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Stats Medicine United Kingdom

Autism Associated With Shorter Lifespan, According To UK Charity Study 146

Cognitive Dissident writes: It's only one study, but the results are disturbing. An article in The Guardian describes a study by the UK charity Autistica showing that all people on the autism spectrum, not just the profoundly autistic, seem to be dying much younger than the average. There is no single definable cause, though a higher rate of suicide is one problem, but the aggregate result is a much higher mortality rate than the general population. There is no single cause, but a higher rate of suicide is noted. "Autistic people with no learning disabilities are nine times more likely to die from suicide compared to the rest of the population, the report states." Looks like something that needs more attention and research, which the charity is trying to organize.
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Autism Associated With Shorter Lifespan, According To UK Charity Study

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "There is no single definable cause, though a higher rate of suicide is one problem, but the aggregate result is a much higher mortality rate than the general population. There is no single cause, but a higher rate of suicide is noted."

    I want to kill myself after reading the same sentence over and over, albeit worded slightly different.

    • by kelarius ( 947816 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @10:00PM (#51740537)
      People on the autism spectrum tend to have a lot more stress in their lives, various types of stress have long been linked to higher mortality rates, be that from suicide to distracted driving to heart attacks to drug use as a coping mechanism to straight up side effects from medication. I would be mind boggled that this is news but when I saw that this "study" was performed by an autism advocacy group, I realized its nothing more than an attention grab.
      • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @05:17AM (#51741767)

        There is another interesting and potentially very important observation: People with ASD appear to have a gut flora that differs significantly from the average population. This is interesting for several reasons - one being that we are beginning to understand that our gut flora has a very big impact on our general health - diabetes 2, obesity and probably a lot of other things, as well as our mental wellbeing. Our intestines also has a nervous system that in many ways is comparable in complexity to our brain (which perhaps ironically lends a new aspect to the expression 'gut instinct'). Just saying.

        • Bingo! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:23AM (#51742071)

          There is another interesting and potentially very important observation: People with ASD appear to have a gut flora that differs significantly from the average population.

          Bingo!

          This! A thousand times this!

          Nutrition is the most overlooked factor in the wider ADHD / Autism spectrum. [amazon.com] I'm a sugar addict and would subscribe a lot of my solopsistic behaviour that might be classified as sort-of "aspergerish" or adhd to diet. Whenever I make an effort to eat healthy the difference is very notable. I'm more awake, more aware, my mood is better and I'm way better at social interaction.

          Excercise is another big factor, as is - for heterosexual men - interaction with women. It's a proven scientific fact that social interaction with women improves mens mental health across the board, autism or not. ... I'm basically addicted to Tango [wikipedia.org] for that exact reason - one of the rare opportunities where interaction of the sexes is still formalised, similar to ye 'olde days. Testosterone goes up, cortisol and other stress-hormones go down. Again, that's scientifically proven. Mood and mental well-being improves measurably. If you're a nerd or geek like me and suffer from the usual social interaction problems, especially with the other gender, you should try it.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Utter Tripe from a "nutritionist" NOT a scientist, Being both Asperger and having a child with the same, totally fed up with people referring to these quacks.

            THERE IS NO EVIDENCE!!. only anecdotes!

            For fucks sake stop repeating shit!

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @06:25AM (#51741957)

        This. Someone hand that person a mod.

        Autistic people are under constant stress. Every single new situation in life is stress. And we're not talking about something the average normal person would consider new, like, say, a new job or having to meet someone important for the first time. ANYTHING that does not fit the ordinary is a moment of stress. Add on top of that any situation you cannot plan for fully in advance. If you want to put an autistic person into full stress mode tell him to "just wing it".

        • This. Someone hand that person a mod.

          Autistic people are under constant stress. Every single new situation in life is stress. And we're not talking about something the average normal person would consider new, like, say, a new job or having to meet someone important for the first time. ANYTHING that does not fit the ordinary is a moment of stress. Add on top of that any situation you cannot plan for fully in advance. If you want to put an autistic person into full stress mode tell him to "just wing it".

