I have only known one autistic person and as far as I could see he was perfectly functional except that he could not relate to other people. It seemed as though most of the stuff his parents and others were trying to get him to do were not things that he actually needed to do, but were various forms of human ceremony, like looking people in the eyes and other things like that which have no practical necessity, but are just societal norms.
The main practical failure I saw in him was an inability to convey complex plans or ideas to other people.
So, I am curious what genuine functional disabilities severely autistic people have, as opposed to social misbehaviors. As far as I could tell, by reading complaints of parents of autistic children, the only true dysfunctionality I could detect were the following:
- Ignoring traffic, walking into moving traffic without looking
- Failure to discriminate between potentially dangerous strangers and friends
- Failure to recognize dangerous objects like knives
- Increased propensity to enter bodies of water and drown
Now, of course, all children suffer from the above dysfunctions, and it appears that autistic children simply are more likely to endanger themselves. Does this tendency to be unaware of these dangers continue into adulthood, or do adults with autism learn to respect water and other dangers the same way non-autistic adults do?