It's time we dispelled these myths about autism
Steve Silberman, BBC Future, 6th October 2015
The history of autism is, in part, a history of myths: of myths enshrined as facts by medical experts, of myths shaping societal attitudes towards a highly complex condition, and eventually, of myths debunked by further investigation. This cycle has repeated itself over and over again through the decades, often to disastrous effect on the lives of autistic people and their families ...
... But autism is a disability – indeed, it is a profound and pervasive one that affects nearly all aspects of life, as anyone with a diagnosis (or a loved one who has one) knows. Making accommodations for disability is something that society knows how to do. What are the cognitive equivalents of dropped kerbs and wheelchair ramps? We’ve only begun to explore the possibilities, though the digital age has greatly increased our options for, say, customising curricula to suit the learning styles of individual students.
After all, it wasn’t long ago that someone who spoke to his or her friends by typing on a keyboard was considered severely handicapped. Now they’re just a teenager.
- Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder Facebook 'page for people with a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families' hosted by Down Syndrome Australia
- The Down Syndrome NSW library collection includes a number of resources on the dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (DS-ASD). The catalogue is available to view here. Members can contact the library via email email@example.com to arrange a loan.
- Down's Syndrome Association (UK) information and resources on dual diagnosis ASC/DS Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Down’s syndrome (DS)