          Although I mostly agree, my son and I have inherited a slight variant of autism. My son gets very upset when plans change but at the same time, he's perfectly fine in novel situations. So if there is music instead of PE at school this is very upsetting to him but going on a field trip to a new place he's never been and he absorbs it like a sponge. My son also exhibits extreme empathy and concern for others and is very concerned with things being fair and not hurting people's feelings. Being autistic he

          • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @08:59AM (#51742555)

            My son also exhibits extreme empathy and concern for others and is very concerned with things being fair and not hurting people's feelings. Being autistic he doesn't always pick up the social cues to know when he's hurting someone else's feelings but when he notices, it very much bothers him. Same with animals, he might not realize that he's hurting the cat by the way he's holding it but if he realizes someone is hurting an animal (like when I clean fish), it upsets him greatly.

            My son (and I) are the same way. Every year, a museum near us has a butterfly house, and every year my son will go into it for a few seconds only. It's not that he's scared of the butterflies. It's that he's scared he might hurt one. They are flying everywhere and some land on the floor so you need to be careful where you walk/move. To my son, it's like you've laid out a minefield in front of him except a butterfly gets killed if he "steps on a mine." His (understandable) reaction is to want to leave the room as quickly as possible so that he won't hurt anything.

            Of course, feeling empathy and being able to express it are two different things. I'll often feel extreme empathy towards someone, but won't be able to find the words to let the other person know how I feel. More than once, this has led my wife to exclaim in frustration that I'm being insensitive or don't care about what she's going through. I do care and don't mean to seem insensitive. It's just that what's going on in my head doesn't translate well to what's coming out of my mouth. Typing stuff up is easier because you can take a few minutes and revise your response. People don't expect an immediate reply. (Plus, as much as I like to denigrate emojis, it can be easier to say "I feel sad for what's going on with you" with a crying emoji than to find the exact words to express your internal feelings. Whoever invents real-life face-to-face conversation emojis will be a hero to people on the spectrum everywhere!)

            I think part of the problem with the autistic umbrella is that many people treat it as a single set of symptoms (afraid of novel situations, no empathy) but from all the autistic people I know, it's very nuanced and can vary greatly from person to person.

            This is the key with Autism. The saying I've often heard is "If you've met one person with Autism, you've met one person with Autism." My son and I are very similar - so much so that I joke that he's my mini-me. Still, he deals with things that I've never had to deal with and takes other things in stride when I struggled with them. For example, he dives head first into social situations even if he doesn't fully understand how he's being inappropriate. I was always more socially-timid, afraid that I'd make a misstep and embarrass myself.

            • Of course, feeling empathy and being able to express it are two different things. I'll often feel extreme empathy towards someone, but won't be able to find the words to let the other person know how I feel.

              This is something I struggle with too. I tend to get overwhelmed and end up just saying nothing sometimes. I very often resort to (sometimes long winded) emails to get my feelings out. My 4 year old might be too young to really see how he will be in this regard, be he always approaches the person "having an issue" with a look of great concern, but does not say anything to them.

              Still, he deals with things that I've never had to deal with and takes other things in stride when I struggled with them. For example, he dives head first into social situations even if he doesn't fully understand how he's being inappropriate. I was always more socially-timid, afraid that I'd make a misstep and embarrass myself.

              I have a similar situation. My son jumps right into social situations and actually LOVES observing what everyone is doing. He is

              • I find myself torn when my son is doing something socially inappropriate. I don't want him to continue the actions if they are bad enough (like touching someone in a manner that he doesn't realize is totally inappropriate) on the other hand, I don't want to instill my socialization fears into him so that he winds up over-thinking everything he says and does. Got to love the high-wire-act-with-no-net of parenting!

