First of all let me say that I realize that no two people with autism are the same at all. I've watched 4 such children grow up - all were approximately at the same level at 4-5 years old - but I know that it is not indicative of what their capabilities will eventually be. Three of these children are now in their mid 30s - one is barely 20. But one child that I have known since she was 4 years old is now in her 30s. Her parents are very wealthy and live in a Caribbean country where they are very powerful. They have NEVER disciplined her and have let her do whatever she wanted forever. It's really sad. She is truly feral. Recently on a flight (first class of course) to the US she started beating on her mother - who made excuses for her. It is so sad - no she would never have become neurotypical - but I do think she would have had a happier life if she'd learned to deal with limitations earlier in life - even if that caused meltdowns on occasion. I've seen her wander up and totally disrupt a wedding while her parents did nothing. None of these children are suddenly immune to meltdowns. But having some coping skills even if it just sometimes helps them live better lives. There are people on this board who are autistic and deal with meltdowns - but having coping skills and the ability to recognize what might set them off (NOT their fault) helps them to live a better life. We all live with limitations - no one is perfect physically or mentally. All we can do it to try to deal with what we have been dealt with in life.