I realize that in the haphazard way in which I "research" things that I have no idea what the real universe of research out there looks like, but I'm going to gripe anyway. If I really wanted to know how to understand autism and people with autism, and more importantly, HELP people with autism, I think I would start by trying to distinguish between autistic people who are doing well and those who aren't. Then I think I'd start trying to figure out why. Has anyone done that? I read these studies where a certain percentage of the kids respond well to intervention and others haven't, well ... isn't the obvious question, what's the difference between these kids? But of course, such an investigation could never be a controlled and blinded study, it would be pure fact-gathering. Doesn't anybody do that anymore?
I have 4 year old twins, both boys. They turned 4 in February 2011. When they were 23 months, one was diagnosed with pdd-nos, an autism spectrum disorder. I'm still not sure if I "believe in" the spectrum. I am posting anonymously in order to protect my son's privacy.