I’ve decided that the About page is going to be a work-in-progress. A document that updates because some things need to update. This is an information page that explains who I am, what I’m doing, and why readers should care.
Who I am
My name is John Hattaway. I’m an adult with autism. I refer to myself as ASD, which stands for autism spectrum disorder. I am married and have two children and against what feels like long odds for people diagnosed with ASD, I am far more successful than I believe was expected from a lot of people.
I am not an expert and I have not intent to ever claim to be an expert. What I am is someone who has an interest in ASD. I have a desire to learn as much as I can. I have a need to be able to express ASD in understandable terms. And I know the depth and breadth of my interests and reading will only enhance how I present material.
What I’m doing
I’m writing about being autistic, an adult diagnosed with autism, a parent of an autistic child, and learning as much as I can about ASD and how it affects individuals. My goal is to write until I understand and until everyone else understands this disorder the way I see it. I also want people, parents and educators, family and members of the many different communities in the world, to understand what it means to raise and assist a child with autism.
Except for people (mostly mothers) who I see as very self-interested mourning the ASD diagnosis, being ASD isn’t a life sentence to a subpar existence. It’s not being sent into a world where the possibility of love and relationships doesn’t exist. It’s especially not what’s often portrayed on television and in movies. Being ASD is different and it’s hard, especially when some of the differences can be seen and problems clearly identified, but it’s not a life sentence to unimaginable pain and suffering.
I’m going to do everything I can to create clear, concise, and understandable language that helps the ASD community and, admittedly, this also means I’m going to disagree with parts of the community. Where I’m wrong, I hope to find better answers. Where I know I’m right, I will refuse to back down.
When I’m done, though, my hope is to have helped and help fix problems that exist across ethnic groups, across economic groups, across borders, and among all people.
Why should readers care?
You need to care out of a desire to make the world a better place for everyone. As an individual with ASD, I represent about 2.3% of the population. That number is about 23 out of 1000. A number that get’s closer and closer to 1 in 1 every year2.
What this means that chances are someone you know is ASD and I know that understanding and acceptance, knowing the skills to interact and the challenges that lead to problems will only make understanding and acceptance easier.
These numbers have changed since 1994 when the DSM IV was released and later the DSM IV-TR and then the DSM 5 and DSM 5-TR.