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April 2011



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April 18, 2011|By Karen Weintraub, Globe Correspondent

Q. How is your latest book about having Asperger’s syndrome different from your first, “Look Me in the Eye’’?

A. I resolved to write a book that answered the people who asked for more insight. I felt that by elucidating how [my autistic traits] affect me, it would allow people insight into other people in their lives, and might thereby offer them an opportunity to find their own path out of disability.

Q. You emphasize that Asperger’s slows down development, but that people with it can catch up eventually.

A. Life stank for me when I was little and I see how much better it’s gotten with understanding and wisdom and practice and age. I want to show young people today that life does get better. I want them to be able to see examples of people like me.

Q. But not everyone will be as successful as you’ve been in turning what some see as a disability into a career as a best-selling author, public speaker, and car restorer.

A. It’s certainly true that not everyone will emerge in the way that I have, but it’s generally true that the vast majority of people with any kind of autistic disorder improve with age. Autism is a condition where we’ll always be autistic, we will not always be disabled.

Q. You seem to bristle at the talk of finding a cure to autism.

A. When you talk about a cure for something that is really the way you are and the way you were born, it’s sort of like telling your kid what a piece of trash your ex-husband is. The kid knows the ex-husband is half him, therefore anything bad about the ex-husband is him. If you say how evil or ugly the autism is, well that’s you. And so, I suggest that talk about autism as disease and talk about autism as cure has a powerfully corrosive effect on people who are touched by it.

Q. You offer a lot of tips in your book on how to fit in socially.

A. I think we need to learn how to behave in society such that society will accept us, and that will tremendously improve our quality of life.

It’s very important that we learn to behave in ways that society will accept while still remaining true to ourselves.

Read in Full: http://articles.boston.com/2011-04-18/lifestyle/29444348_1_autistic-traits-autism-car-restorer

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