Internet and brain function: cause or correlation?

There has been much ado about Dr. Susan Greenfield’s comments regarding the link between internet use and autism (she very well may have been misquoted, but that’s not the point). A causal argument
(that increased internet use CAUSES autism) is improbable due to early diagnosis which generally precedes the use of the internet; however, the CORRELATION is clear. The internet is a great tool for most people suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder and, yes, many people with autism are on the internet for hours on end. The following question needs to be asked: Why is this a problem? Why is it not fantastic that people with autism now have more access than ever to follow their passions (as eccentric as they may be -- do I hear “lip smackers” anyone). If people on the spectrum are good at using the internet, or can be taught to use the internet, think about how large their world may become! Not only do they gain access to hobbies (a form of socially sanctioned, self-stimulatory behavior) but, also, some of the more technically competent people on the spectrum may gain access to employment!

EMPLOYMENT. There are many paid jobs that can be done today from the comfort of one’s desk. All one has to do to unleash the power of the internet, is visit freelance sites such as Elance and see the potential of the internet. Obviously, people with autism who use these sites may need differing degrees of help; however, the jobs are there for the bidding. I’m particularly saddened when I see unemployed people with Asperger’s Syndrome who have amazing computer programming skills. In short, one solution to the chronic underemployment of capable people on the autism spectrum, is the internet!

In addition, there are many who do not suffer from autism but may have tendencies. These folks have been wildly successful. What’s wrong with that? If you have a loved-one with autism who has marketable skills, check out my favorite freelance site:

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You never know where this can go, if you don’t try... It is possible that a family member may need to help when it comes to bidding on a job; however, once the job has been awarded, if the person has the relevant skills, s/he will be on the way to a freelance career! There are lots of opportunities for the freelancer to gain legitimacy through testimonials and ratings by their clients. This further creates employment opportunities. In short, DREAM BIG!