Yes - I have always rebelled against applying these stereotypes to my autistic child because they don't seem to get at the truth of anything that he does. Yes, he likes things that spin. But this is not an activity with no meaning - sometimes it is a visual stim, but at other times it is an interest in how machines work, at other times it's an interest in windmills, etc. He's never been all that interested in lining things up, but for a while he did like to create parking lots fun of his toy cars and arrange them in a certain way. Of course, my allistic son also sometimes lines things up because he is imaging animals in a parade or what have you. The stereotypes are ways of dismissing and being incurious about what autistic children are actually interested in.
I think stereotypes also help professionals to dismiss things. "They do that because they are Autistic" means we don't look any further and identify what purpose the behaviour serves for the person, and makes it easier to target the behaviour as inappropriate.
I know for me growing up "different" I fought so hard to even come close to "fitting in." My son is growing up in a really different world. one where post like this and parenmts like us accept and celebrate ALL children FOR THEMSELVES and JUST AS THEY ARE...Amazing!
I really hope that our kids generation is not still fighting the same battles my Autistic friends are...... Our acceptance as their parents is the first step
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