I believe the medical community has a duty to search for ways to remediate the disabling aspects of autism, and I support their efforts to do that. I recognize some autistic people will embrace new therapies, while others will choose to live as they are. I believe we should respect both paths.
I think the causes and cures for autistic disability are going to be complex and hard to find. If there were easy answers, we’d have them already. I believe we need to put more money into research, while also finding family services and accommodations.
To that end, in addition to medical research, I believe psychologists and mental health professionals should develop new strategies to help autistic people succeed and be happy.
I believe employers should do more to accommodate autistic workers. Autistic people bring a unique set of skills to the workplace, along with unique challenges. I think much more can be done to help our autistic population find satisfying and meaningful employment.
At the same time, as an autistic person, I recognize that we need to learn to behave in ways that will be acceptable to the general public. Businesses should make reasonable efforts to accommodate us, but we need to take our own steps to fit into the workplace as best we can.
I believe in the power of early detection and intervention. Study after study has shown that autism’s disability is minimized through early intervention. I support research into detection and intervention in toddlers and infants.
I believe schools can do more to develop programs for autistic kids. My Aspergian son and I are both high school dropouts, and I’d like to see that sort of thing come to an end.
I believe the scope of autism therapy and treatment covered by health insurance should be dramatically expanded.
I believe autistic people should have greater representation on the governing boards of organizations that purport to serve them. I believe this to be true in both the public and private sectors.
I believe in the value of mentoring, and the value of positive role models.
I welcome your comments and thoughts
To read more of John’s insights about living with Asperger’s Syndrome, click here.