Are Persons With Asperger Syndrome Likely To Commit A Violent Crime
The percentage of Aspergians who commit violent crimes is no greater than the non-ASD population. D. Scott McLeod, PhD, a MassGeneral Hospital for Children psychologist and executive director of their Aspire Program, says persons with ASD are no more likely to commit a violent act than persons not on the autism spectrum. Hes not alone in his opinion.Unfortunately, when one Aspergian commits a crime, media coverage makes the general population foolishly believe all Aspergians must be violent criminals. That concept of one is guilt, so all must be guilty is preposterous. If a person with cancer committed a murder, could one say cancer creates murderers? Absolutely not. So lets understand what ASD is, and what Aspergians think, and end our collective, media driven hysteria.
Because Aspergians are usually more functional in society, they are likely to be more exposed to crime. The more severe a case of autism is, the more likely parents and caregivers are to keep that person in a sheltered environment. Compare this with the more functional Aspergian who has a highly increased likelihood of being bullied, robbed or beaten simply because he or she is interacting with the general population at a far greater rate than the rest of those affected by ASD.
I Never Have A Hidden Agenda
If I say something, you can be sure its what I mean. Im not good at reading faces and body language, and sarcasm is foreign to me. This means that emotional games dont work with me. Im not good at telling you about my emotions, and Im also not good at reading yours. With me youre going to get a straightforward relationship with no hidden intentions and no ulterior motives. Youll never need to worry about interpreting or translating what I say.
We Dont Need Autism Awareness We Need Autism Acceptance
Youve probably seen the bumper stickers, Facebook posts and the t-shirts calling for Autism Awareness. But as parents of children on the Autism Spectrum continually insist, our society is aware of autism. Its autism acceptance that we need. Though one in 68 American children are now diagnosed with autism, our society still treats autistic individuals and their families as social pariahs. To become a more inclusive society will take advancements in access to services, affordable health care, employment opportunities, Medicaid expansion, fair pay, and more opportunities for quality education.
More for Parents and Families:
You’re Very Sensitive To Stimuli Like Sound
This is an interesting one, because it differs radically across the spectrum of autism, but it’s worth noting. What are called “atypical sensory-based behaviors,” or reactions to sensory stimuli that aren’t quite normal, are often a part of autism, with some people extremely sensitive to various sensations or sounds. It’s not the same for everybody, though. Autism seems to cause problems in some people when it comes to interpreting and processing sensory information, to the point of causing confusion and pain: you may have difficulty remembering faces, and be either over- or under-sensitive to things like noise and smell. If people keep commenting that your reactions to these things are unusual, it may be a marker of something deeper.
Images: Pixels, Giphy
What Is It Like Not To Be Yourself
COVID-19 social distancing has caused all of us to redefine what it means to be social and it has not been comfortable. ;An act as natural as socializing is now weighted with complex calculations. We now have to navigate social rules that feel unfamiliar and are difficult to remember.; Going out and interacting with others can be a daily stressor.; Many of us now associate socializing with discomfort, and what I hope this might mean is that we will begin to understand what social discomfort feels like for people with autism on a daily basis as they navigate our typical, social landscape.
SOCIAL MASKING & CAMOUFLAGING
As a professional who has supported many individuals with ASD to develop social skills in order to achieve their personal and professional goals and as a friend of several people with ASD, I am reminded of how challenging it is for people on the spectrum to master social skills when they often just do not make sense. Why do I have to look at someone when they are talking to me? theyd ask. ;I can hear with my ears not my eyes. ;In work settings, they puzzle over social interactions like making small talk when to them, the sole reason that they are there is to work.
Don’t Miss: What Kind Of Autism Does Symmetra Have
The High Cost Of Camouflaging
People with autism, especially women, often mask or camouflage it by imitating how others behave. Happé explains: We hear from autistic women and girls that they work quite hard to appear neurotypical, or non-autistic, often to avoid bullying or to be more accepted in a rather unfair world. But this can have a substantial cost. Happésays camouflaging is not only exhausting , it also seems to erode the sense of self the sense that youre presenting your authentic self, and therefore that the people who do love you, the people who are your friends, genuinely are appreciating you.
People with autism, especially women, often mask or camouflage it by imitating how others behave.
Isabel was diagnosed with autism in her early sixties. She didnt realise she was masking before, but says she now feels much more free. Ive been in places, for the first time in my life, where I have felt that I can be myself, she says. The field Im in is performance and, you know, Im good at it… But I still was not aware that I was performing in my everyday life.
