“He doesn’t look like he has autism.”


What do you think autism “looks like”?  Like Rain Man?

Doctor: Raymond, do you know what autistic is?
Raymond: Yeah.
Doctor: You know that word?
Raymond: Yeah.
Doctor: Are you autistic?
Raymond: I don’t think so. No. Definitely not.
                                                      —- From the movie Rain Man

     Autism can only be diagnosed by observing behavior. There is no blood test or brain scan that shows that they have autism. There are no characteristic facial traits or other physical signs of autism. They look just like anybody else. For more details on autism I recommend you read my other post: What exactly is autism? How did you know he had autism?

     They don’t all look and act like Rain Man.

     Though some are savants, they aren’t all human computers like the character in Rain Man. And actually, though the person they based the character on had autism like tendencies — his actual diagnosis wasn’t autism. 

     His name is Kim Peek:  “Kim Peek was born on November 11, 1951. He had an enlarged head, with an encephalocele, according to his doctors. An MRI shows, again according to his doctors, an absent corpus callosum – the connecting tissue between the left and right hemispheres; no anterior commissure and damage to the cerebellum. Only a thin layer of skull covers the area of the previous encephalocele.”  He had an ability to retain 95% of the information he received, most people remember more like 45%.  (I grabbed that info from this site)

     So you are right. My son doesn’t LOOK like he has autism.  But he sure does ACT like he has autism. 😛

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January 2011
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