Will is eager to share his thoughts on autism. Here he answers some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about growing up with autism.
Please feel free to contact Will with any questions you might have.
Do you think autism should be treated? Why or why not?

No. We don’t need treatment! We just need opportunities to be around people like ourselves and to be accepted! However, with non-verbal and low-functioning people, speech therapy, etc. may be useful. Independence skills should also be taught.

Do you think autism can be cured (eliminated) in a person?

I think many independent skills can and should be taught, but in general, trying to make autistic people neurotypical is out of the question.

Name some of the strengths that you have that are a result of having autism. Name strengths that you have observed in other people who have autism or aspergers.

I am very good at day-date calculations; I can memorize entire travel itineraries; I could recite most of the screenplays from “The Wizard of Oz” and “Charlotte’s Web” when I was a kid; I knew all 64 Crayola colours when I was five; and I have a very good ability to understand other people with special needs and people who are troubled. I have also known other people with Aspergers who have amazing abilities not common in neurotypical people and I have seen strong compassion in some of these people.

Do you think children with autism should be mainstreamed , i.e. put into a class with neurotypical children? If so, should they have a resource room with resource workers to go to during part of the day? Or should children with autism be put in only with other children with autism?

Mainstreaming is an issue of contrasts for children with special needs. With some children, mainstreaming can be very beneficial, especially if they have teacher’s assistants to help them; with other children, mainstreaming can be very negative. This all depends on the individual. Therefore, I think there should be a variety of choices. There should be mainstreaming, special classes, special schools, and resource rooms.

What were the difficulties you as an autistic person experienced in school?

Misunderstanding teachers, bullying (particularly in Grade Eight and part of Grade Seven, and part of high school), assignment instructions that were not straightforward, and rejections by my friends and peers.

What difficulties have you experienced as an adult?

Difficulty in getting stable, rewarding employment; few or no opportunities to be around people like myself (I have very little in common with neurotypical people)

What are some things autism societies could do for adults with autism?

I think they could have social groups (NOT social skills groups!) for adults, as well as children, with high-functioning autism. I also think they could have directories for these kinds of people.