          • I was very intrigued by reading your response. My 4 year old son is on the spectrum, and we still don't have a great understanding of "how he works". I was always confused about his intense empathy for others, which appeared to go against what I considered to be typical autism. Much of your post mirrored behavior I see in my son. Though I have never been considered autistic (just ADHD), I had often encountered intense panic/stress as a child when being forced to introduce myself to new people my own age. To
            • I was very intrigued by reading your response. My 4 year old son is on the spectrum, and we still don't have a great understanding of "how he works". I was always confused about his intense empathy for others, which appeared to go against what I considered to be typical autism. Much of your post mirrored behavior I see in my son. Though I have never been considered autistic (just ADHD), I had often encountered intense panic/stress as a child when being forced to introduce myself to new people my own age. To this day, I still get stressed out and "snappy" if plans change and I thrive on daily routines. My son and I both love "novel situations". I feel like I learned something new today about this complex condition, and will do some more research. Many thanks for your post!

              For my son, I think he's just like everyone else, he's trying to make sense of the world. So novel situations are fine because there are no expectations and it allows him to broaden his horizon and learn more about how the world works but changes are bad because once he decides that the world works a certain way, it's very upsetting if they don't work that way. When my son is having an "anxiety attack", the phrase he tends to repeat over and over is "I don't understand, I don't understand" which I believe

      • I can confirm the stress thing, and at times I do want to give up, but as I start to care less about what people think and watching their judgements with compassion, bless their hearts, I think we're all crazy, some kinds just being more popular than others, and then those become the norm. I lucklily never went on any medication and intend to keep it that way.
      • Biggest stresses Autistics have is Normals. How often do you hear about normal children being the victims of filicide? How often do you hear about a normal kid that's bullied year after year in school after school? Who gets the police called on them while waiting for a bus or the Library to open because "They look suspicious" and often end up being shot by the police?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    With a suicide rate that much higher than average, is it possible that people on the autism spectrum choose to end their life because of the complications that come with being autistic versus the suicide rate being driven by autism as a mental illness?

  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @09:43PM (#51740449) Homepage Journal

    ... are made for suicide and for well-known highly-correlated conditions like epilepsy?

    In other words, do an Apples-to-Apples comparison, and answer these questions:

    * What is the decrease in age attributable to suicide among those without other correlated conditions, compared to those in the general, non-Autism-spectrum population without correlated conditions.
    * For each correlated condition, is there an increase in suicide compared to those not on the Autism spectrum who have the same correlated condition? If so, how much does this decrease the overall lifespan for those on the Autism spectrum?
    * For each correlated condition, is there a non-suicide-caused decrease in lifespan compared to non-autistic-spectrum-disorder people with the same correlated condition, and if so, how big is it?
    * For those who have neither a correlated condition nor who take their own life, is there a decrease in lifespan compared to the general population, and if so, how big is it?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We're social creatures. Autistic people have a hard time forming and sustaining friendships, a process that 'normal' people find so easy and second nature they don't even consider others could have problems in that area. And without a strong social circle, suicide risk goes way up, and I imagine susceptibility to other diseases (from weakened immune response due to the stress of loneliness) and lack of anyone to 'make an effort' with regards to personal health and fitness increases risk from lifestyle-relat

    • Maybe so, but OTOH, if you don't want companionship, do you still suffer without it?

      • Re:Lack of friends (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Livius ( 318358 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @10:11PM (#51740609)

        People with autism don't lack the need or desire for socialization, they lack the instinctive understanding of how to achieve social relationships that everyone else takes for granted.

        • Under the hypothesis that I'm ASD, I beg to differ. I was miserable when I tried to be like everyone else. Once I (hypothetically) figured out what the problem was, I quit trying and am much happier now.

          I get some social interaction at work and while running errands, but I don't seek it out, and if anything, I get more than I want.

          • by Livius ( 318358 )

            Trying and succeeding, trying and failing, and not trying, are all different things.

          • I get some social interaction at work and while running errands, but I don't seek it out, and if anything, I get more than I want.

            Then you're an introvert like me. Not necessarily autistic. Now what happens if you have an extrovert autistic person?

            • Re:Lack of friends (Score:5, Informative)

              by quax ( 19371 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @02:09AM (#51741395)

              My boy is on the spectrum, he was always surprisingly outgoing. Chatting up other kids on the play ground and happy to engage in play with just about anybody. But he still couldn't make friends. Mostly that was, I think, because he has the typical autism funnel attention, and only likes to talk about whatever he obsesses about. This typically worked well on adults, and he was able to carry conversations with them way above his apparent age level, as long as they adhered to his interest, but it did not work well with other kids.

