I’m kind of fascinated by autism now. I think – like Down syndrome – that it is such an interesting spectrum as there is so much variety within and is just beginning to be understood and explored.
I’ve been following a blog called the Unstrange Mind for a while now and she’s writing a series of posts on the new DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. This is evidently a huge deal in the autism community, this revamping of the criteria. Check out what she has to say about it all – it’s very, very interesting (and it’s a series of posts, so just go to her blog and click on the calendar there to the right, or look down for her post archives).
I don’t have a lot to say about this because I’m not part of the autism community. But I often wonder at this tension that exists between parents of kids with autism and adult autistics. I just don’t understand it.
I don’t understand why parents are not falling all over the adult autistics…. I mean, if I had a community of adults with Down syndrome that were telling me x, y, and z about their disability… oh man. Oh my GOD! That would be so exciting! I could ask questions about things that seem to be part of the syndrome. What I see with my daughter sometimes, is this just her or is this her extra chromosome expressing itself? What are their experiences? How was it for them, growing up with Down syndrome in this tightly-regimented world of therapy? Was the therapy worth it?
Tears well up in my eyes as I type this, just thinking of how much it would be mean to me to have answers to those questions by people that really know. To have sites like the Autism Women’s Network with posts like Listening to Autistic Adults.
And so I don’t understand it.
I really don’t.
Back to the Unstrange Mind and the DSM-5. Check it out – it’s fascinating.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.