What I’ve tried to do is combine both my personal experiences with scientific research. I like to cross the divide between the personal world and the scientific world.
Language just gradually came in, one or two stressed words a time. Before then, I would just scream. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t get my words out. So the only way I could tell someone what I wanted was to scream. If I didn’t want to wear a hat, the only way I knew to communicate was screaming and throwing it on the floor.
When I was in high school and college, I thought everybody could think in pictures. And my first inkling to my thinking was even different was when I was in college and I read an article about, you know, some scientist said that the caveman could not have designed tools until they had language.
Normal people have an incredible lack of empathy. They have good emotional empathy, but they don’t have much empathy for the autistic kid who is screaming at the baseball game because he can’t stand the sensory overload. Or the autistic kid having a meltdown in the school cafeteria because there’s too much stimulation.
Some teachers just have a knack for working with autistic children. Other teachers do not have it.
Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon Valley.
People are always looking for the single magic bullet that will totally change everything. There is no single magic bullet.
Some autistic children cannot stand the sound of certain voices. I have come across cases where teachers tell me that certain children have problems with their voice or another person’s voice. This problem tends to be related to high-pitched ladies’ voices.
Children between the ages of five to ten years are even more variable. They are going to vary from very high functioning, capable of doing normal school work, to nonverbal who have all kinds of neurological problems.
I am a big believer in early intervention.