About the community we serve and work within
Autism is a difference in human brain development. Just like a smartphone has a different processor (ARM) from your laptop's (AMD or Intel x86_64) and therefore you cannot run your Microsoft Windows on your phone, neurotypical brains work differently from autistic ones.
It is important to note that I said "difference," not "defect." Insofar as difficulties exist in social communications, they are mostly between the autistics and the neurotypicals.
Attempts at "curing" autism are not only futile but is harmful. To this day, some insurance companies pay for a "therapy" called Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), which was invented by the same person who created "gay conversion therapy."
According to a 2017 research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimated 2.12 percent of adults in the U.S. are autistic. This makes our community a minority group of a significant size, larger than the Native Americans/Alaska Natives, the Chinese-Americans, or the Puerto Ricans.
There are autistic people. There are no such thing as "a person with autism." Some well-intentioned people apparently think this "person-first language" is less offensive (to them), but it's not like we can arbitrarily lose or gain autism at will. Rather, autism is an integral part of who we are and how we perceive the world around us. (It is worth noting here that right-wingers who peddle conversion therapy and oppose LGBTQ+ rights often use euphemisms such as "persons with unwanted same-sex attraction" or "persons with gender confusion" to trivialize other people's sexual orientation and gender identity and to justify their discriminatory attitudes.)
On the related note, there are no such things as "high-functioning autism" or "low-functioning autism." For one, there is no such official diagnosis according to the DSM-5. Whereas some researchers use these terms, usually "high-functioning" is defined solely by having a minimum IQ of 70 (a very low bar, considering that IQ 100 is typically seen as standard) and IQ is not a very good measure of anything (for instance, IQ cannot measure creativity, social adaptation, or emotional resilience). Classifying the worth of an autistic person by their supposed "function" to society is morally repugnant. On a more practical level, though, too often the "low-functioning" label denies people agency while the "high-functioning" label denies people support.
A larger percentage of autistic adults are atheists, non-religious, or religiously unaffiliated than the neurotypicals. Among those who are religious, their experiences and belief systems tend to differ from typical religious or spiritual experiences.
A very large percentage of autistic community also is LGBTQ+ or pansexual, and many of them are nonbinary or gender-expansive in some ways. Hence a hostility towards the queer community is also a hostility towards the neurodivergent community. These two intersecting identities often (but not always) overlap.
If you have met or known one autistic person, you just know one autistic person. Everyone is different and it is important also to take into account a variety of intersecting identities such as class, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, other "comorbid" disabilities or diseases, and more.
Please note that we repudiate so-called "aspie supremacism." It is never our position that (a certain subset of) autistics are somehow superior to the neurotypicals or to the rest of the autistic community. It is also worth noting here that the now-outdated diagnosis (since 2013 in DSM, since 2018 in ICD) of "Asperger's syndrome" was named after a known Nazi eugenics collaborator, who should never have been honored in this way in the first place.
Blogs by autistic persons:
Finding Soulace (written by an interfaith chaplain)
Videos by autistic persons:
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Mind Geographic's services are intended for adults 18 years or older. Autistic children and youth are beyond the scopes of this ministry.