My newest post on Respectfully Connected:
There is a pervasive ideology in the mainstream autism parenting and education community that when it comes to autistic children, you have to act fast. That if we are to teach our children anything, we must hammer it into them before a magical developmental window slams closed forever, leaving our children permanently shut out.
This concept of the magic window started innocently enough when scientists began to observe the massive amount of learning that toddlers do, the type of brain growth and development that is never again replicated in our life and concluded (as scientists do) that naturally we must interfere with this process, by providing "stimulation" usually in the form of too-advanced and too-rigid activities such as overpriced contrasting rattles, various "educational" toys and videos named after famous physicists.
While this type of interference is largely benign (if annoying and unnecessary) for typical toddlers, whose development is not under a microscope and who don't have to constantly try to catch up to their neurotypical peers, the philosophy of "maximum stimulation in minimum time" can do a great deal of damage to the autistic child.
*** Read more here