On The Pursuit Of The "Opposite" Of Autism
As I've mentioned in the last few entries, a question formed in my mind recently - what is the "opposite" of autism?
If I'm picking up the lingo correctly from the autism community, the word they generally use is "neurotypical", but I'm pretty sure this is a euphamism for "normal" or "average", because of course these words in common usage are usually loaded with the connotation of "good" and "proper" and the like.
But I'm pretty sure that "neurotypical" on the true spectrum of behavior marks merely the mid-point - a set of behaviors that is neither particularly autistic, nor particularly anti-autistic.
Now where would one begin the pursuit of an anti-autistic? Well, one might try to think of someone who is hyper-social, very flexible to change, an impeccable dresser and NEVER gets angry EVER.
Of course there are numerous individuals that come to mind, but I got to thinking of another angle.
In the on-line world at least, it's arguable that the title for the highest-profile formally diagnosed autistic has passed from Temple Grandin to Amanda Baggs. Now, although obviously I am not completely up to speed on all the background in this community, one thing that strikes me as a fascinating difference is that Amanda Baggs has quite a throng of detractors, whereas I don't think Temple Grandin has any to speak of.
So might Amanda Baggs' detractors be the elusive anti-autistics?
Well, maybe, but almost immediately they themselves start to exhibit traits often associated with autistics.
The ostensible leader of the group, so far as I can figure out, has a severely autistic son and, per my analysis of the original "refrigerator mother" articles, someone with an autistic child is suspect not necessarily of bad parenting techniques but of HAVING AUTISM GENES HIMSELF.
And oh brother does this one put me in mind of some people I've crashed into in "high-functioning" support groups - getting thrown off message boards, going into death battles with Wikipedia and a whole list of other behavior that would likely get him shocked silly for a couple of days in a number of "behavior modification" programs.
And what has triggered this behavior? Believe it or not, if I understand it correctly, what I think he percieves in his own mind as a miscarriage of justice - that for some motive I don't even think I could invent in a bad sci-fi novel, Amanda Baggs and other members of the neurodiversity movement are conspiring to encourage government officials to keep autistic children in diapers for the rest of their days.
Now, just like Barack Obama recently had to attempt to clarify his relationship with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and, yes, Jeremiah Wright's mouth, would someone from the neurodiversity movement care to step forward and make some sort of formal "Potty Policy" statement to clarify this issue?