              He didn't have a friend for the longest time, only now in grade 5 he finally has somebody who always wants him to come over. It probably helps that he now obsesses about Minecraft and video games in general. He is a walking encyclopedia on the history of video games, and the way he now chats up adults is to ask them what their favourite video game was when they were kids.

              He is surprisingly also interested enough to attend tap dance lessons, his interest is lukewarm, but so far he is going. He also happens to be quite handsome (of course I am not impartial in that). It is amusing to see how many of the little girls at the dance school go out their way to greet him (while he hardly acknowledges their existence). I think he will be OK.

              • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                When he's older, get him partner dancing. Skip ballroom, go for West Coast Swing or Salsa.

                It's an excellent way of spending time in a social context without any of the smalltalk. If you like your partner you can chat about dancing and see how things go from there. If you don't, you just boost the tempo and she's moving around too much to talk.

              • Re:Lack of friends (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @09:08AM (#51742643)

                The same is true of my older son. He's 12, is diagnosed with Asperger's, and has no friends. He's got people he talks to in school and some who even talk back to him, but nobody who he sees outside of school activities. His neurotypical younger brother, on the other hand, has a few friends and one whose house he goes over on a near-daily basis. My oldest can go and play with them, but he wants friends his own age. Given my "experience" getting friends (I have no real life friends myself), I have no clue how to help him get friends. There is one kid from a local Autism support group that he gets along with and they wanted to get together with my son, but things haven't lined up for us quite yet. So apart from that might-be-a-friend-one-day and a bunch of friends-with-people-while-in-school, my son is left envying his younger brother's ability to make friends.

                • Mine didn't have any friends until 14-15 and now he has a girlfriend(gd help me). So they do seem to get there eventually.
                • (feels for you)

                  Same thing with my son. What's really heartbreaking is how he "tries" to make friends, i.e. walks up to kids at the playground and stuff, but is socially awkward so they inevitably tease him or disregard him. Which makes him sad.

                  Man, I wish there was a way to teach your kids that it'll be ok, someday he'll have a close friend or significant other and it'll all be ok.

                  P.S. You made me a little bit sad at work today. But that's ok. We're all in this together.

                • by Anonymous Coward

                  Hi. 30-year-old diagnosed Aspie here. Credentials: I've managed to turn my unflagging interest in programming since age 7 into a decade-long game industry career. These days I specialize in renderer-related programming. You might say I'm an artistic autistic. Ah, but I kid.

                  I didn't have any long-term real-life friends until I was upwards of 20. I did have 3-4 friends from school that I would hang out with outside of school, but I don't keep in contact with any of them these days. In fact, there isn't a sing

              • That sounds a lot like me when I was younger. I had friends, but they were just like me, and we talked incessantly about common interests (video games, computers, etc.).

                The problem came after I grew up and got into the "real world"; it's not so easy to find compatible friends after you've moved away from where you went to school, and it's really hard finding women who have any interest, even if you are tall and handsome. Women aren't as interested in men's looks as they are in outgoing, confident personal

              • He also happens to be quite handsome (of course I am not impartial in that). It is amusing to see how many of the little girls at the dance school go out their way to greet him (while he hardly acknowledges their existence). I think he will be OK.

                Haha. I think of my 4 year old the same way. The girls in his school always approach him to say hello, and he usually just ignores them. When I tell him "June said hello to you buddy. Say hi to June.", he looks at her and says "Say hi to June.". I joke to my wife that he will charm some sweet girl with his looks when he is older and she'll be willing to look past his "quirks".

            • by Ihlosi ( 895663 )
              Now what happens if you have an extrovert autistic person?

              We have one in the household. Hour-long lectures on the local train and bus routes and schedules, or on PokÃmon, for anyone who's willing to listen.

              I believe the medical term is (socially) "active but odd".

        • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 )

          One of the issues with autistic people with no learning disabilities is that they tend to be more analytical, which is why they are often represented in the scientific community.

          When you can analyze peoples behaviors, know what they do, why they do it, you'll find it's glaring in day to day activities how selfish people are and how their attempts at masking it are pathetic. The most insulting part is they act shocked as if it would be impossible to know their actual intentions when it's pretty clear. Autist

          • by lxs ( 131946 )

            Autistic people don't want to form relationships with most people, because most people aren't worth forming relationships with.

            Which is a statement that belies a pretty selfish attitude.

          • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
            I wonder if people are quite as predictable as you claim. Perhaps you're counting your hits and ignoring your misses.
        • Exactly this. I don't have any real-life friends. I have co-workers I talk to, a wife and kids, and online people I chat with occasionally. However, I don't have a group of friends that I can just hang out with. I want a group of friends, but when I think "How do I get friends", I draw a blank. You might as well ask me to solve a quantum mechanics equation - I wouldn't even know where to start. Not to mention that the whole concept fills me with the kind of anxiety and dread that I haven't felt since

      • Maybe so, but OTOH, if you don't want companionship, do you still suffer without it?

        That would depend on what the void is filled with. For me, nothing works better than Boggle. I sure hope there's Boggle wherever I'll be when I'm dead.

        And all my cats, too. Well.. almost all.

      • Re:Lack of friends (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @06:42AM (#51741993)

        That's exactly the problem: Autistic people do not want to be alone. They just can't stand the company.

        Or rather, more often than not, the company cannot stand them. Detach yourself from the picture of that heavily impaired child that can't even accept a hug from his parents. Yes, that's part of the autism spectrum, but only one rather small aspect of it. You have a lot of people who appear "normal", until you have to interact with them. They are smart, sometimes exceptionally so, generally well adjusted (at least as adults, their childhood is usually a mess, but the eventually learned to "play a role"), yet they have incredible difficulties dealing with social situations and even more intimate ones.

        For obvious reasons. These people had to learn social interactions the same way you'd learn a foreign language. Body language makes no sense to them. And neither do they "speak" with their body sensibly. Which in turn is VERY unsettling for "normal" people. Worst of all, you can't even put your finger on it because it's fully subconscious. You don't know WHY that odd fella is giving you the creeps. He just does.

        And while you can somehow, eventually, emulate social protocols (because frankly, social situations are in the end just another form of process to be followed and a routine to be observed), that does not apply to anything involving more intimate or closer situations. You don't really get to watch and copy a lot here. Not to mention that people enjoy a responsive partner, something such a system based on mimicry of course cannot provide.

        And yes, despite everything they're still humans and they would still like companionship. There just is no defined process for it that could be followed.

        • That's exactly the problem: Autistic people do not want to be alone. They just can't stand the company.

          Growing up - before I knew what Autism was - I imagined it as if I was in a dark room. There was a bright spotlight there and, more than anything, I wanted to be in the spotlight. I wasn't sure exactly how to get in the spotlight, but eventually I would stumble my way into it. Then, I'd find that the spotlight was too bright and hurt my eyes. It was too much and I needed to retreat to the safety of the

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Really, "normal people" find it easy and second nature to form and sustain friendships? I'm going to need a citation on that one. I consider myself fairly "normal" in the area of social interactions. I'm shy and lack self confidence and have trouble talking to women, but I don't consider that abnormal from looking around me. And one constant I've seen is relationships of all kind are hard and a lot of work. A friendship which you don't put work into withers and dies.

      One of the best parts of my life is

  • Relationships? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Etherwalk ( 681268 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @10:15PM (#51740633)

    Are they also less likely to marry? Because it turns out people die a lot quicker if there isn't someone there to realize they tripped, for example.

    • by TimSSG ( 1068536 )
      Ah, a intelligent and on topic post; I wish I had some mode points. Tim S.

