Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mild Autism Can Be More Challenging Than Severe Autism

We find that some people have more sympathy for us because our children are on the severe end of the spectrum. And if there is one thing you should know about autism, it is that it is a spectrum. People with autism can range from being intellectually impaired to being intellectually gifted. Because of the language challenges that often go along with autism, it is sometimes difficult to know where they are on the spectrum.

While there is some question about our son, it seems clear that our daughter is cognitively delayed. She is 13 years old but probably operates around a 4 year old level. However, when people offer their sympathy, I tell them not to bother. Abby is pretty happy the way she is. She either doesn't know or doesn't care that she is different. She is comfortable with who she is and she just enjoys life the way it is.

It is often more challenging for people with mild autism. While people with mild autism are more likely to get a post-secondary education, a job and start a family, they are also more aware that they are different. People with mild autism are more likely to suffer from mental health issues because they are faced with the daily reminder that they don't fit in (or that's how it may feel). This can wear on a person's mental health.

People with severe autism, may or may not be aware of the differences between themselves and those who are neurotypical.

This may not always be the case, but be aware that being more severe on the spectrum does not necessarily mean it is more difficult for the individual (even if it might be for the family).

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