It is now politically incorrect to refer to anyone as mentally retarded. The polite and proper term to use now is intellectually disabled. Either way there is very little mention of the fact that many persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses are severely intellectually challenged. In the world's autism communities there are many who perceive it as an insult to mention the existence of the intellectually disabled autistic population.
It is obvious that some persons with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers are very intelligent, even brilliant. Some very intelligent persons with ASD diagnoses are capable of running organizations and conducting very influential media campaigns. They show no obvious behavior, social or communication deficits; to the point that parents of more challenged autistic children are left wondering how these media superstars ever received an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis in the first place. At the same time some well known autism researchers work hard at showing the world how intelligent autistic persons really are, even those who cannot demonstrate that intelligence with any obvious ability to communicate or function in the real world.
The mere mention of the existence of low functioning autistic persons with serious intellectual challenges is forbidden. Neurodiversity ideologues and ASAN "self" advocates routinely insist upon a positive only, a "posautive", view of autism. A posautive view does not include mention of the intellectually disabled autistic persons, those who do not run an organization with a Washington DC address, work as researchers in Montreal autism research facilities, attend university or colleges for gifted youths, or conduct numerous high profile media campaigns.
The exclusion by autism self advocates of the intellectually disabled autistic population occurs despite the fact that many persons with Autistic Disorder are intellectually disabled. The ICD-10 mentions this fact expressly in its description of Autistic Disorder:
In addition to these specific diagnostic features, it is frequent for children with autism to show a range of other nonspecific problems such as fear/phobias, sleeping and eating disturbances, temper tantrums, and aggression. Self-injury (e.g. by wrist-biting) is fairly common, especially when there is associated severe mental retardation. Most individuals with autism lack spontaneity, initiative, and creativity in the organization of their leisure time and have difficulty applying conceptualizations in decision-making in work (even when the tasks themselves are well within their capacity). The specific manifestation of deficits characteristic of autism change as the children grow older, but the deficits continue into and through adult life with a broadly similar pattern of problems in socialization, communication, and interest patterns. Developmental abnormalities must have been present in the first 3 years for the diagnosis to be made, but the syndrome can be diagnosed in all age groups.
All levels of IQ can occur in association with autism, but there is significant mental retardation in some three-quarters of cases.
Settlement.org a web site of the 2009 Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants speaks about intellectual disabilities with express reference to autism:
What is an intellectual disability?
Intellectual disability is a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of him or herself, and social skills. These cause a person to learn and develop more slowly than a typical person. Individuals with an intellectual disability may take longer to learn to speak, walk, and take care of their personal needs such as dressing or eating. A person with an intellectual disability will require some level of support for his or her entire life. Intellectual disabilities are sometimes called "developmental disabilities."
There are more than 200 known causes of intellectual disability. Some common examples of intellectual disability are:
The attempt by higher functioning persons with ASD's and Aspergers to disassociate "autism" from intellectual disability helps stigmatize persons with intellectual disabilities including the many persons with autistic disorder and intellectual disabilities. While intellectual disability in itself may not be a diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders, and is expressly excluded from Aspergers, the fact is that ID is oftent associated with Autistic Disorder. That surely is more than coincidence.
Refusal by anyone, including the alleged Autism self advocacy organizations, to recognize the ID Autistic population is just another form of bigotry, discrimination and intolerance. Such exclusion contributes to the stigmatization of those with MR/ID generally and autistic persons with MR/ID specifically.