Thursday, March 20, 2008

Neurodiversity

In my continuing pursuit of notions of "opposites" in the autism arena, of course, somewhat at random, we start with Amanda Baggs as ostensibly the "most" autistic person currently getting substantive press coverage, and then move to a somewhat vocal band of individuals who are mad as hell at her.

Now, although I'm still collecting information on this topic, if I'm reading this correctly, the detractors of Amanda Baggs have a name for THEIR enemy - the "neurodiversity" movement.

There is a reasonable amount of blog traffic on this topic, but I think the clearest explanation is on a post on Autism's Gadfly that says, "Proponents of neurodiversity cling to the ... notion that autistics need acceptance and not cure and that if society would only change to accommodate autistics, autism would not be a problem."

Actually I'd have to say this should not be all that outrageous of a statement.

After all, autism is a condition with (at least) TWO victims - the person suffering the autism symptoms, and the person WATCHING the autism symptoms.

Take Amanda's #1 Fan for instance. Now, this may be an unfair statement, but somehow I'm wonder if SOMETHING ELSE caused precisely the same symptoms in his son - say a freak traffic accident or something of the sort - although still facing many challenges, somehow I'm thinking Amanda's #1 Fan would just "deal with it" better.

Instead we get rants that make ME look like Miss Congeniality.

Yes, autism makes the OBSERVER of the autistic person ANGRY whereas numerous other disabilities don't - or at least not to the same extent.

Cases in point - upon warning my n'erdowell cousin-in-law that Asperger's runs in our family big time, he took on a somewhat aggressive stance and said, "Look ... if it happens, we'll take the necessary actions ..."

When my wife and my aunt come into contact with my Old Man they sometimes get downright frantic.

A trained representative of Hamilton County's Adult Protective Services, however, when exposed to my dad hardly blinked.

So, yes, I'd have to say I do have some agreement with the neurodiversity movement.

Certain research into the condition should be continued. Over on another site someone was telling me that there is thinking that autism may be related to immunity issues.

Well, isn't THAT a co-incidence?

Do you think [[gasp]], it could be the ACTIVE INGREDIENTS in the vaccines that are contributing to autism?

However, at the end of the day, particularly with the adults, yes, the rest of us are going to HAVE to deal with it. Ultimately it is OUR problem - just the same that it is OUR problem if we can't deal with gays or Jews or even Joy Rolland ... :)

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