If Public Opinion Penned an Autism Diagnosis…

I’ve spent far too much time lately fighting with those who have no understanding of what is required for an autism diagnosis. The arguments and myths I’ve encountered are at times upsetting, and other times absurdly ridiculous. So I’ve decided to pull together the most common “diagnostic criteria” that I’ve encountered, into a brand-new public-opinion-approved autism diagnosis:

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Autism and Aspergers Diagnosis (note: Rett’s, PDD-NOS and CDD are not part of the Autism Spectrum. Anyone who mentions these terms must be met with a stony confused silence. Aspergers may be mis-spelt as “Assburgers” in order to provide a sense of personal superiority, and the illusion of cleverness, as required.)

The person being diagnosed must be no younger than three years old. Any diagnosis prior to age three is necessarily an incorrect diagnosis and is evidence of a paranoid parent seeking attention. A diagnosis after the age of three is too late for any meaningful intervention and is evidence of inattentive parenting. Diagnosis on the third birthday is the ideal.

An autistic person must not be able to lie or empathise with others. If you can catch your child out in a lie, teach them to lie, or to care what you feel, then your child was never autistic.

All autistic children are extraordinarily beautiful in physical appearance; if your child is beautiful, and they don’t lie to you, they might have the autism. It is important to call your local naturopath as soon as possible.

All autistic people have ears that are ultra-sensitive to touch. To rule out a diagnosis, touch the ear. If the person doesn’t cry or rage, it isn’t autism.

Autistic people walk on their tip-toes. If your child walks on their tip-toes at all as a preschooler, they are probably autistic. Avoid ballet class. Lots of extraordinarily beautiful people can be found in a ballet class too; the coincidence of tip-toe walking and physical beauty in ballet classes, is a growing area of research.

Autistic people are all exceptionally talented in at least one of the following ways. They can:

  • Solve a Rubik’s Cube. If you meet an autistic person, give them a Rubik’s Cube. (Or just throw a bunch of toothpicks at their feet; they like counting those too.)
  • Perform astounding mathematical feats. No autistic person requires a calculator.
  • Hack a major computer system, or
  • Write a major computer system (then hack it).

If a child is intellectually gifted, they have Aspergers. If they are shy, they have Aspergers. If they are intellectually gifted and shy, they have severe Aspergers.

In regards to cause, autism either has (a) no known cause; no one has ever figured out a single cause, genetic or otherwise, or (b) is known to be caused by immunizations, bad parenting and excessive computer use. The causes listed under (b) can also be generally categorized as “shitty parenting decisions” as an overall category. The “shitty parenting decisions” can take the general form of either (a) active abuse, or (b) neglect, and often both. The parent is to blame. Even when you know the genetic cause, the parent is to blame. If the parent isn’t to blame, it’s not autism.

Autism can be completely cured by a change in diet or by chelation. If the treatment is ineffective, then you are not doing enough of it and must do it more. Autism never improves with age, so if you were using a treatment and the child improved at all, the only possibility is the treatment has worked. The plural of anecdotal evidence, is “data.” The more emotional the anecdote, the better the data.

In summary, if your child looks extraordinarily beautiful, is exactly three years old, tip-toes, counts toothpicks, cries when you touch their ears, and has horrible parents, you should treat them for heavy metal poisoning.

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Or, you could just look up the actual diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum conditions.

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35 Responses to If Public Opinion Penned an Autism Diagnosis…

  1. KDL says:

    Don’t forget must flap their hands ands rock incessantly – neither of which my daughter ever did.
    Then there’s also “must dislike being with other people” – which also doesn’t fit her. Myths abound.

  2. nzpam says:

    We come across many people (family, kindy, strangers) who like to inform us that he “is fine”. As if that means we’re imagining the fact that he is autistic and cannot see that he is “fine”. He is a wonderful wee dude who has been diagnosed autistic because he has some extra challenges he needs help with.

  3. Rachel says:

    This is great! I have heard so many of these. I would add:

    1) All autistic people are nonverbal. If you can say that you’re autistic, you’re not autistic.
    2) If your child is not aggressive toward other people, your child is not autistic. However, if an adult autistic is not aggressive toward other people, it’s for lack of social opportunities.
    3) If you can make eye contact, you’re not autistic.
    4) If you have friends, you’re not autistic.
    5) Autistic people are never happy.

