There Are Still People That Don’t Believe in Autism

Of all the people who I encounter the people who don’t believe in Autism are the hardest to deal with. Like the Tooth Fairy or some other mythological creature, they say “Autism is something that doctors make up to give drugs to kids who weren’t raised right”.

They don’t understand that Autistic brains are physically and chemically different than “normal brains”. The non-believers don’t understand genetics, psychology or temperament. You can’t explain the science because they often don’t believe in science either.

As I stand in front of them they tell me that I “just need more practice” or am “not trying hard enough”. Sometimes they blame my problems on my parents for raising me wrong, which isn’t far since everyone in my life did the best they could.

My best is never good enough for these people and my pleas for help are only excuses to them. Toxic people, who may mean well, frustrating me beyond all reason enjoying their ignorance.

This has got to change. Autism is a real thing. I am a real person. I am doing my best and it’s all I’ve got.

How is it that in this day and age there are still people who don’t believe in Autism?

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103 thoughts on “There Are Still People That Don’t Believe in Autism”

  1. And then the other people come along and tell you you’re exaggerating about the people who don’t believe in autism 😉

    Yeah, I’m one of those crap parents that made my kid like that… I don’t give her the birthday parties that she doesn’t want, I don’t take her to the fireworks displays that she’s scared of, really cruel neglectful stuff like that…

    Great blog x

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Well this goes for mental illnesses too. Even recently I heard someone in his 70’s say depression is just in the head, meaning its imaginary !!! There are so many, so called educated professionals who still don’t believe that mental illnesses are real. And yes explaining them scientifically there is no point.
    Only thing is, none of us can prove or have to prove to these ignorant people. There is all sorts of people in them and we cant prove or please all of them. As long as we know who we are and that we are truthful we go about in our life as and how we can. There are plenty out there who are aware, like us who are writing here on our blogs. Have Faith and do what is best for you and the best you can 🙂
    There are good and the bad every where in all walks of life. We cannot please all. We don’t have to. All we need to do is to lead our life as best as we can. Much Love, Light and Healing Energies from me 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The problem is that a climate of disbelief infects the very people tasked with diagnosing a treating. Our “best we can” could be a whole lot better if it were easier to identify our challenges in the first place, and the shame-and-blame game weren’t so ever-present.

      I call them “Tinkerbell Comments” – like Peter Pan’s little friend will die if enough people don’t clap her into existence by believing in her. (There’s a post on my blog with this title – but you’ll you’ll have to use the search box to find it).

      I have been fighting the STIGMA of “disbelief” by spreading education and awareness for over 25 years now. Will it NEVER end?

      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to transform a world!”

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you SO much for sharing! This is an EXTREMELY important issue. I think a HUGE part of the problem, at least for me, is that people do not understand how the human brain works. So when they say things like “all in your head” I’m like – YEAH duh that’s the problem. hahaha. Right? Is it just me?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You are most welcome. I don’t understand the lack of willingness to understand, personally (and find it VERY sad).

          Are they afraid if they admit a disorder could be “invisible,” that might mean they are not perfect themselves (and are in denial about it)? Or is it that, while it is certainly a struggle to overcome mental challenges of ANY sort, even a short bout of a down mood, that too many believe that because they themselves “could” everyone else “should” be able to overcome similarly?

          It is also difficult for me to understand how anyone can be ignorant of brain-basics, given how much publicity they have gotten. EVEN if they don’t read, there’s a lot on TED, etc.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

        2. It’s also in our physical brains. Studies show changes in areas of the brain in people with PTSD, addiction, depression. Those are what I’m familiar with. It would be interesting to see studies on autism. We’d probably see the same type of thing

          Like

    2. Mental illness and autism are totally different. Autism is how that person thinks and always will whereas mental illness is in many cases temporary if they get the right treatment. In other words you can do something about mental health but not autism

      Liked by 2 people

        1. True:) it’s an important difference though. People with autism can be perfectly happy in themselves but those who are unhappy suffer from mental health problems.

          I work with people who are autistic and they are great people

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Anxiety is a symptom of mental illness or autism or something else not a diagnosis. Get rid of the reason for the anxiety and it disappears.

