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Autistic people are not broken

May 2, 2012
Daily Press

Editor's Note; This letter refers to a recent Daily Press series on autism.

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I can appreciate awareness for autism, but I don't think referring to it as a condition in which you, "pick up the pieces" is very appropriate, it sounds like a nervous breakdown situation; that something fell apart or broke. Autistic people aren't broken. Their thought process, cognizance and understanding are like a puzzle that we as non-autistic people have to try and "figure" out, much like putting together a puzzle, not "picking up the pieces".

I know someone who is autistic and I find his condition fascinating and envy the way he can live a full life seeing it in a way most people can't, even though it may be limited or hindered. It seems autistic people can have a deeper appreciation for some things that others cannot. And I read the book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, it was OK, but it wasn't written by an autistic person. How can it be an accurate depiction of an autistic person's life or thoughts? Autism is not limited to one set of symptoms or disabilities, just like no two people are the same. Autistic people vary in their abilities or inabilities, but they are surely not broken.

Jessica Badenhop

San Diego



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