    • Sarah says:

      I get #3 all the time. “But he makes eye contact so there is no way the diagnosis is accurate, maybe you should have him checked again”. Yes, I’ll just run over to the instant clinic and have a quick work up done to ensure that the lengthy process by specialists who live hours away weren’t mistaken or just smoking something when they decided on the autism.

  4. Is Rainman really considered a standard example of autism? Really? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Other “true autistic” traits that my not-really-autistic daughter is lacking:
    *hates physical affection (loves it, is very cuddly)
    *super picky eater (eats everything, esp. loves broccoli)
    *always places toys in neat lines (never has)
    *can’t stand variations in schedule or has trouble with transitions of any sort (never been a problem)

    I probably look like a terrible parent to any outside observers who witness me tickling her as she prefers deep pressure, usually involving elbows and knuckles. Her gales of laughter must be awfully confusing to them.

    • Sharon says:

      soothedbybrainfall, your daughter sounds similar to my son. Though it took a while to get to the cuddles. But he eats like a champion, never lines things up and actually thrives on novelty so a change of schedule is not usually a problem, more a curiosity.

      He also likes other children. He’s still working out what to do with them, but the motivation to join with them is strong. He appears to have overcome his early sensory issues, and is now a sensory seeker. His eye contact fluctuates but some days it’s right there.

      I sometimes think others consider him mis diagnosed because as this great blog post points out he just does not fit a stereotyped version of Autism. I know I shouldn’t care what ignorant people think. But sometimes I do. Particularly when they are friends and family.

  5. Tsara says:

    Okay… so there is more work to be done! I hate to admit that I was laughing my ASSburgurs off while reading this. I wish I could have enjoyed that laugh because this was all in the past, but as you so clearly toe-pointed out, it isn’t. As a matter of fact, on my Autism Answers page yesterday an autistic adult asked me ‘what IS autism?’. I spend so much time trying to dispel myths with the uninitiated I hadn’t realized how confusing these ridiculous public opinion’s must be for them! I guess we will have to ask the world at large to stop watching Rainman, Something About Mary and The Boy Who Could Fly and start watching our children and asking us questions with open ears (insert sensitive ear joke here) and hearts.

  6. Clara :D says:

    Ohh my gosh, i laughed my head off 😀 This is brilliant ❤ and funnily enough, when i recieved my diagnosis (aged 14!) some of my family immediately met it with the reasons stated above after looking up the diagnostic criteria on wikipedia – i was too old to be autistic and i would have been diagnosed at age three, I spoke well, I was CREATIVE and ARTISTIC (apparently these two things mean i can't be autistic, i.e, i had to be a human calculator and invent something scientifically similar in phenomenon to the lightbulb to fulfill my purpose) and as nzpam said, they insisted that i was 'fine' and that me and my mum had cooked up this imaginary diagnosis for some bizarre reason to spite them xD
    They've gotten better over the years, but indeed, the myths surrounding an autism diagnosis can hinder families who do understand their child and i thinks that the point of raising awareness is to help others understand that most people, even neurotypical ones, don't fit perfectly into little neat boxes, as everybody is individual 😀 In fact, i make it my purpose in life as an autistic adult to break out of as many boxes as possible, just to prove them wrong. 😀
    Thankyou for this post, although i did giggle, i think you do an excellent job of raising awareness while keeping the mood light 😀 ❤

  7. RachelB says:

    Oh How I needed this laugh today!!! Thank you!! I must also add this profound piece of “knowledge” given to me by a family member….”He is High functioning, and High functioning autistics do not have meltdowns, therefor you are a bad mother, and He is just spoiled” ( this followed a SEVERE meltdown wich I THINK was brought on by anotehr family member scaring the daylights out of my child as He was in the midst of a silent seizure)….
    Oh and, it is always the parents fault when children with autism do not hug, speak to, or make eye contact with family members…we obviously must have said SOMETHING to make the child not like said family member.
    I am sure I have more, I have heard so many in the past 9 years, and the journey continues!

    Thank you again for bringing me a much needed smile today and for spreading awareness as well!

  8. Bek says:

    I love this. I almost just threw my laptop to the floor as I was flapping so hard I thought I might fly away. Your whole post here is perfection. I’m nearly crying because on one page you have managed to express all of the crap I have heard over the past 3 years since we were diagnosed (kiddo was 4, I was 32). I hate that we have to go through all of the naysayers, but I’m glad we can recognize what tripe some of the stereotypes are. Will reblog this! Thanks so much!

