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Autistic Commonality and the Illusion of “Quirky”

Emily Paige Ballou chavisory.wordpress.com Some people insist on describing the autistic spectrum as ranging from the non-speaking and very profoundly disabled, to the “just quirky.” Or, during discussions about the need for acceptance and accommodation, the same people might tell autistic self-advocates, “That may be fine for autistic people like you who are just quirky, but you’re not like my child.” Some of those same people even insist that autistic people who are “just quirky” should probably have a different label than ‘autism’ altogether. Meanwhile research shows “camoflauging” influences autistic suicidality [image: Screenshot of a tweet. The icon and user name are blurred. The tweet reads, “If u can”disguise” your autism then imo u cannot possibly have autism. #NeedRealDiagnoses #SuckItGroupingEveryoneUnderOneLabel #FocusOnObjectiveReality”] But I actually wouldn’t mind if the word “quirky” were to disappear entirely from autism discussions, and take with it the dismissive and simplistic idea that autism is a…

Why The New 1 in 45 Autism Numbers Shouldn’t Surprise You

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.thinkingautismguide.com We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: There Is No Autism Epidemic. Not even after US estimates for autism prevalence recently rose to 1 in 45. How do we know there’s no autism epidemic? Two reasons: A comprehensive survey of autism prevalence in Korea estimated a rate of 1 in 39, as reported in 2011. There’s no reason US rates should be much different, so the new numbers are likely portraying reality more accurately, rather than indicating reality is changing. Researchers have been saying for years that autism’s prevalence has mostly risen in response to changes in diagnostic criteria, rather than due to environmental triggers or other causation ideas. The role of changing diagnostic criteria in rising autism rates is particularly relevant right now, given that theme’s prominence in Steve Silberman’s award-winning, current bestseller NeuroTribes. Silberman devotes a sizable section of the book to…