Elon Musk is the most recent celebrity to publicly discuss a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. By taking this courageous step, the tech entrepreneur has helped make the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) room bigger, contributing to awareness and discussion of the condition around the world, and helping others with ASD feel less alone.
Autism spectrum disorder includes several conditions that were considered distinct diagnoses until the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013. Since the release of the DSM-5, professionals who work with children on the autism spectrum have accepted Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) as part of ASD rather than as separate conditions.
MyAutismTeam members often discuss the long, confusing process of seeking an autism diagnosis. “Took my daughter to the doctor to discuss ASD,” one member wrote. “From reading and researching, I thought Asperger's was the best fit/description. The doctor said they did away with the Asperger label. Every time I think I'm making progress, I find that I'm taking one step forward and two back!”
Since MyAutismTeam launched in 2011, the network has grown to become over 121,000 members strong — that's a big room! Just as Elon Musk’s announcement amplifies the voice of those with ASD, each new member on MyAutismTeam makes the community stronger.
Without an autism community, it can be easy to feel isolated, like you're the only family dealing with autism behaviors and symptoms. Whether you have spoken directly with other members or not, by joining MyAutismTeam and reading shared experiences, you have become part of the community.
Here are a few easy actions you can take to welcome and support other members:
Together we make a stronger community!
On MyAutismTeam, over 121,000 people who live with ASD or care for someone who does come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with autism.
Are you or a loved one living with autism? Share your experiences in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.
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