“Where are all the adults with classic autism? Where are the hand flapping, head banging, self-abusive, spinning, screaming, rocking, stimming, non-verbal and violent 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 year olds wearing autism helmets and diapers? Where are the grown-ups at the mall experiencing violent tantrums, seizures and GI tract problems?”
Robert F Kennedy, Jr on Is the Autism Epidemic Real?
Of course, the argument is easy is disprove.
Kennedy on Classic Autism
The worst part of Kennedy’s statement is how he chooses to define “classic autism.”
“Functioning labels do not always relate to people’s real skills and can be based on hurtful stereotypes about autistic people. They also assume that people’s skills cannot change over time.”
Finn Gardiner on The Problems with Functioning Labels
Considering that he has also used the term holocaust when talking about autism, it’s not a surprise though.
“We all deserve to be respected for who we are.”
Amy Sequenzia on It is About Respect
But we shouldn’t let folks like Robert F Kennedy, Jr define what autism is for everyone.
What’s the first clue that there are autistic adults?
Yes, that’s right, it is all of the autistic adults!
Did you know that the Autistic Children’s Aid Society of North London formed in 1962? It later became the The National Autistic Society.
And the first meeting of the National Society of Autistic Children was held in 1965. It became the Autism Society of America.
Around this time, the Sybil Elgar School (1965) was established as the first school for autistic children and Somerset Court (1972) was established as the first residential community for autistic adults.
Think about Kennedy’s claim. Are we to believe that we have no autistic adults now, but in 1972, there was a need for a residential community for autistic adults?
Also consider that the children diagnosed with autism by DSM-III criteria (1980) are now adults, as that was almost 40 years ago.
Where are the autistic adults?
They are easily found, if you choose to look for them.
Like everyone else, many of them are:
- in college or have graduated
- looking for work
- married and looking for love
- writing books
- having children
- in need of better healthcare
More on Autistic Adults
- Stop attacking us and start listening to us: Autistic adults
- It is About Respect
- The Problems with Functioning Labels
- What is Wrong With Functioning Labels?
- How to Talk to an Autistic Adult
- 15 Things You Should Never Say To An Autistic
- Knowing Why: Adult-Diagnosed Autistic People on Life and Autism
- Autistic Parenting – Cherising Autistic People and Culture
- “So, do you work?”
- Finding Work
- Getting Hired
- Why to never tell someone ‘You will never work’
- Tips & Considerations for Autistic Job Seekers and Employers by Samantha Craft
- Calm the fuck down, there is no autism epidemic
- I’m a “highly functional” Autistic. It takes a lot of work.
- Autistic adults do not look like autistic children.
- I Have Autism And Hope To One Day Own A Bed And Breakfast
- Signs of Autism in Adults That May Have Been Missed as Children
- About That “Coming Avalanche” of Autistic Adults…
- Stop Isolating Autistic Adults and Calling It “Community-Based Housing”
- Don’t let your children grow up in a world where society devalues their lives.
- Autism and Suicidality: Conversations Between Researchers and Autistic People
- NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
- Robert Kennedy, why can’t you actually apologize? My kid’s brain is not gone.
- The Autism Epidemic Meme is Behind Almost All Autism Woo: A Call for Additional Research
- A Neurodiversity FAQ
- Autism Myths
- Who is your autism advocate?
- College students on the autism spectrum: Prevalence and associated problems
- Where Are All The Older Autistic People? Scotland, For Example
- Where are all the old people with autism? Most of them are dead. Can we stop denying their existence and start trying to make a difference?
- Autistic man dies
- Study: Adults with Autism…
- Don’t Write Me Off
- “We want respect”: adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities address respect in research.
- Rethinking Employment Opportunities for Adults with Autism
- Mayo Clinic to study adult prevalence and outcomes
- If you are using California data to claim an autism epidemic, you’re doing it wrong. Or:The great anti-epidemic of intellectual disability in California.
- The autism ‘epidemic’ no more
- Better dead than autistic
- Person First: An Evolution in Thinking
- The Genetics of Autism