Here is the question, “Is it possible to be slightly autistic? I always thought autism is a severe problem, nothing mild about it.”
To answer your question, yes and no…you either have autism or you don’t but, it depends where on the “spectrum” you fall. There are several Autism Spectrum disorders, the definitions’ were taken from the Autism Society:
Classic Autism – The presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interest. AKA: Early Infantile Autism, Childhood Autism, or Kanner's Autism.
Asperger Syndrome – Children with Asperger's Disorder frequently like to collect categories of things, such as rocks or bottle caps. They may be proficient in knowing categories of information, such as baseball statistics or Latin names of flowers. While they may have good rote memory skills, they have difficulty with abstract concepts.PDD NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) – Severe and pervasive impairment in the development of reciprocal social interaction or verbal and nonverbal communication skills; stereotyped behaviors, interests, and activities; and the criteria for Autistic Disorder are not met because of late age onset, atypical and/or sub threshold symptomotology are present.
Other Syndromes & Disorders that fall on the spectrum – Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Cornelia DeLange Syndrome, Turette’s Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, William’s Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis, Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, Sensory Impairments, Defining Symptomatology, Disorders of Metabolism/Infections.
Here are some good Autism information links:
Rock Autism (This is my autistic son’s favorite; music is just one of his obsessions’…he was crushed when he found out that Elvis was dead. We still have not told him that Freddie Mercury of Queen is dead)