If you haven't seen it already, rent the movie
See it. So see it now because even if you do not have an autistic child, chances are you know somebody who knows somebody who has one. This movie is succinct in describing what autism is like for the people who are autistic. Temple is a brilliant scientist who came of age when people's attitudes towards autism was so primitive it was laughable.
Psychiatrists in the 1950's thought that autism was caused by a mother being too distant to her child and it was a form of "infantile schizophrenia." Temple's mother wisely did not accept that description and refused to have her institutionalized, the common recommendation for that "diagnosis." She kept her in school and then to boarding school. She went on to college, then graduate school where she eventually got a PHd and became a professor at Colorado University. She also became a spokeswoman for autism, describing it from the inside out.
My atrtidude with those parents like me who have an autistic child: when people start giving those quizzical looks when a child starts acting out: explain that they have autism. Explain it right away. You will see most of those looks turn from scowls to sympathetic looks. It's so absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and evasiveness and secrecy for me denotes shame. There is no shame.
Autism, it is looking more and more like, is an inherited phenomenon. It may be a throwback to Neanderthal times when people spoke with no written language, were expert tool makers, musicans, artists and task masters. Neanderthals were not the primitive ape men of Victorian lore but highly organized, earth based environmentalists who knew how to find their way in the woods and never get lost, were expert tool makers and highly sensual and empathetic. They took care of their wounded, old and infirm and were primarily blue and green eyed, red or blond haired and European.
Neanderthals may have been primarily Northern European and Celtic, too. The taboo against written language may be because Neanderthals could not grasp the written language like the Cro Magnon humans could. Maybe that's where the dyslexia and sythesthesia come from too. There is so much more genetic research to be done.
Anyway, watch that DVD. It's so well acted and directed and explains so much about the autistic mind set.
So anyway, Happy New Year to you all!!