      Are they also less likely to marry? Because it turns out people die a lot quicker if there isn't someone there to realize they tripped, for example.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Aspies also tend to be extreme control freaks about anything that involves their healthcare, to the point of shunning medical care if they feel like they aren't firmly in control. An authoritarian doctor who attempts to tell them what they *must* do is likely to end up with an ex-patient who'll grudgingly die before voluntarily ceding control to that doctor. If they find themselves semi-helpless in a hospital, they'll freak out and passive-aggressively drive the staff crazy until the staff shuns them. A sic

      • "The only way to meaningfully improve the healthcare of aspies is to empower them to take direct control"

        Looking at your account, induced comma probably would also work.

        • "The only way to meaningfully improve the healthcare of aspies is to empower them to take direct control"

          Looking at your account, induced comma probably would also work.

          Note that, lumbar punctuation does carry a risk of infection, known as serial comma.

      • Aspies also tend to be extreme control freaks about anything that involves their healthcare

        One has to wonder then if there is a correlation between the diagnosis rates and any of the mortality data. Doctors for sure are diagnosing autism more frequently than ever before.

        I am almost certainly somewhere on the spectrum. I really dont trust doctors much, and dentists not at all.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @10:21PM (#51740661)

    They seem to specifically be pushing the suicide part of the story, perhaps because it plays well in the media and elicits the most sympathy. But the article also says people on the autism spectrum are 20 to 40 times more likely to suffer from other brain disorders such as epilepsy - and people affected by that have a life expectancy of only 39 years.

    • I have an older female cousin who I believe was un-diagnosed with HFA. She was very quiet/loner and never left the farm she grew up on- she killed herself in her late thirties. Yeah, I know it's just an anecdote. Other studies have shown that autism seems to have a more negative long term effect on women. It's a big concern because it seems to run in our family and my son was diagnosed with HFA/PDD.
  • I always knew it, those evil people at the suicide hotline are responsible for the raising incidence of Autism. Something should definitely be done about it!

  • Surviving autism (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GGarand ( 577082 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @11:35PM (#51740951)
    I consider myself extremely lucky to have succeeded in raising my boy, who suffers from a mild type of autism (Aspberger's syndrome), past his 18th year.

    At age 6, this boy ran on the frail gutter of a roof, 15 meters from the ground. He escalated a radiator, opened the window and just took a walk on the gutter, and he foresaw absolutely no danger in doing it..
    Ten years later, after having narrowly escaped a dozen of such 'accidents', he did it again.
    He walked on the roof border from the bathroom window to the room where is computer was locked out.
    And again, he did not feel any sense of danger. He told me he just wanted his computer.

    There is a reason why autism, even in it's mildest forms, is still regarded as a disorder. It might help you wrap your mind with better intensity around some problems. But that comes at the cost of your awareness to... well, pretty much everything else.
    And that doesn't help you to survive, that's for sure.
    • by quax ( 19371 )

      Funny this reminds me more of my own childhood. I broke my arms ten times.

      Then again I was always mortified by falling when I pulled stunts like this.

      Odd thing is, and I am very grateful for this, my boy who has been diagnosed with being on the spectrum, has actually a lot of common sense. Wouldn't say he'd never do anything like that, but he is generally quite prudent.

      In fact, when he was little, about five or six, he would take warnings so to heart that he'll get obsessive about it. I warned him of the

    • Thankfully, my son has never done anything as dangerous as this. I think the worst was when we made an offhand comment about how long his hair was getting and then he approached us asking "What do I do with this?" He had somehow reached the scissors (placed where we thought they would be out of his reach - they weren't) and gave himself a haircut. We had to make a quick run to a local place at about 7pm to get his hair properly cut so he wouldn't look horrible.

      Five year olds do NOT give themselves good h

    • There is a reason why autism, even in it's mildest forms, is still regarded as a disorder. It might help you wrap your mind with better intensity around some problems

      And I'm willing to bet it's really only in a few cases it helps you with some class of problems ... many autistic people pretty much need to be cared for their entire lives.

      This overly romanticized notion that autism is a gift for all who have it needs to be fixed; you're probably more likely to have some pretty debilitating issues.

      I knew a kid

  • Communication is the cornerstone of medical diagnosis.

