My Background

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cover2.jpgcover2.jpgI am Mike Stanton. I live and work in the UK where I teach children with severe learning difficulties, many of whom are autistic. My adult son is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. I am a member of the National Autistic Society. I speak and write on autism.

My book, “Learning to Live with High Functioning Autism” is available in a Spanish translation, Convivir con el Autismo. I have also ccover1.jpgontributed a chapter to Asperger Syndrome in Adolescence edited by Liane Holliday Willey.

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ACTION FOR AUTISM is a reaction against names like Action Against Autism and Defeat Autism Now! Names like these suggest to autistic people that we are against them as people. You may not mean that. But if you care about autism you ought to care about the feelings of autistic people and not use language that makes them angry or upset. If you disregard the feelings of autistic people do not be surprised if you are disregarded.

26 thoughts on “My Background

  1. I too have a son now almost 28 who is didganosed as Asperger.We try to comunicate in greater detail at a later date.

  2. Hi there,

    I am a parent, sibling and child of autistic family members (and I am a little that way myself)
    I read research many years ago which I felt was flawed, came up with a theory of my own and tackled my son. His prognosis was that he would not get past a mental age of six. Now he is at uni and studying philosophy.

    He lives with freinds in a house some 150 miles from home, manages his money – as well as any other student.

    However, since I have only one son and since my ideas are somewhat unconventional, no one wants to know…..

    I admire and respect all those who stand up for the rights of all individuals.

    I wish you luck.

  3. Mike,

    Thanks for your blog. I am new to blogging, but my wife has a singing ministry that is focused on sharing her story of our Autistic son, Micah. He is now 12. Her music comforts people and encourages those who are facing life’s trials. I look forward to reading all that you provide on your blog.

  4. Hi Mike-i like your site-lots of interesting viewpoints here. We have a 6 year-old with autism and every bit of information is beneficial. I do take exception to your belief that organizations with names that suggest they are against autism are offensive to those who have autism. Of course these organizations are not against those who have autism-they are against the disability that affects them, which is autism. Just wondering- For what is the section about Religious Education meant for those with autism/parents/educators?


  5. Hi Mike,
    if autistic people say they are offended I believe them. And the hostility that some of these groups display towards autistic adults who disagree with their take on autism suggests that they are right to be offended.
    The religius note was for a post I haven’t written yet. I use the notes section to collect snippets which I refer to in my more finished articles and posts.

  6. i have so many questions and things to discuss with you – could you please please leave me your email address in a comment on my blog (it wont be public as i have to accept/publish comments) please. I am desperate to speak to someone about both autism and/or Asperger Syndrome after a recent incident within my family. Please contact me but i wouldn’t suggest you read my blog as i talk a lot of sh*t. thank you! Fiona

  7. Mike

    I am enjoying your blog, particularly because it is sensitive to the feelings of others and is tempered. We have a website and blog w/ respect to behavior and autism at Please feel free to check it out and pass it on to anyone you think might be interested. We, too, try to be patient.

    All the best,


  8. I am currently a Grad Student in an ABA program at Rutgers University. I am interested in pursuing doctoral research on autism. My review of the current understanding of autism depicts a clearly Anglo-centric view derived from research and interventions that have historically been based in either the United States or Western Europe.
    Two of the DSM-IV criteria (social, language) are likely to evidence significant variability in the non-Anglo world. Uta Frith reports in her research that it is not surprising that children with autism “confuse deictic terms and even personal pronouns.” Does this observation apply only to children whose ‘natural’ language is English? Does the confusion change with an arguably more complex language such as Portuguese?

    A genetic study of autism in Costa Rica reported that one of the major hurdles to overcome was that the standard research instruments (ADI-R, and ADOS) were only available in English and were unlikely to be translated by the intellectual property owners because of a perceived lack of market to repay their investment. A similar problem exists for IQ tests where no norms exist for Latin American countries.

    An unprecedented amount of money has been spent in the last decade on Anglo-centric autism research including more than $100 million in 2006. A new study to understand autism in the non-Anglo world has recently begun yet the research is limited to countries on the Asian continent. There is currently a dearth of research on autism from a Latin American perspective and this is a huge gap in knowledge.

