I was delighted to read Ross Carper’s article “On top of autism” (April 14), particularly because it deals with the high functioning end of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
To those of us with family members who are affected, it’s heartbreaking to watch ignorant people – of all ages – judge behaviors they don’t understand, in school, workplace and social environments. Dillon Monday represents the unique package each person with ASD brings to us: uncommon genius or talent, with an eclectic mix of obsessive habits or interests, sensual hypersensitivity (tastes, textures, sound, smell, light) and some form of emotional meltdowns under stress. Their inability to process social cues often leads to inappropriate behavior. But we can’t choose their gifts and leave out the rest.
Research is new – especially on adults – and even professionals don’t necessarily agree. Definitions are slippery and variation is broad – that’s why we call it the spectrum. Despite the staggering percentages of boys your article mentioned, I think high-functioning autism is one of the most under-diagnosed conditions.
In overcoming our primitive reflex to judge, and learning to appreciate and accept those who are wired differently, we make ourselves whole. Thank you for sharing this important story.