I’m not a fan of “levels of autism.” If an autistic individual makes a personal choice to refer to themselves as one of these levels, I can respect their decision. When it’s imposed meaninglessly by others, it’s too often disastrous.
Joseph Krauter is an autistic writer and tech worker who was diagnosed as an adult, while serving time at San Quentin Prison in California. We talked with Joseph about how his life could have been different with earlier diagnosis and supports, the difficulty of receiving an autism diagnosis while incarcerated, and how his life has changed since both his autism diagnosis and his re-integration into society.
When autistic people aren’t centered in things about us, it creates an ecosystem where an autistic person like Sia who does not understand herself as autistic creates a film like “Music.”
The new 1 in 36 autism rate means the CDC is getting better at finding and diagnosing existing autistic children, not that there is actually a higher rate of autism.
What if the headlines had read, “Autism doesn’t have to be a problem if children are understood and supported”?
After your loved one receives a diagnosis of Autism, people may bombard you with (possibly unsolicited) advice for next steps. One such step you may actually want to consider is to seek the services of a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP).
If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism, as my son was in 2003, here’s what I want you to know: Learn from me, don’t be me.
Since I didn’t know I was autistic, I just assumed there was something wrong with me and that I deserved what I got. I learned that intrinsically, I was less than a person, since I didn’t have a framework to tell me otherwise.
I started playing tuba at twelve, but passing for non-autistic is my longest running show. It takes more practice to fake facial expressions than make a forty-pound horn play sixteenth notes.
I am very grateful to have this new piece of information about myself. I don’t consider my diagnosis to be an answer to all my life’s problems, nor do I consider it to be a deficit. What I see it as is a new lens to see my behavior through.