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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Are We Teaching Autism?

Autism in 2002 rates were 1:150, today the rate is 1:68. What can be causing the drastic increase in cases of Autism?

Autism is real and many families battle it on a daily bases. The social deficits isolate many, as they battle to find a way to fit in today’s society, but soon will they be the norm with no need to fit in.
We as a society are evolving, as we strive for convenience. Do we need social skills, have they become no longer a necessity of life?

Stores now give you the ability to shop and then use self-checkouts, no longer needing that ability to socially interact with another person. You can walk into a store and back out without interacting sociably with another human being.

The way we communicate with each other has evolved, as the number of times we text someone surpasses the number of times we actually call and talk to someone. Do we need this social skill anymore or has it become obsolete?

Our ability to purchase all our needs online, has allowed us the convenience of not leaving our homes to purchase almost anything we can imagine at the touch of our keypad. Do we need the social skills that use to be a necessity to purchase items at a store? Have these to become obsolete?

We have the convenience of doing all our banking needs online or through an app on our smart phones, we have advanced so far that we can even take a picture of our cheques we want to deposit and do it without ever having to visit a bank. We no longer need the social skills that would have been necessary to perform these tasks in the past. Have these social skills become no longer a necessity? Have we evolved past them?

We have social media and email to communicate with our colleagues, friends and family. We have access to this information through the touch of our keypad and have the ability to share with others in the same matter, with never having the need to connect in person, as the convenience makes things easier in our busy lives. Have we though in our need to make things easier given up something?

When my son was diagnosed in 2002 with Autism there was a great divide between the social skills we would need to teach him to meet the needs of survival in today’s society, this divide has shrunk greatly over the years as we as a society strive to make things quicker and easier.

By making things quicker and easier we have unwittingly removed the need to learn social skills, skills not needed are not used, if not used they inevitably are not retained and eventually never being needed to be learned.

Have we as a society started down a path that we will no longer need to teach our children with Autism social skills, as we teach society to be Autistic?