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Are Co-occurring Conditions Part of Autism?

This article was recently shared on twitter. It's a couple years old but I thought it was interesting especially when you consider the way autism is defined compared to what non autistic people often think it is. The article talks about the many co-occurring conditions that autistic individuals may have and yet those conditions are not actually autism and that you're more likely to get a diagnosis for autism if you have other conditions co-occurring with autism. And that includes conditions like intellectual disability that are not actually part of autism and affect a relatively small percentage of autistic individuals.

I've been thinking about this alot since we received those links providing us with resources for 'autism and/or intellectual disability'. Most autistic individuals do not have an intellectual disability but could still use some support, I think. It seems people think if you're functioning at all, you're fine and don't need support. I think that's why such high numbers of autistic adults have depression and anxiety.

When I look at those links I don't know if I would have qualified for the AccessAbility Support (AAS) Program necessary for any assistance but I really really could have used some support of some kind when I built my house. And now as I'm getting older there are, no doubt decisions I should be making and I don't have the support system I should have to help me. Well, in general I think autistic people have difficulty planning for the future and although there's more help nowadays for younger autistic adults there's still isn't much (or anything) for older adults and seniors.

Anyway I'm not explaining myself very well but I love to know what others think. Please comment. Here's the article written by Maxfield Sparrow

"Sometimes when I’m talking with someone about autism it feels like we’re talking about two different things. For example, I’ve had countless conversations that go something like this:

“You’re nothing like my child. My child has the serious kind of autism,” they might open with.
“Autism is serious stuff,” I respond. “It’s important to take it seriously.”
“No, I mean my child has the autism with digestive stuff and physical involvement. The severe autism.”
“I have intermittent gastroparesis that has sent me to the hospital multiple times. I have a connective tissue disorder that has caused pelvic organ prolapse. These things aren’t autism.”

And it’s the truth: the co-occurring conditions we cope with are not autism; they are the “genetic hitchhikers” that love to travel with autism. Even being non-speaking—a trait that some people view as the true core of autism—is due to conditions that more frequently occur among those of us with developmental disabilities such as autism or cerebral palsy. However it is not autism itself that prevents speech, but rather these “hitchhikers” like apraxia and extreme sensory processing issues."

Please see the rest of the article here: Are Co-occurring Conditions Part of Autism?

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