Saturday, 1 May 2010

Is it better not to get labelled as autistic?

I was recently watching the BBC documentary "The Autistic Me - One Year On" on BBC iPlayer. I found it really touching and was imagining my son as an adult a few years on.

I was a little disturbed as well. It was really sad to see 24 year old Oliver being unable to get a job despite being high functioning and extremely articulate. That guy deserves to get a job. I couldn't help compare him with the useless slobs - those perfectly neuro-typical guys who refuse to look for jobs and live off benefits.

I also couldn't help but wonder whether the reason he wasn't able to get a job was due to the fact that he was labelled or branded as "AUTISTIC" and all the negative connotations that come with it. I know of a few guys who have not been diagnosed as autistic but have all the symptoms. This includes one of my distant relatives who's a lecturer, married with a kid who has been diagnosed with ASD as well. He's really eccentric and when I hear of his childhood, he had all the symptoms - limited eye contact, delayed speech, lack of socialisation with other kids, in his own World, obsessed with stuff, etc. However, people just thought he was just a little slow. However, he did OK in University and joined the corporate sector after doing a Master's degree and as I mentioned earlier, ultimately became a lecturer in a public University. Today he would have been diagnosed with high functioning austim.

I just wonder whether people would have employed him if they had known he had been labelled as autistic.

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