I'm doing a home study course in 'Understanding Autism', and in the 'Useful Further Information' section at the back of the course booklet it mentions The Asperger's Syndrome Foundation.
I've just looked at their website and it contains lots of useful stuff, including information sheets covering getting a diagnosis, employment issues, career ideas, anger management, associated mental health issues, advocacy, sensory issues, etc.
May be worth a look if you haven't come across it before.
I'm afraid i found this site appalling though I know you recommend it in good faith.
It refers to us as having a disorder, having dysfunctional brains and is happy to countenance that we are more criminally inclined that the rest of the population.
The site is for parents and there is no indication that any autistic person is involved in running or advising. It purports to 'help' us. I can do without that sort of patronising and ill-informed aid.
Nothing about us without us!
Ouch! I didn't notice the stuff about criminal inclination. I should have checked it out more thoroughly before recommending. It's just that I checked several of the information sheets and thought they contained useful information - and as my course book recommended it, I thought it was worth drawing attention to it.
I take your point about 'disorder', though the term is so pervasive in discussions about autism (parts of this site refer to 'autistic spectrum disorders') that it's almost become inseparable from it. My own diagnosis refers to 'ASD' and 'autistic spectrum disorder' - as do most of the books I've read. But yes... 'disorders' and 'disabilities' are largely constructs of the society we live in, which is designed around the 'able' and 'ordered'. This is why so much stigma abounds around autism and mental health. I tend to think of it myself as my own form of order and ability, whether or not it's like the majority's. I suppose the thing that still haunts me from my own diagnosis is that paragraph that states: The problems noted have interfered with the patient's life by causing depression, social isolation, difficulties at school and work, and an inability to attain life goals. Looking at it another way, though - it's society that's failed me, rather than the other way around.
As for 'dysfunctional'... I suppose I've always (rightly or wrongly) thought of myself as 'dysfunctional' in terms of not complying with social norms. I certainly don't fit in with most of the people around me, and never have, and in that sense I've grown up with the feeling of having something wrong with me. Again, though, this is largely about a social context. In many ways, I see mainstream society as dysfunctional. They pin that label on us, though, because we're in a minority. That's how it always works, I suppose. Humans love to categorise things, because it helps us to understand. And it makes it easier to marginalise and victimise people. But it's lazy. And I need to stop thinking about myself in those terms.
Anyway... I've edited the title appropriately. People can make up their own minds, then.
I'd invite you to consider if the phrase from your diagnostic report wasn't a cut and paste stock phrase that gets put in the diagnostic reports of all autistic people passing through that particular unit.
Too often we are misunderstood by people witha vested interest in seeing us as less and our differences seen as deficiences. I bet the report had nothing about your strengths and capabilties, stuff that NT people can't do, because the diagnostic process only looks for negatives. It saddens me that such a capable and clever person as yourself is thus defined. Never let anyone else define you, that power belongs to you alone.
The 'disorder' term is much beloved of 'autism professionals'. The government's Autism Strategy does not use it and the Department of Health consider the term disparaging and outmoded. But it is used to medicalise us and justify the way we're often treated.
clovis said:I'd invite you to consider if the phrase from your diagnostic report wasn't a cut and paste stock phrase that gets put in the diagnostic reports of all autistic people passing through that particular unit.
I do. Except that it's right in every way.
On the plus side, I've published a novel (which most people haven't achieved) and won many prizes for my poetry and short fiction. I have a degree (late attained) in English and American Literature, a Mensa-tested IQ of 148... and a minimum-wage job, caring for people with learning disabilities. I have a better natural aptitude for the job than most NTs - even those with years of experience and training.
Maybe someone knows a similar forum to this for the autistic people?
I really like this forum.
However, if there are similar forums somewhere, I would like to look at them.