It occurred to me today that with all the debate that goes on between parents about vaccines, have we ever asked the opinion of those with Autism themselves?
I’m not sure whether or not anyone is going to want to touch this question but I would be very, very interested in hearing what the adult Autistic community thinks and feels about this whole vaccine debate.
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I’m definitely at least third generation Autistic and probably fourth or more, so I’m gonna go with not vaccines. Autisileptic (autistic+epileptic) friend of mine is also at least third generation Autistic. So there’s that.
yes_thattoo that interesting. There are people in my extended family that have gone undiagnosed and some of my cousins have kids on the spectrum. Nothing tied to vaccines..
lostandtired My aunt wasn’t specifically diagnosed as autistic, but she had pretty obvious sensory processing issues, didn’t talk until she was eight or nine, that kind of thing. Invented her own AAC too, memorized a Sears catalog and carried it everywhere.
It is an interesting question and at the same time it is a loaded question.
While we can get some good answers from those who are semi functioning or high functioning autistics and aspergers. What we can not get is the views of those who are on the low functioning end of the scale.
It creates a dilemna because there is such significant difference in the abilities and characteristics of each person with autism that I really wish we could get their viewpoint as well.
CarlBainbridge Who says you can’t get a good viewpoint from a “low functioning” autistic? It depends on your definition of functioning. Is someone who is disabled, but verbal, considered high functioning still? Or someone who can take care of themselves to an extent, but can’t talk- considered low functioning?
Carly fleischman (i can’t spell her name) is a nonverbal autistic teenager who many would consider severe or low functioning. But she’s highly intelligent, and very articulate – when you give her the right medium to express herself, and the time for her to process it. Check out her facebook page, she poses a lot of questions for people.
Silachan I was thinking more along the lines of a 40+ gentleman who lives near me. He is non verbal, still lives with his parent’s and spends the vast majority of the day sitting in his chair rocking.
The unfortunate part is that they are a group that we hear little about.
The problem is that the tools that we have now to help them reach a point where they can communicate were not available then, and as one step parent of a disabled person (not autism) told me, back when some of these people were kids growing up, they were often kept home and totally out of the school system because of the parent’s embarrassment over having a disabled child.
Now many of us that do parent special needs children no longer feel embarrassment and are always working for what is best for our children, but unfortunately with some of the older more severely autistic people the parents did not have the tools to cope, or the network of families who are also dealing with it to go through.
So no by low functioning, I would not classify non verbal as low functioning, I would instead refer to those who not only are non verbal, but have never been offered or able to adapt to any communication method, and who are often totally dependant on others for the majority of their daily needs.
I’ll venture out and say this.
My opinion? By saying that vaccines “caused” this, it feels like you’re saying that I’m “damaged” or “broken”, that I shouldn’t be like this- I shouldn’t be me. Like it’s some sort of disease. I think that I was just born this way, personally. I was always a very quiet baby, lost in my own world- even as a toddler and bigger kid.
For me, being autistic and all the problems that went along with it, including the bullying and everything- made me become a much more compassionate person. I live my life to help others and make them happy. I know what it’s like to be different and to be misunderstood and to be alone. So I try to help people out. Being more sensitive to the world around me has made me more in tune to things which is good and bad.
Im rambling here but you get my point 😀
Silachan I totally see your point and that’s one of the concerns that I have as well. That was very well said.
One of the things I’m trying to bring attention to is how things like the vaccine debate or person first language impact the people actually on the spectrum. I totally agree with what you said.