Neurodiversity? yeah and my asthma is just bronchodiversity

April 12, 2007 at 9:03 pm by in science
 

The next time I read anyone saying that “autism is not a disorder but simply a different way of being,” and using the stupid label neurodiversity (or worse, the reverse term neurotypical), I’m pointing them to this study:

Autism Costs Society An Estimated $3 Million Per Patient, According To Report
Each individual with autism accrues about $3.2 million in costs to society over his or her lifetime, with lost productivity and adult care being the most expensive components, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a theme issue on autism spectrum disorders.
read the rest of the article at Science Daily

Sure we should treat autistics like human beings rather than broken misfit toys to be fixed. That goes without saying really. As does the idea that autistics should be supported in a manner that best supports their mindset.

Cure = Genocide!?!

There is no way to cure autism once it is set in, and I doubt we’ll ever find a cure that works that way. However, there may be hope to tackle it earlier through gene therapy or other means during the fetal development process. Some of the anti-cure zealots of the Autism rights movement refer to this form of prevention as genocide.

Now where they do have a bit of a point is when we only have the technology for prenatal diagnosis but not treatment. In this situation the mother is given only the options of either going forward with the pregnancy or termination. this is the scenario put forth by the reactionary people behind the The Autistic Genocide Clock.

Of course all this assumes that all our diagnosis tests are really accurate and highly predictive, which is a BIG if; usually the level of prognostication is low unless it’s a blatant physical defect. Most likely the parents will be told something like: “The test results show that your fetus has a XX% chance of developing autism. This is not a guarantee that your child will have autism and we don’t know where on the spectrum of autism your child will be. It could be mild or it could be severe” After, this it’s up to the mother.

It’s not good news to be sure, and some mothers will terminate out of fear for the worst. However, even if it’s at the mild end of the spectrum it still requires a lot of support both emotionally, physically, and financially, which some mothers may feel they couldn’t handle. Even in this situation it is the mother’s choice; just like when it’s the mother’s choice when she doesn’t feel she could handle a “normal” baby. It’s really not that much different.

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6 Comments

  1. Hey, I love your straight from the hip point of view. Very refreshing.

    I’d love to hear your view point on depression. When it comes to brain activity and neurodiversity, so many people think depression, mental illness and the like can be cured by an act of will.

    Science is telling us that emotional trauma actually changes the brain, the hippocampus and nurotransmitters.

    To say to someone just get over it, is like saying to a diabetic, hey just don’t take your meds. Get over it.

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  3. Curing Autism is a form of genocide in my book. The typical definition of genocide is to eliminate (or attempt to eliminate) an entire group of people. The UN definition of genocide includes “preventing births within the group”. If they ever do find a way to prevent autism, then there will be no more autistic people. So preventing Autistics from being born is no different than preventing Jews from being born. Regardless of the mean, the end result is the same. The elimination of autistic people.

    As far as costs go. Sure many people with autism (my self included) are on some kind of public assistance and may be undergoing expensive treatments. But, that isn’t a good reason to eliminate people like me. There are many african americans who are on welfare on in prison. Does this mean that we should eliminate african americans to save money? Of course not. Only white supremacists make those kinds of arguments. But yet people make these kinds of arguments when it comes to people with disabilities. The Nazi’s made these very same arguments to justify exterminating people with disabilites.

    By the way. I have asthma. I would love for there to be a cure for asthma. It isn’t fair to compare asthma to autism. Asthma is a medical condition I have, Autism is who I am. If my Asthma were cured, I would be the same person, just able to breath better. If every trace of autism were eliminated from me, I would be a different person.

    I am 100% against cures for autism. I don’t want to see a world where people like me no longer exit. If Autism had been cured ages ago, we would have been without people like, Nicola Tesla and Albert Einstein.

    The modern movement to cure autism and other disabilities is just Eugenics in a different packaging.

  4. @Twitch Ah yes the classic reductio ad Nazium tactic. Really you couldn’t think of any better way to debate?

    I mean come on, Autism is a genetic/developmental disorder that directly causes social & learning difficulties. In many ways it compares to dyslexia, schizophrenia, and other neuro-disorders. In contrast, racial characteristics are genetically miniscule and only surface. I dare you to walk up and tell any black or jewish person that curing a mental disorder such as autism is equivalent to eliminating people of their race.

    You know what answer you’d get? You’d get punched in the face, which is exactly the sort of answer such a stupid analogy deserves.

  5. I would happily eliminate the genetic epilepsy that runs rampant through my family. If there were a way to cure it, I’d be first in line with my kids for it. I would not have chosen to not have them had I known which of my kids would get it (2 of 4 of my children are diagnosed with our type of epilepsy which is statistically odd in and of its self).
    Being different in a neurologically significant way is a strange position to be in. While we now are certain that the epilepsy we have is genetic and very strong, I would not discourage my children from having their own kids. Although I wish it would go away and no one have this visited upon them, the fact is we live normal lives with higher insurance liability :)
    A difficult debate, to be sure. One that needs to be debated, nonetheless.

  6. Neurodiversity is a bunch of crock.

    It’s funny, actually.

    The “neurodiverse” people (at least, the functioning ones) want to be treated like equal human beings, yet they believe that they deserve our money to help take care of their illnesses. Equality goes both ways, not only one.

    Comparing one’s mental condition to race is also a bunch of crock. Man is judged on the strength of his own mind. Race does not significantly affect the way one applies his mind. Black people were able to rally for their own social justice. They are just as capable as any other typical, functioning human being.

    The “neurodiverse”? Who do you think fights for their “rights”? Do you know who organized campaigns such as “The R Word”? “NT” people. Left alone, they do not have the mental capacity to cause any significant social change.

    The “neurodiverse” and the “NT” are not equal. To say such a thing is stupid.

    BTW, it is only speculated that Albert Einstein had Asperger’s Syndrome (not the same as autism). He died before they were recognized as illnesses.