    The importance of this gap can be brought into clearer focus by consideration of the tens of billions of dollars that are spent in the US annually on ‘special education’, the increasing proportion of students from Hispanic origins in the public school system and the unfortunate prevalence of significant misdiagnosis of special education needs of minority students.

    I would be very interested in hearing thoughts, opinions, diatribes, etc on this issue.

  9. Thanks for this blog. My son was just diagnosed with “end spectrum Autism”. He is very angry as he feels he is being treated differently and is very intelligent and perceptive. I look forward to reading the information here.

  10. Please chcck out the other blogs on the Autism Hub. Your son may want to read what other intelligent and perceptive autistics have tosay. I must say “end spectrum autism” is a new one on me. Why cannot they stick with the criteria and definitions in the diagnostic manuals?

  11. Mike:

    I don’t know if you’re interested in this or not, but there’s a book for sale on Amazon (and in Bookstores) called “The Ralph Wiggum Book”, which is supposedly written from the perspective of Ralph Wiggum, the character from the Simpsons. That character, in case you’re not familiar with it, is a 6 year old boy that is portrayed as having mental disabilities, though they don’t come right out and say it. I gave the book a poor review, saying that it was distasteful to make such kids the target for humor, and have gotten five “not helpful” votes in the week since.

    I’m not an activist, but as the father of a boy on the Autism spectrum, I find mockery of his situation utterly deplorable. If you have any comment on the matter, I’d like to hear it.

  12. Mike, please check out my blog.

    If you share passion for solving the mystery behind Autism, please add my blog to yours.

    I’d like to use my blog as a source of information since I work with families of children with Autism. I just have to get my blog out in the “blog world.”

    This is my link

    Hope to hear from you.

  13. HI Mike ,
    Congratulations on your wonderful work. I am a Natural Therapist in Australia and have linked you into my hot off the press blog section in the hope that those who need your info can access it more readily. My website is and blog is
    Good luck in your work and add my support to your extensive list of peopel who want to see you get the info out there and help as many people as possible. Love Dom ox

  14. Hi, I was wondering if I could include your site on my blog list? My nephew is autistic and while I know hardly anything about autism, I’d love to offer a link to any who might need the knowledge and support you offer here. I am sure my sister would like the site!

  15. Hi, I’m new to this site but heres my story. I am a single mother of two boys both under the age of five, I just found out about a week and a half ago that my 2 and a half year old has sever autism. When I first found out about it i was not really shocked, because he showed all the signs. He only says about 15 words, he very territorial over his stuff, when he’s upset he bangs his head on anything to get attention, he’s a really picky eatter, and he also plays better by himself then others. My son is going on his third daycare because the only way that he knows how to tell people to leave him alone is to bit them, So believe me when i say that if i can handle this special gift anyone can. God gives us blessings for a reason and I wouldn’t give mine up for nothing regardless of the long road ahead. So good luck out there to all the people with special gifts.

  16. My stepson has been taking a nutritional supplement beverage called “Mona Vie -Active” since September 2006. Mona Vie has not cured his autism but it has improved his ability to communicate and to focus on tasks. When I went out of town I sent him to spend 10 days with his mother and I forgot to send his Mona Vie ~ which he takes daily (without prompting)! Upon picking him up from his mother’s I asked him if he had a good time. He started to stutter and could not answer the question without a lot of “well, um, “. My sister who was with me looked at me and said at the same time I did ~ I can tell he has been off the Mona Vie. I am not saying that he has been cured or that I am expecting him to be cured but I do know that by drinking Mona Vie on a daily basis he has shown improvement. We are getting ready to start a program for employment with our local vocational rehabilitation so that he can get a job and move into a group home ~~ as the youngest of five he has seen the others move out and he wants to too! He will continue to take MonaVie for the rest of his life. When you ask him what Mona Vie does for him he will tell you that it gives him lots of energy and that he likes to drink it.

  17. My 16yr old son has been diagnosed with AS. He was at school successfully for 7yrs without anybody noticing, apart from thinking him a bit eccentric. When he was 14 we started having communication problems, he could not tell us his worries. His best friends mother said she could help and proceeded to groom and abuse him. We only found out when he stabbed me and ended up in the system. She got away with it, he lost his school and has been distraught for over eighteen months.
    The consultant he saw made no diagnosis and suggested he was upset because his mum was at work too much.
    Having recieved little or no support from the NHS we finally found a private psychologist who has made the diagnosis.
    We have been contacted by an AS specialist who is prepared to see him but can’t because the local community mental health people won’t refer him
    We are tired, stressed, frightened and feel totally alone. We want to care for him at home but wonder how long we can cope. He’s bright capable but unfocussed and at times out of control. We can’t make him do anything or see anyone and we feel we are letting him down. We know, with the right help and advice, he can have a good life. What do we do?

