Advocacy on Behalf of Less-Impaired Autistics

In the more than two decades since my diagnosis, I have attended countless autism community events of just about every kind, not to mention numerous others in which issues concerning autism somehow came up. In virtually all of these, I routinely disclosed that I was on the autism spectrum and on...

Autism and Adolescence: For Many, the Most Challenging Time of Life

It is a well-known conventional wisdom that adolescence, or the teenage years, are a difficult time of life for everybody and that this has probably been the case since time immemorial. It is equally well known in the autism community that middle school (or, as it was known in my day, junior high...

Autism and Its Many Comorbidities: Conditions, Deficits, and Challenges

There is a popular and common saying within the autism community that “when you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” It becomes clear that this is true when one considers the variety of conditions which occur comorbidly with ASD. Being on the autism spectrum is...

Autism and Education: One Size Does Not Fit All

Having attended many talks, workshops, and education-related autism community events, I often hear the expression “one size does not fit all” used by teachers and other professionals who work with students on the spectrum. It is always gratifying for me to hear people having the most experience...

Autism, Technology, and Older Adults: Facing an Unexpected Set of Challenges

As an engineer who has been involved with technology his entire life, and an older adult on the autism spectrum, I have always felt that, in my case, there was always a strong connection between the two. Although the notion that autistics are generally inclined towards technology has become a...

Inappropriate Behaviors in Adult Autistics: We Mean No Harm

During my long involvement with the adult Asperger Syndrome / autism spectrum community, I often make the disclaimer, when criticizing inappropriate behaviors of other autistics, that I have probably been guilty of similar behaviors, at least to some degree, at some earlier time in my life. Also,...

Autistics and Employment: Far Too Many Rivers to Cross

For as long as I have known about autism, I have heard reports that autistics have the highest unemployment rate among all disability groups - or, for that matter, just about any demographic. Even at the time of my own diagnosis (late 2000), by which such milder variants as Asperger Syndrome had...

Suitable Housing and Community Living: Autistics Face Many Unusual Challenges

Whether they can live independently or require assistance and support, autistics need resources to live in communities, of which they often want to be a meaningful part. First and foremost, adequate housing must be made available. Even for those who can live independently and find and maintain...

Supporting Autistic Children: Much Has Been Learned Since My Childhood

Having been diagnosed on the autism spectrum as an older adult, I was certainly not aware of this condition during my childhood, nor was anyone else in my life including family, school officials, or healthcare professionals. At the time there was no public awareness about autism to speak of (it was...

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: The Tyranny of Typicality

There is an old saying, often attributed to Mark Twain but apparently of unknown origin, that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. The problem with the latter, as I have always seen it, is that it seeks to find norms in populations within which there can be considerable...