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Dawn Cove Abbey
"Roadside Assistance" for your Journey through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
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From, "One! The Journey hOMe", the eBook by Klaas Tuinman M.A © 2007-2019
Comments and Inquiries are welcome
                                                           Autism or Genius?

    Could You Have Symptoms of Autism?
    Autism is a cognitive/behavioural variant, currently called "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)" found in
    all age, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. It is generally characterized by difficulties in behaviour,
    social interaction, sensory sensitivities, and by repetitive and ritualistic behaviors. Some of these
    characteristics are common among all the people with this existential behavioural variant; others are
    typical characteristics of it, but not necessarily exhibited by all people with this variant. This is the only
    behavioural variant that can truly be described as a "spectrum", since it contains within it such a large
    range of variation in manifestations, to truly resemble the main human behavioral spectrum.

    Severe forms of this variant are often diagnosed in the first two years of a child’s life, but sometimes
    high-functioning individuals may not be accurately diagnosed until much later in life.

    The "Levels" within:
    Adults with autism who are high functioning may have only mild challenges; others may have more
    severe symptoms, like impaired spoken language. No two people with autism will have the same
    symptoms manifested in the same way. Regardless of manifestation or severity, autism symptoms
    commonly interfere with everyday life.

    "Levels"
    * People with Level One autism need the least support, while people with Level Three autism
    need the most.
Important Note: AUTISM and Pseudo-Autism

Sudd
en Onset?
1. Autism: Can autism develop (vs show up) later?
Some children show signs from birth. Others seem to develop normally at first, only to suddenly show
symptoms when they are 18 to 36 months old. However, it is now recognized that some individuals may
not show symptoms of a communication anomaly until demands of the environment exceed their
capabilities.

2. Pseudo-Autism: Can you suddenly become autistic?
In the case of high-functioning autism, for example, it's not unusual for a child (or even an adult) to
receive a diagnosis much later than most children are diagnosed with autism—but that's not because
symptoms suddenly developed.

    Neither Older Children Nor Adults Can Develop Autism
    To begin with, by definition, older children, teens, and adults do not develop autism. In fact, in order to
    qualify for an actual autism diagnosis, you must have symptoms that appear during early childhood (that
    is, before age three). Thus, if you know an adult or older child who has suddenly, out of the blue,
    developed behavioral or social communication issues reminiscent of autism, you are not seeing
    someone who has acquired autism!

    People who appear to suddenly behave in an "autistic" manner may have developed any one of a
    number of other behavioural issues, some of which do most commonly appear in early adulthood.

    Autism-like behaviors may result from a wide range of behavioural variants; from social phobia to
    generalized anxiety to obsessive compulsive disorder. These are serious anomalies that have a
    significant impact on an individuals' ability to function effectively, make or keep friends, or hold a job,
    and they should be treated. But they are not autism.

    Autism is not something in a child (or you) that needs to be fixed; it is something to help your child
    (and/or you) to use and adapt. Why should people with challenges always be the only ones having to
    change, or adapt?In a way they reflect the great cultural spectrum diversity all around us.

    Child Development: a note
    For children with autism, the world can be a confusing place.  It is important to realize that initially, the
    child doesn't know  that he or she is the one who is considered "different": from its perspective, it's
    the others who are different, and thus puzzling (more on this to come).
    The other thing is, that regardless of the communication difficulties, most children (and adults) with
    autism, hear and understand the conversation going on around them: general conversations, as well as
    about them, specifically.

    Addendum: When you know One person with Autism, you know 1 person with Autism. You cannot
    generalize from that. Each one manifest a different "mix" of the various traits from this behaviour
    spectrum.

    More detail, and other pages to be added soon