Chapter 9: The Real Experts
“[P]eople with autism have intact minds and strong opinions, and some have tremendous insight into their own experiences” (173).
“[She] is also clear about how parents and professionals can best help in those situations when a person with autism is panicked or anxious. “Don’t put your hands all over me, and don’t talk a lot to me,” she says. “Support me in silence. Support me with your presence”” (178).
This quote is from a young woman with autism that Prizant is friends with and confided in for this book. For him, this was one of the big takeaways that he learned from her. Parents and professionals are most helpful when they are there, when they are present, and just listening.
“Among [his] great insights is this: a teen or adult with autism is more a product of his life’s experiences than of his autism. […] While others may be tempted to point to autism as the cause of every struggle or setback, he says that, with proper support, many people can build emotionally healthy, productive, and successful lives” (181).
This is from a man that was diagnosed with Asperger’s and is a spokesman for individuals with ASD. He wants people to know that experience is what shapes life, not autism; and that despite having autism, that individuals like himself can live wonderful lives.
“As we all grow, whether we’re on the spectrum or not, we need to hear about what we can do,” he said, “not what we can’t do” (182).
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post and read my upcoming posts on Uniquely Human by Barry Prizant. 🙂 ❤
Prizant, B. (2015). Uniquely human: A different way of seeing autism. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
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