            For example with autism a person can be very highly functioning in one environment but in another they can experience anxiety

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          2. Can I ask how do you treat anxiety? You can only do it by understanding what causes the anxiety in the first place. The cause is the real diagnosis, the rest are symptoms and will disappear

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      1. Just wanted to add that mental illness is not temporary, it’s chronic, but it is often treatable and can be managed. (I’m pretty sure that’s what you meant). With autism, there is nothing really to treat or manage, as it’s not an illness. My son lives with the double whammy of being neuro-diverse (not neurotypical), and also lives with anxiety and panic disorder.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. There is nothing temporary about being bipolar or schizophrenic. My mother was bipolar until the day she died. Some years meds helped mitigate the highs and lows, sometimes they were useless. The only thing I know of that can make a real difference with mental illness is energy healing.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. Yes I agree that some mental illness is permanent, or at least we don’t live long enough to recover. However things like anxiety and depression are temporary. My father is also bipolar but he manages to control his symptoms without the use of medication

            Liked by 2 people

          3. Kudos to your father. That’s wonderful! My mother had to take medication; and even with it, she was hospitalized 4 or 5 times (mostly for mania, once for depression). In the end, she took her life. I see many more people today being much more open about mental health, and I sincerely hope that (even with the ignorance still out there) with more conversation, there will be more compassion and understanding, and people who live with these challenges will get better support.

            Liked by 3 people

          4. You’re part of why there’s so much stigma regarding mental health. It’s not about being strong enough. Yes healing is possible but there’s a high incidence of relapse. There is also changes in the physical structure of the brain as well as neurotransmitters Mental health issues are “diagnosable “. and aren’t just in a
            persons’ head.

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          5. I said that didn’t i? Or weren’t you reading? I did not say anything of the kind.

            Anyway, the structural change is NOT permanent. By definition a persons mental health problem is in their head.

            I am typing this as a support worker and as someone who has dealt with mental health issues in my family and in my experience mental health is entirely beatable.

            If you were to read what I say you would see my message as positive not negative.

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          6. In my opinion you are part of why there is so many excuses for people not recovering.

            For people to recover from mental health problems, they need to build a life for themselves outside of their head. If you live inside your head, you won’t get better

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          7. You have no idea about my journey or the treatment of mental health. Or what it is. Or the most part, every diagnosis will have relapses. There are exceptions. Did you know depression in remission is likely to occur? PTSD can get to the point of better function but there will always be symptoms. And can relapse in certain situations.

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          8. You’re hardly acting professionally. And, no. The difference is instead of belittling and insulting, he acknowledges the struggles and actually supports people instead. Your behavior is also unethical. You’re attacking someone over the Internet with no clue what the treatment status is or how the individual is doing.

            Another thought: why are you still pursing this? Why is “winning” this discussion so important to you? I mentioned earlier I wanted to quit.

            I’m done. Stop replying.

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          9. Again, read what I’m saying. If you think it’s belittling you then you are mistaken.

            If you was following the topic you would know that we were talking about specific mental health problems. But you just jumped in with your own agenda.

            I don’t believe that mollycoddling is always the best way to support someone

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          10. Stop. If I could block comments from you going into my inbox I would. So, again. If you are a professional mental health worker, follow your code of conduct. You’ve been asked to stop.

            Do it.

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          11. I’m saying some mental health problems aren’t “real diagnoses” i have supported people with these issues for years and I’m telling you Molly coddling and making excuses is not the way to go.

            They need real world changes in their routine, they need to reach out to their families no matter what, they need normality no matter how difficult that can be for them to begin with.

            If you carry on telling them they will never get better then you have a self fulfilling prophecy on your hands

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      2. Mental health issues tend to relapse though. They can also change the physical structures of the brain. The brain can be re-wired but it is long term and symptoms must be controlled for it to work fully.

        I’ve had depression off and on for years. I’ve had PTSD since the trauma. I don’t choose them. I fight for healing every day.

        schizophrenia is forever. It can be controlled by medication but never is cured.

        Like

  3. This such a fantastic blog, and I am thrilled that you are engaging others through your cathartic and expressive writing. Your honesty is refreshing and reassuring, too. No one can define you, who you are, or your ‘diagnosis’ either. Neither can any ‘diagnosis define you, your potential, uniqueness, or your perspective. These are all personal, and let me say this: Acceptance won’t come from everyone, but those who do accept and respect you will matter and benefit from being allowed into your world. At the same time, the most important thing is that you love and accept yourself, and only expect respect from the outsiders. Chase your dreams, and know there are people who appreciate you through your writing, if nothing else. Autism does Speak! Let us all listen closely!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Its so ironic to me. Everyone always tells me that they love the honesty in my writing. I think that actually comes from the Autism. I’ve always been a fairly straight forward person. I don’t like lies and am not very good at lying. Thank you so much for reading.

