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Comment Re:You obviously don't know what real autism is (Score 1) 345

I mostly agree. My wife and I were never ones to look for someone or something to "blame" for our son's condition. We accepted it as a fact of life that needed to be dealt with, and just tried to ignore all the fluff and give him the best chance to be and do everything he's capable of. We didn't chase after every "miracle cure" that fell flat.

Nobody knows what causes moderate to severe autism. Obviously I've followed the whole vaccine debate closely, but I don't buy that that's it. I personally think there can be more than one cause. However I will say it's highly unusual for someone to develop strong autism-like symptoms after a child learns to talk well. It has happened, but it's rare. So I'm pretty suspect of people later in life suddenly "developing autism". I think there are other things going on there...

Comment Re:You obviously don't know what real autism is (Score 1) 345

Anyone who says that autism isn't a disease has never spent time around people with moderate to severe autism. I've fought this thing for over 25 years now and HAVE been around these people. What IS a problem is trying to lump just about everything into the autism spectrum. This just started happening in the last 5-10 years, and I've watched it progress. It's frustrating because it causes people who haven't been exposed to real autism to write it off as the "mental disease du jour" that I previously mentioned.

Somebody sees a list of symptoms and thinks, "Hey, socially withdrawn? Dislikes change? Savant characteristics? That describes Bob!" Then other people come along and say, "Are you nuts? There's nothing really wrong with Bob." Meanwhile nobody has really been exposed to the real thing and so they think everything can be fixed by really challenging these people or finding the right job for their characteristics.

I'd challenge anyone to watch my son sit and rock back and forth while flipping the same toy back and forth from hand to hand for hours on end, say yes when he means no and no when he means yes (not always, just enough to confuse things) and tell me we just haven't found the right ways to use his talents. He's a grocery bagger, and we're very proud he's gotten to that level, thank you very much...

Comment Re:You obviously don't know what real autism is (Score 1) 345

Do you think we've not tried everything we can over the course of 25 years including everything you suggest? Every situation is different, but in this case you are completely incorrect. He has actually come quite a ways, but if you ever met him you'd understand. Bagging groceries is a hell of an achievement considering where we started...

Comment Re:You obviously don't know what real autism is (Score 5, Insightful) 345

I've seen lots of people claim to be "a little bit autistic" as a way of excusing and enabling their own anti-social behaviours. But there's a big difference between "I don't get along well with others" and "full-blown autism".

Indeed. It's called tha autism spectrum for a reason. My 25 year old son is moderate to severely autistic. When he was first diagnosed it was at a time when autism wasn't the "mental disease du jour". Having lived with him for this long, I can clearly see behaviors in anyone that I would consider on the spectrum, myself included. And yes, some of those characteristics would be beneficial in a STEM career. But it bothers me when people who obviously don't say, "I have autism" or "that's my autism kicking in".

True, diagnosed, full autism isn't an evolutionary advantage because 95% (guessing, but it feels right) of those people will not reproduce, my son included. My son has a good life and even has his own apartment now (heavily supervised by case workers and us), but likely the only type of job he will ever be able to hold down is grocery bagger, which he does now. To me it feels like the disease of autism grossly over-amplifies a certain set of characteristics that are present in all people - to the point where it's debilitating.

You are not autistic because you like math or because you are socially awkward...

Comment Re:None of this is access to space (Score 1) 44

Please tell me about these exciting problems you think you'll solve floating around in a deadly vacuum towards empty hostile rocks.

99% sure you're just a troll, but whatever. How about getting us off this rock before we're wiped out by an asteroid? Or getting us off this rock before our population expands to the point where it can no longer sustain us?

In the early days of exploration, you'd be the guy sitting in his cottage railing against explorers and their new-fangled "new world" when we have a "perfectly good" cow pasture right here.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose