In doing so, we demonstrate that there is a spectrum for all the neurodiverse conditions. Some of us are more gifted; others are more disabled. In particular, many of us follow a pattern where we are less disabled the older we get as we learn to adapt to society and use our strengths to offset our weaknesses.
Neurodiverse folks who are enrolled or employed in colleges may be the least disabled of our community, or we may just be the most determined. Or maybe we're just lucky or privileged. Either way, we should be standing as role models - particularly for younger people and parents - to show what's possible. That's the best antidote to talk like "He's autistic; he'll never go to college." While its true that profound disability will leave some of us requiring substantial supports and residential care even as adults, most of us can grow up to live independently and we have great contributions to make.
But many societal hurdles stand in our way, and it's up to this generation to knock them down. We also have medical and psychological challenges, and it's up to us to lead the effort to develop the therapies and treatments we need. Who better than us to articulate our needs and steer the needed research?
The opinions expressed here are his own. There is no warranty expressed or implied. While reading this essay may give you food for thought, actually printing and eating it may make you sick.