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Independence Can Help

  • Posted on February 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Results from a recent study reveal a not-so-surprising conclusion with two different primary points:

For adults with autism, having the chance to work somewhat independently may lead to a reduction in symptoms of the disorder, a new study suggests.

The research puts new emphasis on the potential for adults with autism to develop and improve over their lifetimes, said study author Julie Lounds Taylor, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. (emphasis added)

Basically, researchers are discovering that autism symptoms are not static, even long after the supposed recovery period touted by many children’s therapy promoters. Adults with autism can make substantial, life-changing gains when given the chance. Even less surprisingly, that chance comes in part by the growth of independence, when that growing independence is properly supported and when the source of that independence involves “the right fit between a person’s abilities and interests and a specific job.”

I knew that! I live that!

Yes, yes, I know research is an important aspect of proving that to the world. But, as the parent of three children with autism, I know that their growth and development isn’t over just because they’ve outgrown the “recovery phase” that was drilled into my head when they were young. I also know that the way to further their abilities is to give the opportunities to pursue their interests, with support. So, I’m glad the researchers are looking and finding what I and many other autism parents have learned by living.