Growing Out Of Autism

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Autism Awareness Month.


Many people seem to make this argument that somehow Aspies and others on the Autistic Spectrum (or who were diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum … still can’t make heads or tails out of the DSM-5 thing … ) somehow “outgrow” their symptoms and gradually become somewhat “less Autistic.” I submit that some of those on the spectrum, if anything, do not grow *out of* but rather, *grow into* their symptoms.

I can think of two examples that spotlight this. One is restlessness. As a kid, I was restless and hyper. This was mainly because I couldn’t control the thought cloud. Yet, as an adult, I am still restless, but I play the Wii, write many blogs, respond to articles on LinkedIn and Facebook, listen to music, watch a movie, and watch or listen to news on a daily basis — and that’s just in one day — and sometimes, all at once! This is how I have *grown into* my symptoms.

Another example is the oft-cited kids running out of the house for no explicable reason scenario (sometimes referred to as “bolting“).  I had episodes like that when I was a kid (usually caused by frustration and the need to escape), and still do feel the need to escape. But, as an adult, I *grew into* these symptoms because now I can walk anywhere I want (usually to Starbucks) for no other reason at all, other than I feel like leaving my house.

I submit to you that these are two examples, not only of what some call “maturing” (in a sense), but also being able to do the same things as an adult that you did as a kid–the only difference being that, as an adult, it is somehow somewhat more “appropriate” — thus, you grow INTO a symptom, and not OUT OF it.


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