English Composition I
20 October 2012
Controversies of Autism Categorization
When most people think of individuals with autism, they have a general idea that these individuals are strange and are all mentally retarded because they do not interact and behave the same way as someone who is non-autistic. Should autism be categorized as one general unit or a spectrum of different levels? The individuals diagnosed with autism should not be placed under the same general category because this disorder affects each individual at different degrees and should depend on the severity, as well as symptoms. Autistic disorder, or autism, is a severe form of psychopathology evident before the age of 3 years. It is a complex and incurable constellation of bizarre behaviors, impaired cognition, limited language and most distressingly, a lack of responsiveness to other people (Schreibman 2005). Autism is classified into different levels of spectrum which depends on the severity and what exactly affects the diagnosed patient as far as abilities and specific skills. Temple Grandin is a professor, author and animal behavior consultant with a PH.D in animal science and works in the cattle ranch industry designing chutes and slaughterhouses to help reduce animal stress and smooth the process of animal slaughter. She also has high-functioning autism which is a form of autism without mental retardation, but with a clear delay or impairment of language acquisition at an early stage in development (Notardaeme, Wriedt, Hohne 2009). In her essay “Thinking in Pictures,” she discusses how her advanced visualization abilities have helped her throughout her life, especially during school and in her career. Early in her essay she says that one of the most profound mysteries of autism has been the remarkable ability of most autistic people to excel at visual spatial skills while performing so poorly at verbal skills (Grandin 648). Her idea that her “video library” (649), as she...