My Kid Works Harder Than Any Other Child Her Age
As already mentioned, we do not live in a society that is accommodating to people on the Autism Spectrum. This means that an autistic kid has to work much, much harder; to function just about anywhere they go.; Behind that hard-working kid are parents, teachers, and therapists who are also working hard to help that child. An autistic child acting like their neurotypical peers has not been cured. Hes simply working 100 times harder to keep up, and thats something we should all keep in mind.
You May Like: Is The Good Doctor Really Autistic
Things Id Like Teachers To Understand About Autism
The post below is by Lisa Smith, the mother of seven children, two with special needs. Her son Tate has autism. Lisa blogs about her experiences and can be found on Facebook at;Quirks and Chaos;or at;quirks-and-chaos.blogspot.com. For more resources for teachers and help with inclusion and acceptance at school, check out the Autism Speaks School Community Tool Kit.
I have a follower who is a teacher and she asked me to do a Ten things Id like to tell teachers about autism list. I came up with 12 things that I would tell my sons teachers in grade school if I could go back in time.;
1. Autism is a huge spectrum.;
If you have taught other children with autism you may have a good general idea of what autism looks like but my son will still be different than the others. If you have questions about my son or how autism affects him, ask me. Nothing will impress me more about you than your willingness to learn about my son and his needs.
2. A routine and transition warnings are helpful for a child with autism.
While we know that flexibility is an important life skill and one we need to work on, my son does not handle surprises or big changes in his routine well. Things like a substitute teacher, a fire drill, or a field trip are all going to cause anxiety for my son. A warning and clear instructions will help. A visual schedule would be a helpful tool for my son. A five-minute warning, a two-minute warning, and tolerance are needed.;
5. Children with autism are literal.
Communication Is Like Mixing Paint
Communication is really hard. Its hard for two reasons.
First.I say a sentence, and someone else hears the sentence but randomly inserts words into it. What I meant to say were the exact words I said, but they decided to hear some additional or different words. Ive already expended all of my energy into the first attempt. I dont have the energy for another attempt, so Im going to have to just go with whatever they heard.
Second, and more common, thoughts arent words, but words are the only tool I have with which to express them. A thought needs to change into something else in order for anyone else to understand it. I cant just lift the thought and give it to someone, I have to change it until it fits into a format someone else will understand. Having done that, I am no longer expressing what I wanted to. It reminds me of paint. If I want a specific shade of green, I have to take the blue and the yellow and mix them together. I have to keep adding bits of blue and bits of green until I have the shade I wantonly now Ive mixed so much paint that I dont know what to do with it all. I just wanted a bit of green. Now I have four different shades and a mess, and Ive wasted all that paint. Thats what turning thought into words is like. Its messy and wasteful and always results in an insane, unnecessary amount of words. Yeeshas_Island
Read Also: Creating A Visual Schedule Autism
Things Parents Of Children On The Autism Spectrum Want You To Know
It is estimated that one in 68 children are now diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum disorder, and yet, this diagnosis remains as misunderstood as ever. We simply do not live in a society that is accommodating or even accepting of those who are not neurotypical. Fortunately, parents of autistic children are wonderful at communicating who their children are and why. Below are 30 things those parents of children on the Autism Spectrum want you to know.
When My Child Is Having A Meltdown Please Stay Calm
Meltdowns occur because children on the Autism Spectrum often feel overwhelmed by their surroundings. Therefore, a sense of calm is required to end the meltdown and restore a childs feeling of control. During a meltdown, the parent will likely be busy trying to calm their child. A helpful person standing by shouldnt approach the parent and child. They can help by trying to make the immediate area as peaceful as possible. As Autism Speaks recommends, Scan the area around the child for sights and sounds that may have contributed to the meltdown. . . . Is there an alarm that can be silenced? A flashing display that can be temporarily turned off?
You May Like: What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Autism
What Is It Like Being Autistic
It means experiencing life in both an extremely positive and negative way. It is living in constant chaos that is both exciting and overwhelming. It is working with a head that is both so unique and illogical.;Saffron
I may get stressed by sensory stimuli at times but I can also get a lot of joy from sensory experiences, like a good texture. It is wonderful to get so much enjoyment out of such simple things.;Josephina ;
When you get an autism diagnosis, its nice because you dont put as much pressure on yourself. Having autistic friends is nice because you have people who understand you, you can be open and honest.;Aishah;
Imagine being dropped into the jungle, into an indigenous tribe. You are expected to fit in without being able to speak their language or understand them. Eventually you will be able to fit in, but you will never be one of them.;Emily ;
It is the hardest thing to explain, ever.;Patrick;
The Pressure To Keep Quiet
Happéalso says that autism may look a bit different in at least some women and girls, partly because they tend to mask it more than boys. She says that girls who are quiet are often praised for being well-behaved, which can encourage those with autism to hide their autistic traits. If you just hold yourself in and are very quiet, then you may be able to… disguise the different thoughts and different ways of expressing yourself that would come naturally to you as an autistic girl.
