Recently, my family rented a movie, Temple Grandin, and for the first time, my little sisters expressed an interest in Autism. When watching this movie, my sister’s asked questions like: “Do you see things that way?” and “Allison, do you feel like that sometimes. They made comments like: “You’re not that bad.”, “I can see how you act like that sometimes.”, and “Allison, you’re the opposite of that.” I sat there trying to explain the differences between myself and Dr. Temple Grandin.
(Dr. Temple Grandin:
On top of writing articles on livestock handling, changing the world of cattle ranching, and receiving a PhD, she also changed the world of autism forever.
BA: Psychology at Franklin Pierce College, Masters: Animal Science at Arizona State University, and PhD: Animal Science at University of Illinois at Urbarra-Champaign.
• Emergence: Labeled Autistic
• The Learning Style of People With Autism: An Autobiography
• Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism
• Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior
• The unwritten Rules of social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspective of Autism
• The Way I See it: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger Syndrome
• Animals Make us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals)
High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger Syndrome (AS), though very similar, are considered different disorders. I have AS and Dr. Grandin has HFA. Because of similarities, people with HFA and people with AS are often grouped together and dealt with in similar manners. The high-functioning autism spectrum disorders include:
High-functioning autism: The child fits the definition of autism but has normal cognitive and learning abilities. The child may initially have had difficulty acquiring language, but eventually was able to speak at a level close to what is expected for his or her age.
Asperger syndrome: The child is similar to those with high-functioning autism, but has fewer symptoms and had little or no difficulty developing language
My family, including my sisters, has known about my AS for years, but I don’t think that my sisters realized just how big the world of HFA-AS is. It’s more than “Oh, Allison just acts that way because of her AS.” Since my little sisters, one 15 year old and two 13 year olds, had questions for me, I figured that their questions are similar to what other people ask when they are first really learning about what HFA-AS is like.
So, this post is my way of asking my readers to comment with any questions they have below or e-mail their questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will use your questions to do a Q&A post. Thank you so much for your support.