I have to say that I have mixed feelings about this autism diagnosis increase. Growing up with Atypical Autism, I felt isolated from others affected by autism. That was before social media. Since then I have been introduced to the autistic social media community and have seen firsthand how those affected by autism are so adamantly divided on what should be done about this increase in children being diagnosed with ASD.
The last thing I want to do right now is claim that I know what to do about this increase in autism because I have no idea what should be done. Even though I am on the spectrum, I can only speak for myself and cannot pretend to understand what is going on inside the mind of someone who is severely affected by this condition. It was not easy for me to accept this, because I thought that as someone with an autism diagnosis, I would be given access to the world of those with lower functioning autism. I was wrong by believing this. The fact is that they are dealing with something that is completely different than what I am experiencing.
Also, I have seen a growing number of people who disapprove of large autism organizations like Autism Speaks, claiming that these organizations do not speak for them. Of course Autism Speaks is not going to speak for everyone on the autism spectrum because everyone on the spectrum is so vastly different from one another. They are also going to make mistakes. All large organizations make mistakes because it's impossible to get so many people working together toward a common cause and not have individuals within this organization who make mistakes at some point. These are just my feelings but the autistic community should not be attacking Autism Speaks for focusing their efforts on those with lower functioning autism, or in other words, for trying to help those on the spectrum who need the most help.
Today, I disassociated myself from an autism advocate who kept asking me to attack Autism Speaks. My reason is that I don't want to be associated with such a hate-filled message. My mission as an autism advocate is to spread acceptance rather than hate. I do not want to use my writing talents to attack Autism Speaks and because this person would not back down, they were removed from my network. What sort of message does the autistic community send to the rest of the world when we fight among ourselves? We want the rest of the world to understand us and yet we do not understand others who are affected by autism like ourselves. There are so many clashing viewpoints about autism that I am not certain what will happen next as a result in this latest increase in autism diagnosis rates. I only hope we can try to promote understanding and acceptance rather than trying to spread hate. The world has too much hate already...
To read more about this increase in autism diagnosis, click here: