Levels of autism symptoms
Originally, only those who were severely withdrawn and living in their own world were considered autistic. Now, milder forms of autism are recognized as well as a broad autism phenotype where people have autistic traits but aren't autistic.
To simplify things, I'll classify the levels as follows:
ASD0 - Broad autism phenotype (BAP) - autistic traits, slow processing speed, problems with nonverbal communication, interpret things literally, rigid, overly conscientious, aloof but don't meet the criteria for ASD
ASD1 - mild (Asperger's syndrome in DSM-IV) - similar to BAP but meets criteria for ASD
ASD2 - moderate (Higher functioning autism) - milder version of classic autism
ASD3 - severe (Classic autism) - socially withdrawn, living in own world, requires substantial support
Experts disagree over whether people with mild Asperger's Syndrome should be considered part of the autism spectrum. Some consider them part of the BAP. I lean toward that position.
What does it mean to recover from autism?
Since people with the BAP are NOT autistic, recovering from autism does NOT mean a person will not have any autistic traits or characteristics of those with the BAP.
Suppose a parent has two children. One is ASD0 and the other is ASD2. If that second child goes from ASD2 to ASD0, it proves that while ASD0 may be genetic, the additional symptoms or increased severity of ASD0 symptoms were not genetic. Those who improve enough to no longer meet the criteria for ASD are considered to have recovered from autism, despite still having autistic traits.
What's I'm NOT claiming:
I am NOT claiming that anyone can recover from mild Asperger's syndrome nor that it would be beneficial to do so. I believe it is close enough to the BAP that I consider it mostly genetic.
What I am claiming:
I believe that autistic brains work differently than the brains of people who aren't autistic and that this difference makes it impossible to understand and relate to people normally.
I'm claiming someone can go from ASD2/ASD3 to ASD0/ASD1, not merely by masking symptoms, adapting, or pretending to be normal but can truly change the way their brain works so that it works the same as non-autistic brains which will allow them to understand people much more easily.
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