I am different, not less.
Autism is a neurological disorder. It's not caused by bad parenting. It's caused by, you know, abnormal development in the brain. The emotional circuits in the brain are abnormal. And there also are differences in the white matter, which is the brain's computer cables that hook up the different brain departments.
Research is starting to show that a child should be engaged at least 20 hours a week. I do not think it matters which program you choose as long as it keeps the child actively engaged with the therapist, teacher, or parent for at least 20 hours a week.
I'm a visual thinker, really bad at algebra. There's others that are a pattern thinker. These are the music and math minds. They think in patterns instead of pictures. Then there's another type that's not a visual thinker at all, and they're the ones that memorize all of the sports statistics, all of the weather statistics.
I had people in my life who didn't give up on me: my mother, my aunt, my science teacher. I had one-on-one speech therapy. I had a nanny who spent all day playing turn-taking games with me.
I was so afraid to go out west to my aunt's ranch. But the only choice my mother gave me was to go for two weeks or all summer. I wound up staying all summer. And that's where I learned about cattle. I could relate to their behavior, their fears.
I am also a believer in an integrated treatment approach to autism.
Autism is an extremely variable disorder.
If you start using a medication in a person with autism, you should see an obvious improvement in behavior in a short period of time. If you do not see an obvious improvement, they probably should not be taking the stuff. It is that simple.
When you take a drug to treat high blood pressure or diabetes, you have an objective test to measure blood pressure and the amount of sugar in the blood. It is straight-forward. With autism, you are looking for changes in behavior.
Mild autism can give you a genius like Einstein. If you have severe autism, you could remain nonverbal. You don't want people to be on the severe end of the spectrum. But if you got rid of all the autism genetics, you wouldn't have science or art. All you would have is a bunch of social 'yak yaks.'
Autism is part of who I am.
Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon Valley.
If you have autism in the family history, you still vaccinate. Delay it a bit, space them out.
There tends to be a lot of autism around the tech centers... when you concentrate the geeks, you're concentrating the autism genetics.
Let's get into talking about how autism is similar animal behavior. The thing is I don't think in a language, and animals don't think in a language. It's sensory based thinking, thinking in pictures, thinking in smells, thinking in touches. It's putting these sensory based memories into categories.
I've always thought of myself as a cattle-handling specialist, a college professor first; autism is secondary.
From a scientific standpoint, Aspergers and autism are one syndrome. Aspergers is part of the autism spectrum, not a separate disorder.
Some people with autism who don't talk, all they hear are vowel sounds. Like if I said 'cup,' they might just hear 'uh.'
One big question that's come up is: Has autism increased on the mild side of things? I don't think so - they've always been here. Some of this is increased detection.