Polly Tommey of Autism File Speaks to the Autism/Asperger's DSM V Question
Posted Feb 14 2010 12:00am
The following is excerpted from Autism File Magazine with permission. A .pdf link to the original article follows at the end of the post.
By Polly Tommey
I think we have a problem; maybe people with Asperger’s and autism should not be underthe same umbrella. It seems to me that we are dealing with two completely different conditions.
We know all about the similarities, but it’s the differences that concern me at the moment, and it’s the differences that are so apparent in the calls that I receive every week.
I get calls from people with Asperger’s who say they need help with things like getting into mainstream school, getting into college, getting a job and keeping it, finding somewhere to live within commuting distance of their own community, making friends, getting a girlfriend, getting a diagnosis. Many are proud of what makes them special and proud to be a part of the Asperger’s community, but they want the wider community to accept them for who they are and to help them find their place.
Parents and caregivers dealing with autism tell me what they need: a school or place that meets their child’s needs without having to take the school district to court every step of the way; a curriculum that recognizes the overriding importance of independence and social skills; more access to specialized speech and language therapy; more access to educational and therapeutic approaches that can help reduce anxiety, improve behavior and enhance life skills; and medical and nutritional needs to be taken seriously as a matter of urgency. Perhaps most importantly, they need the support of doctors who can recognize and treat the various medical issues that plague so many of our children. They need someone to help them get fit and ready for learning, and, of course, they need an answer to the burning question that many are afraid to ask: what will happen to our children when they become adults?