Here we are: Autism Awareness Day 2012!
For nearly two decades now, Asperger Syndrome (AS) has been recognized as a diagnosis in the U.S.
For roughly a decade now, Aspies have walked into the public spotlight, including “Adam” and Max in “Parenthood”.
For years now, Facebook, Twitter and other social media and blogs have brought us together – Aspies, autists, parents, caregivers and others.
And now, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that they believe 1 in 88 American children – and 1 in 54 American boys – is on the autism spectrum. Whether or not you agree with this specific figure, it certainly means that people at all levels of society are taking us very seriously.
Do we have a ways to go? We sure do.
Do we sometimes disagree even among ourselves? You betcha. But that’s a good sign – it means that the most urgent issues, the ones on which pretty much all Aspies and autists would agree, have been settled. The bad old days when Aspies and autists were abused with impunity – with public approval! – are over.
Now, the ball is in our court. That means that with a wealth of public attention, understanding (on all sides) and other resources, we have the power to accomplish more with family, friends, teachers, co-workers, bosses, roommates and everyone else.
We’ve come so far – and we have much more to gain!
Jeff Deutsch is an Aspie who reflects on his decades of Home-based Experiential Lifelong Learning (HELL) to help fellow Aspies better relate to NTs, and vice versa.
Now happily married to Emily, an NT who first told him about Asperger Syndrome, he gives inspirational talks, consulting and group training for Aspies and also for Aspies’ families’ and partners’ support groups, employers, service providers, first responders and others, and individual life coaching for Aspies and NTs. He helps Aspies better get along with NTs, and NTs better recognize and deal with Aspies, on the job, in personal relationships and other aspects of daily life.
Jeff’s practice, A SPLINT (ASPies LInking with NTs), is registered in the State of Maryland.