The Millennials: Part II*
1980 was the year that ushered in a new generation of Millennials (born 1980-2000). 1980 was also the first year that autism was classified separately from schizophrenia in the DSM-III.
Millennial autistics with normal IQs and language were classified as “mildly autistic,” whereas their intellectually challenged counterparts were simply “autistic.”
According to recent American and Norwegian surveys1, outcomes for “mild autistics” and “autistics” are more or less the same. Adults of both groups remain largely unemployed, unmarried, friendless, unoccupied, and living on public assistance.
Just like talent, IQ and language is overrated—it only helps the ones who practice. Maybe smart autistic children should flex and feed those IQs—make those IQs stronger and fatter. Verbal autistics should hone that vocabulary so sharply, and wield it so hard that it knocks down barriers to social communication. They should have every hour structured to meet milestones and measure progress—working as if their lives hung in the balance, because that’s really true.
We’ve seen many autistics recover.2 We know that smarts aren’t all it takes. We shouldn’t leave the smart ones to their own devices, as we did with so many in the generation of Millennials.
1 People with milder forms of autism struggle as adults
2 Is There a Cure for Autism?
*Search under Categories for the Millennials: Parts I, III, IV, & V