I saw this question in another forum and so I asked my son. This was our conversation. I asked him, "What does autism mean to you." He shrugged. I asked again and he rolled his eyes, like "Mom, please..." I said, "I really want to know." He then said, "It means I think differently." I asked how and he said, "Like everyone wants to have a girlfriend, but I don't." I asked why and he said, "Because I need to be alone sometimes." I asked if a girlfriend means he'd have to always be with her. He said, "Too many problems." Trying not to laugh, I asked, "So I guess you don't want to ever get married." He said, "NO!" (lol) I asked about his homecoming date, the girl who is such a good friend of his. He said, "We decided it was just a dance and we're not going out." I asked if that's what he wanted and he said, "Yes." I asked if he wanted to go to college, and he said, "No. It's boring." I asked what he wanted to do when he grew up (he's 15 1/2). He said, "Drive. And work in a videogame store." I moved on and asked if anything was hard for him and he said, "Talking to people. I don't know what to say. I can hardly talk to my friends." (I could see he was uncomfortable as we visited at Christmastime. He did not speak much and acted more "autistic" than usual, not making eye contact and sort of trying to not be noticed. He does have a group of friends at school. They eat together, but rarely see each other outside of school. I asked if it bothered him to be different and he shrugged and said, "Not usually." I asked if he liked "regular" kids or "differently wired" kids and he said, "It doesn't matter." Autism for my son means he will probably live pretty independently with assisted help and a roommate. If he doesn't get a nudge from somebody he will not bathe or brush his teeth or bother to wear clean clothes. And he may just play videogames all day and not do much of anything else, except go to work. I don't believe he will have a high-powered job as I don't think he can multi-task well, but we'll see. As of now, I don't think he will have the "normal" goals of wife and kids. I just can't see it, but we'll see. It's totally up to him. Autism means he will forever be naive. Street smarts this young man will never have. But he WILL be a happy, productive, loving person who everyone adores. They already do. It's interesting to watch them grow up. He wasn't able to talk until age 5 or potty until 5. He is doing so well! This was a copy and paste of my answer on another forum so if some of it is redundant (I've shared it before) that's why.