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To think it's neither helpful nor accurate to describe this condition as 'the opposite of autism'...

(13 Posts)
LauraStora Sat 05-Apr-14 22:34:20

...given that my autistic child has quite a few of its listed effects, and to give a hollow laugh at this article's reference to a 'surge in funding' for autism services. No surge in funding, and very few services, and no access to disability nurses, and no space with OTs, SALTs, respite etc where I live, I can assure you.

Yes, it's a condition and it needs support but why go all 'ooh look at autism stealing all the goodies when we get none'. It's not true and shouldn't all those with disabilities and their advocates be on the same side, rather than competing for sympathy and money?

LauraStora Sat 05-Apr-14 22:38:08

My autistic child is caring - check; anxious - check; unable to go out alone - check; has sensory issues - check; Difficulty with spatial relations, numbers and abstract reasoning - check; late to walk, talk and use the toilet - check; cognitive ability does not match linguistic skills - check.

So not 'the opposite' then, unless you reduce autism to 'shit at parties' as this article seems to have done.

Goldmandra Sat 05-Apr-14 22:42:02

I most certainly wouldn't have identified as opposite to Autism but journalists don't give two hoots about facts.

stillenacht Sat 05-Apr-14 22:42:58

Agree totally Laura. My DS is the same-anxious, sociable, reacts to sensory stimuli in unexpected ways. Yet he has LF autism....

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Sat 05-Apr-14 23:01:21

It's incredibly unhelpful and potentially harmful. The two conditions are in no way related at their origins and are only opposite in that WS has obvious physical features and genetic cause and autism doesn't. They have more in common than they do different.

It's the old thing of autistic people being seen as robots/shells, it's the lazy journalism that can't tell the difference between cognitive empathy and other types of empathy. It's also quite typical journalism in that it appears to be driving already struggling groups into conflict and pushing the public into having an opinion against one side. Very frustrating article.

Broen Sat 05-Apr-14 23:06:41

Wow, I can see why it's described as the opposite of autism, as when somebody told me about it recently, that is what popped in to my head and I have a child on the spectrum.

The author shouldn't have mentioned frustration at funding for autism though!!!!!

My son is affectionate and funny but he is not friendly to strangers and he is suspicious of strangers making small talk and he would never, ever wander off with a stranger, so I can see why some people describe it as the opposite of autism, That doesn't offend me.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 05-Apr-14 23:16:38

yanbu. what else can i add?

DoJo Sat 05-Apr-14 23:18:56

I think the language used is a sort of short-cut which plays to people's stereotypical understanding of people with autism. With people thinking of the 'classic' symptoms of autism being failure to make eye contact, difficulty engaging with people and a desire to interact less than someone NT, I suppose the most obvious characteristics of Williams Syndrome are opposite.

Forgive me if I am massively misunderstanding (I don't have regular contact with anyone who has either condition) but it sounds as though people with autism and people with Williams Syndrome are actually likely to suffer from very similar problems in terms of sensory processing, forming healthy relationships with other people and being accepted by others for who they are rather than being judged. If they weren't so keen to brand WS as the antithesis of ASDs, then could it be possible that resources for carers and practical support could include both?

manicinsomniac Sat 05-Apr-14 23:44:23

I've never heard of William's Syndrome but surely ASD, by definition, cannot have an opposite - being a spectrum and all! We are all on it somewhere aren't we?

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 06-Apr-14 04:21:57

There is a spectrum of autisms but we are not all on the autistic spectrum. If we have autism we present somewhere on the autistic spectrum; if we don't have autism then we are not on the autistic spectrum.


Yy lazy stereotyping in article.

PolterGoose Sun 06-Apr-14 08:22:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hazeyjane Sun 06-Apr-14 08:49:48

It seems a real shame that in trying to raise awareness of one condition, other conditions are described inaccurately and portrayed as almost being in competition with other conditions.

lionheart Sun 06-Apr-14 09:55:23

It is the chief exec of the charity rather than the journalist who makes those points, though, isn't it?

Makes it worse really but I can understand her frustration.

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