing head games once they turn eighteen.... Finally, these homeschooled kids who aren't getting any kind of help to learn how to interact with mainstream society, who are being sheltered both for better and for worse, from that society, are usually undiagnosed.

There was one....I don't remember how old she was but it was frighteningly close to eighteen...brilliant girl. She'd memorized all of Shakespeare....I'm not kidding. She was a sweet, intelligent, multi-talented girl with incredible potential. She has very limited social skills. Conversing with her (and keep in mind that this is coming from a fellow aspie) was fairly problematic, because there wasn't a lot of give and take in the conversations. She was interesting. I like her. Her social skills are very, very rudimentary and do not allow the rest of her abilities to shine. It's like being confronted with myself at her age....painful.

Unless her parents are wealthy and leave her with a trust fund or something, she's screwed for adulthood as things stand now. Her mother did not want to have her evaluated for an autism spectrum disorder, because of labels, etc, not understanding what positive effect it would have, and so on. I was finally able to convince her that her daughter is going to need that label, and last I heard, she was being evaluated, yay! Without that label, people can legally discriminate against her. It isn't as though not having the label is going to protect her from being obviously different.

And today, I met another one. She's in her mid teens, obviously on the spectrum, obviously not getting any help. People who do not know any better are going to assume she's of low intelligence...due to the inaction of a well meaning parent somewhere. That's beyond sad. It pisses me off.

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