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Stereotypes about autism may not match reality

Over the last several years, increasing attention has been paid to autism, a frequently misunderstood developmental condition. As a result of this, greater understanding of the condition has been found, yet there is still much to learn. At the same time, individuals who have autism have found ways to tell their story and challenge commonly held conceptions about what it means to be autistic.

Generally speaking, people who are on the autism spectrum face difficulty communicating and building relationships with other people. Additionally, there's a mistaken belief that people with autism are always intellectually deficient.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, some young people with autism are using technology to help break down stereotypes. A large number of people on the autism spectrum are non-verbal, so they've used tablets and other computer technology to tell their story and display their intelligence.

Of course, there are still some challenges associated with autism. For those with the condition and their family members, there may be challenges associated with receiving care, accessing educational opportunities and having the financial wherewithal to make ends meet. This is where Supplemental Security Income -- or similar disability benefits -- could be helpful.

The SSI program is designed to provide assistance to individuals who meet certain income requirements or have not paid into the Social Security system. As such, it could be effective for families that include a minor child with autism. However, to better understand what options are available, it might be beneficial to speak with an experienced attorney.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "Autistic activists out to change assumptions about disorder," Dec. 23, 2013

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