  18. Mike, I’m a full grown Aspergian living in the United States. This is my first time stopping by your blog. Stop by and visit mine if you have a chance.

    I agree with you about displaying sensitivity. It’s a quality all too many well-meaning parents totally lack.

  19. I have clinically undiagnosed AS/HFA, hyperlexia and synesthesia. In the US, at least in
    my experiences, people are so used to others lying and manipulating “facts” in thier favor, that when you say “I need help, here’s why”
    they either don’t believe you are just flat out ignore you. Cognative science is a “special interest” of mine that I started studying as a child. What I realy take offense to is the actual
    label of “selfism” to describe the socio-mental
    problems this group of people have. I’ve met many “autistic” people whom where some of the least selfistic people I’ve ever met. I’ve read the DSM and honestly I thought it was one of the most horribly written books I’ve ever read (kudos on the effort though, but needs taxonimic improvements.). One of my aunts is autistic too. She was misdiagnosed for 20-30 years and incarcerated in mental institutions where she was forced to take drugs that just made her worse.

  20. Sorry to contact you in this fashion, but my attempt to reach you via was unsuccessful. Hi, my name is Vanessa and I’m an editor for As I was editing an article on autism for our web site,, I realized that I want to find someone knowledgeable about autism (who can also write well) who would be willing to contribute some articles to our site. My personal motivation is to have high quality articles on our site (to help people) and from my perusal of your writings, I think you would be able to provide those. (Our goal at HowToDoThings is to connect people who understand something with those who are trying to figure it out.)

    We have a little blurb that we send to people who may write for us, about what is in it for them, and I’ve pasted it for you below.

    You can share your expertise with a larger audience (we get 750,000 unique visitors a month).
    You can help people understand something that you’re obviously passionate about.
    You’ll have a byline associated with every article and a public bio page where you can talk about and link back to your blog.
    We split all the revenue that your articles generate with you 50/50, so you’ll make a little money on your articles as well.

    So that’s what’s in it for you. But in all truth, I want to have good articles about autism on our site that will help to enlighten and empower people and I think that you could provide those. Please let me know if you would be interested. Thanks for your time and your good work!

  21. It is interesting the degree of scorn you heap on Jenny McCarthy. Probably the reality is you are an attorney for a drug company.

  22. ……..just came across your site by chance.Friend of mine has adopted son with autism so these things stand out.Patrick Holford’s claims are well over the top and insulting to people who really do know the realities of autism.If people followed his general dietary advice then it would be a healthy thing.But the problem with him is that he makes claims that are too far fetched and also boosts up his C.V. with pseudo qualifications! ‘Dip ION’ for example;that is actually Diploma from the Institute of Optimum Nutrition-the Institute he ‘founded’!!I went to the ‘institute’ in 1990 for a nutrition consultancy report.They charged £60 for a 10 page report,of which 4 pages were basic info about vitamins.In fact,the whole report was a waste of money.I was seen buy a ‘consultant’who had just done a weekend consultancy course-supposedly that qualified them to give advice!Holford’s only proper qualification as far as i can find is the Bsc in experimental psychology.I know that he keeps changing his wikipedia entry when people start to alter his ‘facts’.People like Holford ruin the possibilities of the real benefits of ‘alternative’ treatment from honest people who don’t lie to sell books and make a living!……Anyway,hope this is of some interest……..Sincerely,Bernard Baker

  23. Mike, have received a copy of the advocacy letter that Nancy Weiss and I wrote to the American Psychological Assocation? It calls upon them to act and speak consistently regarding their opposition of torture. They have openly opposed the torturing of alleged “enemy combatants,” we are now calling upon them to make the same statment regarding the torturing of children with Autism at the JRC. The letter is designed to allow individuals and organizations to sign on to the effort. I will update the letter with new names, and send a copy to the APA on a regular basis. Are you interested in posting the letter here? Please let me know if you will?

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