      Liked by 6 people

  4. My blog has a Facebook page where I post some of the things I write. Mostly I post things I read that I like and feel may help someone. I have a list of my favorite authors that I call my ” Huckleberries ” I added you to that list. I ask permission first but I forgot to ask you. My bad. I hope you let me keep you on the list and post what you write. Many people are asking about you. Overnight you have become a rock star!!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’ve recently found a lot of info about autism and it’s something I identify with so much. I’m not diagnosed and probably will never try though I’d like too as, though my mum does believe in autism and agrees that I fit nearly all of the traits commonly found in females (and it explains so much from my childhood) she believes everyone’s a little autistic. And if she’d been a better mum then somehow I’d have been fine and if I practice more then I’ll get better. It made me so upset so I’ve stopped mentioning it.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Oh my.

    [Snark, directed at the Deludinoids…]

    They don’t “believe” in autism?

    Heh. Apparently, they didn’t get the memo that autism is not a religion?

    [/Snark]

    Keep fighting the good fight, luv 😊 Thank you so much for posting this.
    Cheers,
    ~The Silent Wave ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Hi there, first, I love the photo of the beautiful cat on your page. Second, I think certain people are just afraid of mental illness. They don’t get it and identify being sick with something only that manifests in physical form. I think it is wonderful that you have this blog and that you are expressing and touching others and that its therapeutic for you.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Hang on to your hats, America. You have just elected a president who is not mental health friendly – and intractably ignorant — not likely to listen to anything he doesn’t already believe.

    Anybody in some other English speaking country want to take in me (and my dog) – at least until I can back-fill my American education and learn a few other languages. ::only half-kidding::
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 3 people

      1. This election has upset so many people in so many personal ways. For your particular concern, please remember that health insurance companies are happy with the ACA — Obamacare has delivered more customers and those companies employ powerful lobbyists. They won’t let Obamacare die without a fight. Possibly, T**** will just change a few things, put his name on it, and claim he got rid of it.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. For thirty years I taught high school special education. Many of my students had autism. They were bright, loving, giving young people. They came from families that would do anything to help them become all that they could be. You obviously have a lot going for you and you are the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Surround yourself with people who are willing to listen and understand. Forget those who are blissfully ignorant. They don’t know what they are missing.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. ADHD is a mythological illness but autism is very real. However unless the autism comes with learning disabilities as well, they should not be treated any differently. Just because they struggle to understand certain things and have no social imagination doesn’t excuse them

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder if you have actually read what I said? Autism and Asperger yes very real. However ADHD is a symptom rather than a diagnosis. I have done plenty of research. I support those with autism and my parents fought against me being diagnosed as having ADHD.

        Read the book ADHD does not exit by Richard Saul.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. In my three decades working with ADD, etc., I have read MOST of what has been written about it – books and primary research papers included – and a great deal about the comorbid disorders. Have you?

          Go to the sidebar of my blog and click to download & read the pdf of the position paper signed by 75 noted research scientists, geneticists and doctors who have spent entire careers working with ADD/ADHD. (btw- pages of additional references included – PRIMARY, not opinion pieces.)

          ADD/ADHD is one of the Executive Functioning Disorders. Read Yale’s Thomas E. Brown: “Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults” – or the more comprehensive “Attention Deficit Disorders and Comorbidities in Children, Adolescents, and Adults (for clinicians)

          YES, one problem is that it is currently diagnosed by looking at the symptom profile. That does NOT mean that it is a bogus dx.

          It may not be YOUR dx, but please don’t conclude that it is not a valid dx for a great many others – like ME, for example.
          xx,
          mgh
          (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
          – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
          “It takes a village to educate a world!”

          Like

          1. There is no proof that ADHD exists as a diagnosis. By diagnosing it as a disorder you are damning a whole generation of children to be drugged up for much of their life.

            ADHD is a great money maker for the pharmaceutical giants

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          2. I haven’t the time to siphon through endless page blogs on the matter. All I need is the facts. There is no physical proof that ADHD exists on its own. Rather than deal with the actual problem young children have we label them and drug them to their detriment. Some system we have.

            Like

          3. Danny – the pdf is a paper by SCIENTISTS, not one of the “endless page-blogs” — but a reluctance to read it is telling.

            Closed minds cannot be moved off their confirmation bias. (seeing only those things that confirm previously held beliefs). I hope you will reconsider and look at the science.

            Over and OUT.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. If you’re experiencing it, it’s real. It’s that simple. No one knows your body and its symptoms better than you. I always tell people that scientific articles, doctors, healers, and other folks are great for providing insight into your situation but it is you who knows what’s really going on. Trust your intuition, trust your process, and have faith in yourself to do what’s best for you.

