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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,380
Location: Long Island, New York

30 Nov 2022, 11:39 am

What it's like to grow up with autism

Uta Frith, emeritus professor of cognitive development at University College London, has spent her career studying the behaviour of children with autism. In the past, "there was a theory that emotions were absent or disturbed in autism, which I think is just not true", Frith says. "On the contrary, emotions are very much in evidence, including high anxiety as well as anger and aggression." This can lead to tantrum-like meltdowns, often caused by sensory overload.

Frith has observed that social attitudes about autism have shifted over the past few years, but not always in helpful ways.

"People have been through a cultural change in understanding neurodiversity and autism has become a favourite of fiction and films," says Frith. "But it's focussed on very few features, in particular positive features." The kind of autism most often being presented in popular media would be categorised as mild, she says. Also, on-screen characters with autism are often portrayed as being intellectually gifted. The danger, she says, is that this misses out those who need more support.

"One thing we cannot completely overlook, but tends to be with some forms of autism, is that there can be an intellectual impairment," says Frith. Acknowledging this can be an important part of accepting the child for who they are.

As one can tell by the title of the article Uta Frith’s comments are a minor part of the article. The experiences growing up undiagnosed the focus of the article should be familiar to many members.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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Joined: 23 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,270
Location: Alpena MI

07 Dec 2022, 8:03 am

indeed. thanks!


"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” Samuel Johnson