Autism not an illness

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I was very disappointed to read a brief article in Friday's Juneau Empire that referred to autism as a "poorly understood illness" and a "disease" (page A5). The article, which originated in Philadelphia, perpetuates misguided, inappropriate and incorrect stereotypes.

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Autism is not an illness or a disease. While the origins are not yet fully understood, it is clear that one cannot "catch" autism and that individuals identified as "autistic" are certainly not ill.

I believe that we all manifest some "autistic" characteristics to one degree or another. I know I certainly do.

Scott May


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