  • by Daniel Matthews ( 4112743 ) on Sunday March 20, 2016 @11:55PM (#51741021)
    While "normal" only includes one way of looking at the world you are always going to have others who will be made to feel like outsiders, and if they feel like that it will be harder for them to reach out to others when they do need help.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is why we have such a challenge getting over the hurdle of doing good science, getting it published, and the understanding of the condition and it's implications becoming well understood enough that we have any hope of doing anything about it to improve the lives of future generations.

    The challenge I am speaking of is that of science results being judged as sexist or victim shaming or otherwise prejudicial when nature does not operate that way.

    In order to understand complex developmental illnesses and

  • ... they did not diagnose it back then.

    He missed his hundreds birthday by a couple months.

    A very prominent person on the spectrum Paul Dirac [wikipedia.org] died at the ripe age of 82.

    The wide spread diagnosis of Aspergers and Autism disorder only gained traction well into the second half of the 20th century. This makes the data basis inherently skewed.

  • by Adam C ( 4306581 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @01:42AM (#51741329)
    Autistica are the British name for Autism Speaks. They are a 'charity' staffed almost entirely by NTs. (they currently have two token autistic board members (out of 40)) They hoover up all the donations from well meaning people but spend only 3% of the money they get on actually helping autistic people. Of the rest, over 40% goes on eugenics research intended to wipe us out and most of the rest on advertising and fat salaries ($400K+ in some cases) for their directors. They also make dehumanising videos about autism which completely misrepresent what it is (for example portraying meltdowns as the norm of autistic behaviour when in reality they're anything but) and are proponents of ABA, an abusive therapy which involves training children like dogs and results in depression, PTSD and worse. Do not believe a damn word they say and ffs, don't give them any money. Give it to ASAN if you're in America or Autistic UK if you're in Britain, both organisations actually run by autistic people.
    • Ugh. I can't stand Autism Speaks. Up until recently, they clung to the "vaccines cause autism" mantra. Even when they ditched it, they still left the door slightly ajar. Something along the lines of "while no scientific studies support this, we should still look into it more." (Not giving their site the page views to look up their exact statement.) They view people with Autism as "damaged", "broken", and less than "normal" people.

      Whenever I see a charity in support of Autism, I always get excited and t

  • by Harold Halloway ( 1047486 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @03:23AM (#51741529)

    Chronic stress is known to shorten the life-span of humans. Living in a world that you find confusing, difficult and alien is very stressful, this I know from personal experience.

  • Not surprising (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) *

    "Autistic people with no learning disabilities are nine times more likely to die from suicide compared to the rest of the population, the report states."

    That's hardly surprising. Unlike 'normal' people, they concentrate all the attention to the job at hand, even if it's the job to killing yourself, so it's normal if they have higher 'success' rates.

  • I have friends who are autistic and most have food issues. Some only eat white food, some won't mix food colors on the plate, etc.

    As they get diabetes, it's very hard for those who only eat carbs to manage it. And what they eat isn't really a choice for them. There may be some tricky way to educate them but short of that it's the only way they can eat.

  • "Autistic people with no learning disabilities are nine times more likely to die from suicide compared to the rest of the population"

    It's because the main part of society doesn't understand us. They treat us like crap, walk all over us, they apply their motives to us and treat us as liars even when we're more honest. We're bullied from our childhood because "we're different".

  • Because they are worn down by a society that refuses to make a place for them and allow them to earn a decent living and become productive members of society. And you get to a point where you're just tired of constantly being on the outside looking in, as the lives of everyone you know evolves and grows and you're stuck in the same place you've been for 25+ years, with absolutely no hope of things getting any better.

  • "I'm taking AP Math and Chemistry, I plan to graduate college at 20, med school by 23 and have my own practice at 25."

    "That's nothing, I plan to be dead by 30."

  • Given that autism is currently recognized much more often in boys than in girls (whether or not this reflects actual incidence is unclear), and that men are much more likely to succeed at committing suicide, I wonder how much of that "nine times more likely" is simply because it has more men and how much is genuine risk.

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