“I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in my 40s. Like many adults who’ve slipped through the diagnostic net due to being high-functioning, born too early, or simply female, I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure out the lifelong social and sensory difficulties of autism. That none of us wake up cured at 18 still appears to mystify some professionals. That we might still benefit from some support, however late the diagnosis, does too. A late diagnosis of autism meant I struggled with the alien codes of small talk and office politics – until I started work at an autism charity”
“Lost and directionless, I bounced from one job to the next – my part-time work included time at a call centre, a property developer and a posh dating agency – but I was left feeling exposed and alone by complicated office politics, illogical workplace rules and the sensory overload triggered by fluorescent lighting, ringing phones and the background hum of conversation.”
Read the rest at The Telegraph.
Unfortunately, the everyday world has yet to catch up. Only 16% of adults diagnosed with autism in the UK are in full-time, paid employment. In 2014 Baron-Cohen’s team found that two-thirds of the patients in their clinic had either felt suicidal or planned to kill themselves, and that a third had attempted to do so. “To my mind, this is nothing to do with autism or Asperger syndrome,” he says. “These are secondary mental-health problems. You came into the world with autism, and the way the world reacted, or didn’t react, to you has led to a second problem, which is depression. And that’s preventable.”
Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd
A 12-year old boy with Asperger’s was beaten up so badly at school, he had to be hospitalized. More on the story at KCTV 5 online (To donate to his medical expenses, look for the link at the bottom of that news story).
A mother of an autistic daughter wrote an open letter on her blog thanking a stranger who chatted with her child on a plane. The letter has gone viral, and even reached the stranger to whom it was addressed, ‘Dear ‘Daddy’ in in Seat 16C Flight 1850 From Philly’. Read more about it in The Independent.
“You could have shifted uncomfortably in your seat. You could have ignored her. You could have given me that ‘smile’ that I despise because it means; ‘manage your child please.’ You did none of that. You engaged Kate in conversation and you asked her questions about her turtles. She could never really answer your questions but she was so enamored by you that she keep eye contact and joint attention on the items you were asking her about. I watched and smiled. I made a few polite offers to distract her, but you would have none of it.“ [excerpt from the letter]