The growth in the number of Americans diagnosed with Asperger’s and other Autism spectrum disorders is fueling demands to identify the “cause” and to find a “cure” that to “fix” the these “conditions” while individuals labeled with these conditions and their families struggle to cope.
While certain therapeutic interventions often provide some relief for stress, anxiety and other complications experienced by those diagnosed with Asperger’s or other Autism spectrum syndromes, make it easier for schools, employers, families or others encountering them, or both, the current treatments are not a cure and typically provide only limited relief for some of the symptoms. As a result, individuals with Asperger’s and other Autism spectrum syndromes and the families, friends, employers, schools, businesses and other elements of the community often struggle to cope.
Their experience reflects that the pragmatic solutions for helping those with Asperger’s function better in ordinary society lies in abandoning efforts to cure individuals with Asperger’s by forcing the reprograming of their operating system in favor of all parties working accept these differences and working together to bridge the difference thru mutual understanding, collaboration, compromise and respect. Approached from this perspective, the Asperger’s solution becomes not a cure, but an integration and communication management process with the goal of effectively integrating and managing the interactions between those with Asperger’s to the maximum benefit of all parties.
The resources shared, while not a panacea, provide valuable functional strategies that help people with Asperger’s cope with those around them and those in the community and family to interact more effectively with individuals with Asperger’s. While helping to ease today’s challenges, the insights shared of Asperger Experts who know what it is like to live in society with their condition provides equally valuable understanding that challenges all to embrace the notion that people with and without Asperger’s function somewhat differently, they share many commonalities. The shared goal should be to look beyond the labels and stereotypes by understanding these differences and working together to accommodate each other with mutual respect and understanding.