I read an article just a few minutes ago about diagnosing Autism. The main subject line of the article read, “DOCTORS CAN NOW DIAGNOSE AUTISM IN JUST TWO MINUTES”. Uh…I don’t know about that…I think you need to do a *little* bit more research that a 2 minute test to diagnose someone with Autism. The online test consists of 10 questions that have 3 possible answers: “No (0)” “Sometimes (1)” and “Yes (2)”. After the parent answers the questions, their health care providers tally up the score. According to the article, “The highest score is a 20. Anything lower that 12 is concerning.” Speaking of which, here are the 10 questions to tell if your toddler is Autistic.
DOES YOUR CHILD:
1: Point or gesture to show interest or get attention?
2: Have unusual or variable responses to sounds?
3: Smile or make regular eye contact with others?
4: Respond to name when called?
5: Show interest in children at play?
6: Enjoy doing “handshake” or “peek-a-boo”?
7: Relate to others by babbling, gesturing, talking, or changing expressions?
8: Use three or more words regularly and appropriately?
9: Speak in phrases (ie: “want juice”)
10: Laugh when others laugh?
Call me jaded or “uneducated” or whatever. I do not care. But here is my opinion. Some, if not all, of these “diagnosis” questions seem kinda loaded. The one that sticks out in my mind is Question #1. (Does your child point or gesture to show interest or get attention?) This kinda seems like an obvious question. I have a theory or hunch that most, if not all, toddlers point or gesture to get something they want. They can’t talk or text you, the parents, so what the Hell else are they gonna do? They are going to do whatever they can within their knowledge to get your attention or point to something they want. The test is aimed toward toddlers. The co-author of the questionnaire, Walter Zahorodny, tested 1,959 low-risk toddlers aged 18-36 months.
Listen, I understand people want understanding about Autism and its causes. I get that. Believe me. I just don’t quite get the fascination with the diagnosis and its causes and cures. To me, my diagnosis of Autism isn’t the end of the world. It’s not a “poor me” sort of thing. Actually, I feel incredibly fortunate to have this amazing diagnosis.
Now am I saying that Autism is the greatest thing in the world? No. BUT I am not saying it is a death sentence, either. Autism just…is. I know people whose families are very impacted by the diagnosis. Not that they do not love their kid or kids any less, I am sure, but having to “put up with” someone who can only communicate by yelling and screaming nonsense or can only communicate by writing or iPad is irritating.
I feel I am lucky in that regard. I can communicate with people “normally”. DO NOT TAKE THIS THE WRONG WAY! I AM NOT SAYING I AM ANY BETTER OR WORSE THAN ANY OF MY AUTISTIC PEERS! All I am saying is that I can convey what I am feeling and thinking clearly…ish
I made a speech the other day and kind of had to censor some of my main points. Why? Because I talked about Autism to 20 Orthodox Jewish Middle School girls. I am NOT Antisemitic. That is just what they were. Anyway, the main point of my presentation was this. Seeing as this is a website/blog and not a middle school filled with 13 year old girls, I am giving you the point the way it was intended. Here goes. If you wanna crucify me in the comments section, feel free. But if you made it this far and are still reading, that is your problem.
The main point I wanted people to take away from the presentation was this: Autism does not discriminate. Autism does not care if you are Hindu, Jewish, Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, gay, straight, American, German, Mexican, transgender, black, white, yellow, brown, human, Muppet (And yes that was a shout-out to Julia on Sesame Street)…hell, you could be GREEN and still be Autistic. Forget your race. Forget your nationality and orientation. Forget all that shit. Autism is a way of life and can apply to any walk of life. Again, if you wanna hate on me in the comments section, go for it. Thanks!
-Tom W over and out