"Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew" is, in my opinion, a book every person should read. It is short, very informative, and straight to the point.
Here it goes:
#1 I am first and foremost a child. I have autism. I am NOT primarily "autistic."
"Losing sight of the whole child, losing him behind a label, makes your life more difficult, as well as his. Autism is not the cause of his foibles. All children spiral through equilibrium and disequilibrium as they cruise the developmental timeline. Most children will at some point test limits, potty-talk in public, elevate stubbornness to Olympic proportions, flush Batman down the toilet, neglect hygiene and cry when they don't get their way. Attributing it all to autism is not only inaccurate and unfair, but it robs you of experiencing the aspects of your child's development that are in fact typical! Again, all that is awful is not autism. He has hopes, preferences, likes, dislikes, fears, and dreams just like any other child. In time (and with lots of communication therapy) he will be able to tell you about them, albeit maybe not in words.
So keep those channels wide open. Every child deserves to start his or her life and education with a slate clean of preconceived notions. Labels are not necessarily malicious but they are seldom harmless."
From page 4.
No matter how high or low functioning the child is, they are ALWAYS first a child. Autism is only a part of them and never all of who they are.