The autism spectrum is quite broad. Sometimes people with Autism are regarded as being unintelligent In my limited experience autistic people can be very clever, such as Einstein and Newton. However, because they are often misunderstood, I believe their dignity can be undermined because some people think they are unintelligent.
Totally agree with you Jan. In my experience this is true. I take service users into the community and the hardest part of that is public perception, and the at times egregious behaviour.
I also completely agree with you, I work with service users with autism and some of them are the smartest people I’ve ever met. Just because they have autism doesn’t mean that they cannot hear and retain information. I would also recommend looking into savant syndrome which is very common in people with autism, and in layman’s terms means that they can be an expert in one particular area e.g. trains, science, even medicine. Jan, if you work in health/social care it might be an idea to get some info on savant syndrome and have it readily available for staff to read. People with autism are definitely not unintelligent!!
I have first hand experience with autism, I am in the spectrum and have struggled with "being normal" my entire life. I now have a stable job after 10 years of wondering what I would fit into and work as a support worker. in the time I spent finding my slot in life I mastered a lot of hands on work such as wood turning and blacksmithing but could not sell my work as I cannot work with average minded people and find it hard to sort money and stay on tract.( not to say every one is the same). at the age of 28 I decided to question my existence and see my doctor for a test and I received the result that allowed me to give my self some slack and leave my abstract past behind and craft a new future. i am now happily married with some one who is much older than me and whom respects me for me and is very supportive. I can now see that I'm not stupid just challenged in some areas, the skills i have taught my self i can now pass on to others who i hope can use them in the future.