Catina Burkett is an advocate for women and black autistic excellence in the USA. She says, If youre female with autism… you just want to say the truth because its how you see it. But instead, youre taught to be quiet. Be nice. Catina says being a person of colour can increase the pressure to stay silent because you have the whole thing with your community: Dont make us look bad This is not how we behave.
A range of case studies, stories and new research highlights ways women are forgotten.
Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Autism Does Symmetra Have
So What Is It Like To Parenting An Autistic Child
Its a blessing, a burden, enlightening, depressing at times, exhausting yet rewarding. ;Its a journey, an adventure. ;At times, ;youll carry a child half your size out of a store mid meltdown, kicking and screaming while dragging three more kids behind you. It is pinning your child into a shopping cart while they scream no buckle and scream so much they get sick all over you. ;The few dum-dums that look at you like youre a bad parent because your kid is screaming. ;It can be exhausting, and makes your heart cry.
Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder In Adults
Common symptoms of autism in adults include:
- Difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling
- Trouble interpreting facial expressions, body language, or social cues
- Difficulty regulating emotion
- Trouble keeping up a conversation
- Inflection that does not reflect feelings
- Difficulty maintaining the natural give-and-take of a conversation; prone to monologues on a favorite subject
- Tendency to engage in repetitive or routine behaviors
- Only participates in a restricted range of activities
- Strict consistency to daily routines; outbursts when changes occur
- Exhibiting strong, special interests
Autism spectrum disorder is typically a life-long condition, though early diagnosis and treatment can make a tremendous difference.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism
Can You Be A Little Bit Autistic
It is not uncommon for people to ascribe certain behaviors or moods to medical conditions or suggest that they are driven by a diagnosable psychological disorder. Examples might include:
- “Oh, I know I’m picky. I’m just a little obsessive-compulsive.”
- “Yes, I’m moody. I guess I’m sort of bipolar.”
- “I’m in a crappy mood. I think I’m;depressed.”
All of these statements, which are used all the time, equate a passing mood or mild preference with a major mental illness.
But of course, picky eating is a far cry from obsessive-compulsive disorder , which can make it impossible to fulfill the demands of daily life. And, a passing feeling of unhappiness or moodiness can’t be compared in any meaningful way to the extreme challenges of bipolar disorder or clinical depression.
Some people may truly believe that spending 20 minutes choosing a color scheme for a party is akin to true OCD, or that a rotten mood is the same thing as major depression.
Others know better but will still use these terms as a colorful way to describe a passing emotion or;a behavior that’s not quite appropriate. This has extended to behaviors that some have haphazardly labeled as “autistic” or being “on the spectrum.”
Parenting An Autistic Child
Parenting an autistic child is its own ball game. ;Having four kids total, two with autism, thats a whole new game!; Parenting is a blessing, and it comes with its struggles as well as joys. ;Today was one of the days that was a struggle. ;Yet, in retrospect, it made me realize the blessings of my life and children.
While attending a baby shower, I was flooded with a world of emotions. ;Not from the shower, but within my own world. ;Though I know my children are not the norm, they are my norm and I just see them as my children. ;Most occasions, when attending social gatherings, its with people close enough that know my children already. Today was not one of those events.
There was an amazing turn out for the baby shower. ;Many of whom I hadnt seen in around a decade, others several years, and a few I see more frequent. ;I had all four children with me, as my husband was at work. ;My best friend was there, so I did have help as my children see her as their aunt. ;As we greeted old friends, everyone would say hi to my son especially. ;Now this is normal, as most women instinctively say hi to cute little ones. ;My son however, didnt look at them or acknowledge they exist. ;No interaction what so ever on his part. ;That is because he is autistic. Social interactions outside family are few and far between.
Don’t Miss: Printable Visual Aids For Autism
Children On The Autism Spectrum Are Not Dumb
Kids with autism have the potential to be absolutely brilliant. Theyre also talented, philosophical, kind, and creative. This is something much of society fails to see, but in truth, the autistic mind is simply wired differently than those not on the Autism Spectrum. Hans Christian Andersen, Emily Dickinson, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Michelangelo, Mozart, and Sir Isaac Newton all are said to have exhibited autistic tendencies.