Autistic Survival Guide/A Note to Professionals

In the time since autism was first described in the early 20th century, remarkably little has been established about it, and virtually all of the "discoveries" ultimately come from autistic people themselves. The fact that social skills training is now being used as a treatment is due in no small part to the line at the end of Marc Segar's survival guide, which this book is based on, and which reads "autistic people have to understand scientifically what non-autistic people already understand instinctively". We fear that this line may have been misinterpreted, or not articulated properly. The idea of social skills training is based on the interpretation that "autistic people have to understand scientifically what non-autistic people LEARN instinctively", and it entirely misses the interpretation that autistic spectrum people may need to understand scientifically how non-autistic people instinctively learn. It's unclear whether Marc Segar understood this before he died, but he was very close to it, since he left clues in his guide referring to "solving the puzzle" and how non-autistic people think.

Perhaps a good example of the impact autistic spectrum people have had on this world is the fact that "the autism problem" is so intractable. Autistic people are the most likely people to "solve" it and from this perspective, it is impossible to do so without knowing what the non-autistic world is. Perhaps the wrong question is being asked—what we should be studying is what non-autistic people have that autistic spectrum people do not. Knowing this appears to be part of any practical "solution" anyway.

To this date, Marc Segar's guide is the only thing I have found on the internet that actually talks about how non-autistic people think in any constructive way. A majority of self help material available today is locked away under copyright with steep license purchasing fees to access, which is particularly offensive given that Marc Segar's work likely contributed to the development of it all. This wikibook is licensed under the GFDL and CC-BY-SA license, and as such, people are free to do what they want with it. However if, as a professional, you find yourself using the material here, we ask that you make both this document and copies of Marc Segar's survival guide available to your clients.