  9. Mamacate says:

    Brilliant. If I may add, if any teacher who claims to “know about autism” is unsuccessful in working with your child, your child definitely does not have autism, regardless of what two psychiatrists, a psychologist, and a neuropsych say. (not that I’m bitter.)

  10. Jane says:

    Very funny, and very timely for me. My boy who is 4.5 and ASD actually had his integration aide bring a rubicks cube to kinder for him to play with rather than, you know, help him integrate.

    • It was at kindergarten that I first personally encountered the Rubik’s Cube thing with my son too. One of the teachers told me my son must be really clever because she knew another autistic child who was great with Rubik’s Cubes, so surely my son would be awesome with one too…

  11. Shari says:

    Although no family members have asperger’s (much less “assburgers”) as a school psychologist who has tourettes syndrome and children with tourettes, I loved reading this. Definitely made me laugh, because just so true, but there is sadness behind the laughter because it is so true. There is way too much misinformation amongst teachers and administrators, and of course the general public. I need to work on a “If Public Opinion Penned a Diagnosis for Tourettes”.

  12. Megan says:

    When we told Grandma the son was asd, she seriously asked if that meant we were going to be taking him to the casino. Oh and we also got told he was not on the spectrum because he would glance at you. This was by a senco no less. I tell ppl he caught his autism off a rabid wheesel bite.

  13. Margaret O'Keeffe says:

    I’m thinking that perhaps it might be easier to diagnose a child with Asperger’s simply by looking at the mother in particular. For instance, she is usually harassed, tearful, showing symptoms of paranoia and exhibiting very a poor parenting style. Her child will either be painfully shy (her fault) or swinging from the lightbulb (again her fault). She may have entered the anger stage of the diagnosis and want answers to diagnostic criteria which are contradictory or very wrong. She will not tolerate being spoken down to or at and tries not to react to looks of pity – though inside she dreams of having the courage to reach across the desk and grabbing the condescending psychologist/occupational therapist etc, hair and banging their heads on the desk repeatedly so as they might understand the fun she has had in her banging her head off walls in her dealings with the so called experts. She must realise that by being a parent, her PhD in Astrophysics becomes null and void. She is often delusional and feels that she knows her child best. She demonstrates strange behaviours, eg. stripping her child down to it’s vest the minute she enters consultations rooms. She panics if there is no drink for her child within a two foot radius. She laughs manically when someone attempts to discuss the sleeping habits of her child. She can count the number of remaining close friends on one hand. She is unable to recall the last time she looked at herself in a mirror. Her child’s teachers have a special name for her (the term Munchausen’s has been whispered). She is an expert climber as brick wall after brick wall is placed in front of her. She likes ANGRY. Put your arm around her shoulder, ask her what you can do to help, make her a cup of coffee and see the facade crumble and the vulnerable, tired warrior tumble out.

  14. allalea says:

    Great post. I looked this up because my friend who has autism said that he was told that he couldn’t lie because he was autistic. Then, his teacher caught him taking crayons when he wasn’t supposed to in kindergarten and lied about it. Really, most of the people who are autistic that I know aren’t too different from most other kids. There are a few things that might seem a little strange to me, but they’re still people, and that is what most do not understand.

  15. Pingback: If Public Opinion Penned an Autism Diagnosis … | Neurodiversity

  16. Ari says:

    I was told by a therapist that I could not have aspergers, not because I had speech delays and still am nonverbal, but because I had never had the uncontrollable urge to grab women’s breasts in public and I was not good at math.

    I already knew by then that it was autism rather than aspergers, so the confusion was minimally damaging. But it did take a while to resolve the fear of of other people, who have aspergers, doing this.

  17. Crimson Wife says:

    I’ll admit that I originally didn’t think my DD could have ASD because she could be so cuddly and affectionate at times. I’d go pick her up from her Early Intervention preschool every day, and she’d give me a big smile and a hug. Autistic kids don’t do that, do they? Talk about being in denial! I should’ve been clued in when the EI staff placed her in the TEACCH classroom but I was hoping that it was just the language delay causing her to seem off in her own little world so much of the time.

  18. Shari says:

    Wow.I was horribly insulted until I noticed out was huge joke. You left out that you could medicate a child with experimental drug combinations. that and autism is not their child their child is lost due to.autism. This horrified me when I read it.

    • Sorry if it wasn’t obvious that it was a joke, I did use an introduction that was meant to make that clear from the start, perhaps I was too subtle. If it had been a genuine post you’d be quite right to be horribly insulted! Sorry for any upset the confusion caused 🙂

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