Everything You Think You Know About Autism Is Wrong

I have a new post up at PJ Lifestyle, and I would like it to get as much readership and distribution as possible, because it’s about a very special young man and a very important topic:

Autism is a painfully mysterious syndrome. We don’t know what causes it, although we do know that about 1 in 88 births will produce an autistic child. We know that it’s the fastest growing developmental disability in America, although we don’t know why. The commonly-used treatments have limited effectiveness, so increasing numbers of adult autism sufferers cannot care for themselves, requiring costly life-long maintenance.

Part of autism’s mystery lies in the nature of the condition itself: in its most severe form, it leaves the autistic person entirely unable to communicate, either verbally or physically. It’s not just that someone with autism cannot speak. As most who have lived with or seen autism know, a child with serious autism seems entirely disconnected. Autistic children do not make eye contact and they don’t play. Instead, they flap their hands, roam around a room’s periphery, engage in endless repetitive activities, and seem locked away in their own world.

Some experts contend (erroneously, as it turns out) that autistic children dislike physical contact, cannot emote, and lack the capacity for loving. This seeming emotional isolation led the misogynistic Bruno Bettelheim to conclude that mothers caused autism when they (allegedly) withheld affection from their child. This wrongheaded theory inspired generations of loving mothers to suffer enormous guilt.

Even though Bettelheim has mercifully fallen by the wayside, non-verbal autism still contains many questions. This mystery is about to undergo a significant challenge, though, due to Ido (pronounced “Ee-doh”) Kedar, a 16-year old young man who has written about his journey from isolation to communication in Ido in Autismland: Climbing Out of Autism’s Silent Prison.

Read the rest here.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Autists were known in the ancient times as genius warriors and fighters.
    They are instinctively pre destined for the fighting arts or anything else that is learned through physical repetition and kinesthetic feel.
    The lower their abilities in social and verbal communication, the higher becomes their strengths in other areas. Because modern Western culture is a diluted form of itself and is essentially weak as hell, amoral to the point of suicide, and physically and spiritually weak, not many autistic children become function through the fighting arts. Those that have become functional, you will never hear about from academia.
    The variation of autism simply prefers one type of activity over another. Often times directly related to what they are lacking. Those that cannot see human facial expressions as emotions, can be trained to be excellent human body language readers, that can read on a logical and subconscious level better than the most highly experienced interrogators in existence. However, that requires some other human to get across a logical model of human facial expressions and emotions, without relying on instinct or inherently learned social cues. 
    I have yet to read the book, so I wonder how much of my own theories would be reinforced or not by the additional data.
    The ancient arts of creation and destruction were never reliant on “human words” to begin with. Human societal constructs, emotions, biased beliefs, pet theories, and societal rules were barriers to true enlightenment and was dutifully considered so by the Ancients that saw life and death before them in clear serenity.

  • Pingback: Ido Kedar — author of “Ido in Autismland” — is profiled in the L.A. Times()

  • Pingback: Bar Mitzvahs()