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From: The Socialist issue 657, 14 February 2011: Big Society? Big Con!

Search site for keywords: Autistics - Autism

Readers' comments

Life on the autistic spectrum

AUTISM IS a neurological condition that was first identified in the 1940s. It statistically affects about one in 100 people in the UK alone (although I believe there are more autistics who haven't been diagnosed).

Lucy Stokes

The traits that autistics can have include finding that socialising doesn't come naturally, having a delay in learning how to talk (I couldn't talk until I was five or six), needing a regular routine, needing new things to be planned in advance, getting stressed easily by a disruption in routine and taking things too literally.

Other traits can be, hyper/hyposensitivity to things such as touch and taste (that's why I'm teetotal), finding eye contact very discomforting, being brutally honest and having difficulty in expressing emotions.

Autistics can have obsessions whether it is art, science or a TV show. No two autistics are the same though, this is why it's called the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (I prefer condition as there's nothing wrong with us).

Unfortunately services for adults on the autistic spectrum are minimal, close to none in fact. It seems as if you are no longer autistic once you reach 18 and counselling for autistics who suffer, for example, from depression is virtually non-existent for adults.

There are some organisations such as Autism Speaks, a "charity" which claims that autism is a terrible disease, worse than AIDS and an epidemic. Autistics and their relatives can be fooled into supporting what they're saying.

They are taking advantage of the fact that there are virtually no services whatsoever, largely so the top figures can pay themselves an inflated salary.

I blame this on capitalist society that only cares about profit, not people's needs. We are expected to conform to society and autistics can easily get discriminated against in work and education, and are more likely to be bullied.

In a socialist society, services would be accessible. Life would be less stressful as things are more likely to be planned and autistics will have more of a say in how things are run in services we rely on.

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Article dated 14 February 2011

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