FAQ

Who are you?
I'm Erin Schroeder, this blog's author/creator.  I am an Autistic teen with some other likely undiagnosed disabilities, a Disabled rights activist, and, obviously, a writer.  You can learn more about me by visiting the Meet The Author page.

What is this blog about?
The full explanation of my main reasons for writing Life (Un)Worthy of Life can be found on the About The Blog page, but, in short, this blog exists to educate people about disabilities (mainly Autism) and the politics surrounding them, while also demonstrating that Disabled people can live happy, fulfilling lives.

Why is it called Life (Un)Worthy of Life?
I chose the title Life (Un)Worthy of Life as a reminder that, because I am Disabled, my life is often viewed as being not worth living.  The prefix "un" is in parentheses, because it is implied by society, but untrue in reality.  My life is absolutely worth living.

Why is the URL in German?
Lebensunwertes leben, as I explain in the About The Blog page, is a German phrase meaning life unworthy of life.  It was used as a designation for the Roma and the Disabled during the Holocaust, and it's what I got the idea for the blog's title from.

What is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disability that is typically characterized by atypicalities in the areas of sensory processing, behavior, socialization, and communication.

What causes Autism?
In all likelihood, genetics.  Scientists have isolated many genes associated with Autism and have determined that Autism runs in families, they simply haven't identified a single genetic marker that every Autistic person carries yet.  Autism is not caused by vaccines, GMOs, or environmental toxins.

Is Autism an epidemic?
No, Autism is not an epidemic.  In fact, it's unlikely that Autism rates have increased substantially within the past several centuries.  Diagnostic rates, on the other hand, have increased drastically due to changes in diagnostic criteria and an increased awareness of what traits indicate Autism.

Is there a cure for Autism?
No, there's not, and many Autistics (myself included) hope that there never will be.  Autism isn't something that needs to be cured; it's a natural, harmless neurological variation, not a disease or a defect, and it would be impossible to "cure" someone of Autism without altering their fundamental nature.

How do Autistics communicate?
Autistic people communicate in a variety of different ways.  Some Autistics can communicate via speech, some can’t.  Autistics who can't communicate through vocal speech and those for whom vocal speech isn't always sufficient often use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in place of or in addition to vocal speech.

Can Autistics experience empathy?
Most Autistics are capable of experiencing empathy, although the type of empathy experienced and the intensity with which it is experienced  can vary from person to person.  Autistics sometimes display empathy in atypical ways, which may be why we are commonly stereotyped as being unempathetic.

What's the difference between high functioning and low functioning Autism?
Autistics are often described as either high functioning or low functioning.  In reality, we are neither.  Each of us have our own strengths and weaknesses, none of which can be accurately summarized through functioning labels or severity labels.

This page is a constant work in progress - check back occasionally for updates.

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