Individuals with autism in the news

What happens to autistic kids when they grow up? Does a kid with substantial verbal impairment have a decent shot at growing up to have a family or a job? Does quality of life get better, worse, or stay the same? What kinds of support or services do middle aged people with autism need? What do they get? Are they happy? Here is just a glimpse at a few grown kids.

“Fox and Friends” reports Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman, is the first Miss America contestant to be diagnosed with Autism. She says it has been a battle she’s been fighting since she was 11. The beauty queen’s platform is to inform others about autism. The beauty queen wasn’t always so accepting of her condition, and indicated that she felt alone growing up.

When he was diagnosed with autism at five years old, Trevor Pacelli knew that his childhood and adolescence would be drastically different than that of his peers. But he never let his disorder hold him back — now 19, Pacelli is a published author. His book, “Six-Word Lessons On Growing Up Autistic: 100 Lessons To Understand How Autistic People See Life,” offers practical guidance for understanding autism, and insight on the way that autistic kids and teens view the world. In the excerpt below, Pacelli shares 10 things you should know about autistic teens.

Stephen Schuman is a successful adult who loves NASCAR racing, his dog, and his family. He works full time as a cook for a small mom-and-pop restaurant. He is ideal for the position because he is meticulous, following each step to the recipes with precision. He is a loving uncle and a popular member of his community who stuns people with his bowling skills.

Years ago, Stephen was diagnosed with severe autism. The doctor suggested that his parents put him in an institution because he would never be able to function normally, nor would he ever speak. Helen Schuman did not agree. She went against the doctor’s suggestions and raised her son without the support or services that are available today. When Steve was six years old, he said his first words while he was sitting in the back seat of the car “Do not pass.”

Lizzy Clark (born 3 April 1994) is an actress from Shrewsbury, England. Clark’s first role was that of Poppy in the film Dustbin Baby. Both Clark and Poppy have Asperger syndrome, and the BBC specifically searched for an actress with the condition to play the part. Since taking the role, Clark has become involved in her mother’s Don’t Play Me, Pay Me campaign, supporting and encouraging actors with disabilities.