Technology began helping some formerly non-speaking autistics to communicate. A small minority remain unable to communicate effectively and it's no doubt a source of great frustration for both those autistics and their families. So far, research has brought that group little relief.
John Elder Robison
Footnote: There are many other philanthropists funding autism research, and I mean no disrespect or marginalization to those not mentioned in this article. As many as there are, I stand by the article's premise that a new "primary need" is emerging in the autism community and we need philanthropy to rally to it..
John Elder Robison is an autistic adult and advocate for people with neurological differences. He's the author of Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, Raising Cubby, and the forthcoming Switched On. He serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Dept of Health and Human Services and many other autism-related boards. He's co-founder of the TCS Auto Program (A school for teens with developmental challenges) and he’s the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
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.