    This stigma is still around in the mental health arena as well. I ignore the labels and non-labels. How are you feeling? Let’s work with that.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. The Mighty printed it, but with word changes near the end. Was that you, or did they edit it?

    Not taking political sides here but just a humorous note, Trump owns property in Scotland and this was the rather understated announcement: “Aberdeenshire business owner wins presidential election”.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I will occasionally add paragraph formatting to make a comment more easily readable for those who struggle with long text strings, or to highlight something I don’t want other readers to miss.

        But, except for correcting the occasional and obvious typo, the words remain unchanged (and I always disclose that I have edited and WHAT I have edited.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

          1. That works too! As long as the intent of the words remains the same, I believe it is well within the bounds of integrity, either way.

            Even so-called “direct quotes” have a convention where elipses […] are inserted to indicate deletions [and added] words are bracketed – English teacher approved. 🙂

            xx,
            mgh

            Liked by 1 person

  13. The ignorance out there is astounding. When my son was young, he might have qualified on the spectrum because he has sensory processing disorder and couldn’t handle any transitions for the longest time. When he was seven, I discovered energy healing, and that has helped him feel more comfortable in his body, and more at ease in general. He does also have ADD, learning disabilities and anxiety and panic attacks. (A neuropsychologist who evaluated him when he was 10 said he was not on the spectrum). I recently found a healer who just might be helping my son reduce his anxiety and panic attacks. Time will tell on that one. Thank you for your blog, and for helping to educate the world.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. They say the best thing you can do for someone is to educate them, but its hard to say what do when the person doesn’t want to be educated. I know how you feel, sometimes when I try to explain to people that I have OCD they just give a strange look and say that I’m just being difficult. I’m not but they won’t listen. I feel its better to ignore these people, we have enough on our plate, we don’t need the extra strife.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have some OCD with my Autism. Mostly intrusive thoughts. I’m good at resisting compulsions (but I give in to all the harmless ones). I enjoy my routines and rituals and am happiest when everything is “just so”. People don’t get it. The nagging that I can’t turn off. I have become a master of pretending that everything is ok even when my mind is some place else.

      Liked by 4 people

  15. Anyone who doubted autism exists would only need to come to dinner with my extended family. There are are shades there, including neuro-typicals. I’m not sure where I fit in as I have a neurological condition, hydrocephalus. I have some sensory processing issues but am not on the spectrum.
    This is an aside but have you heard of a novel called “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion? It is told through the eyes of Don Tillman who is on the spectrum somewhere. I was lucky to attend an author dinner and wrote a few posts, which I think you’d enjoy: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/who-is-don-tillman-the-rosie-project-uncovered/?wref=tp
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 3 people

  16. In my experience, people are scared of the truth. There’s still so much ignorance surrounding mental health in general, so people go into denial or shutdown mode. Aspergers is not a disease, you can’t “cure” it and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I know a few parents who are struggling to come to terms with the fact that their child is on the spectrum because of some misguided social perception.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I can’t stand ignorant people. If I weren’t in recovery, trying to be more “mindful”, I would have been a little more pointed…about that point. To hell with those people anyway. Some people are doomed live with the stench of their rottenness…Write On!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s sad and infuriating that there is so much misinformation about Autism and other mental illnesses and the very real pain they cause. Lack of education is part of the problem but I actually think Academics have a lot to answer for in propagating ideas that these conditions are social constructs – I can’t tell you the number of papers I’ve read citing such theories. If you’re going to go down that route you have to apply it to everything, including physical illnesses and yet nobody seems to do that because they know there would be a public outcry – it’s so much easier to decide that something is real when you can see it and measure it by the standards that have currently been agreed upon by science. However, you can argue that EVERYTHING is a social construct, because humans have decided what constitutes illness or wellness and these are ever-evolving concepts, but the point is that it’s all relative to our current paradigm and therefore even if in some alternative universe Autism was celebrated as a blessing rather than a troublesome condition it doesn’t matter because that’s not the experiential reality we’re living in!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I know what you mean. My parents believe in Autism, but not in Asperger’s. They learned the old school definitions and think that Asperger’s children just are behaving badly. I am back living with them and and it makes it quite difficult

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It has always been frustratingly hard to make some people realise the severity of autism. The fact that my brother suffers from this disorder has enabled me to form an opinion when it comes to such discussions. It is absolutely guy wrenching to see some person consider such an impactful illness as a MYTH

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s really not a matter of believing that it exists but more of accepting the fact that it’s there. Some cannot accept that there are people who suffer from this disorder. Not until they are in daily contact with an autistic person do they realize that it’s something that cannot be shaken off like a cold. LMM

    Liked by 1 person

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