I see that Kevin Leitch of the Left Brain/Right brain blog has given his take on the question of whether or not autism should be cured.
I am glad that Kevin Leitch respects my desire, as a person on the autism spectrum, for a cure if one were available. However, he states that this would be a principle of neurodiversity. Again, he seems rather confused about neurodiversity whose proponents engage in scorn, derision and ridicule of any person on the autism spectrum who wishes a cure for themselves.
This is also someone who has stated that he will only seek a cure for his daughter if she asks him to. His daughter, if I am not mistaken, is nearly completely nonverbal so one wonders how much sense that makes. This is a further problem in his argument in that not everyone can choose whether or not to accept or reject a cure, as a very significant number of persons with autism are nonverbal and can't communicate their desire for or against a cure.
Furthermore, autism is a disorder of childhood whose onset is usually apparent before the age of 36 months (I realize this does not include Asperger's and some other ASD's who manifest themselves later in life). Children younger than 18 don't have the right of consent. Their parents have to make medical decisions for them and as Harold Doherty pointed out to Kev, this compounds the problem further.
The most salient question in this debate, at least in my opinion, is are those who oppose a cure for autism willing to foot the bill for the vast majority of autistics who can't work and are receiving disability or other forms of taxpayer funded assistance. And for the treatments and the methods which Kevin Leitch refers to as helping autistics be the best they can be. At least some autistics who oppose curation live on the dole and receive other services at taxpayer expense. Amanda Baggs (whose diagnosis of autism is questionable) is one of the more well known examples of this. Economist Michael Ganz has shown in various studies that autism is expensive, very expensive. Who pays this expense, oftentimes the taxpayers. Neurodiversity has used hardball tactics to dispute such notions, such as Ari Ne'eman's ad hominem attacks on Mr. Ganz, accusing him of eugenics and baby killing in what is supposed to be a professional government meeting. Joseph of the natural variation blog first gave a 30% employment figure for persons with autism which he could give no actual reference source for and used this to claim this would not be a problem in the future and at some point, we could expect nearly full employment of autistics. Later, he went even further to state that based on the adult prevalence study in the UK with only 19 people that this was merely an urban legend that autistics had a higher rate of unemployment than nonautistics and they were employed and made a living in the same manner as nonautistics.
Others have claimed that successful persons with autism such as Bill Gates and Steven Speilberg and their status as billionaires partially cancelled this out, making the net effect of autism's cost to society at least partially moot.
Kev's good buddy Matt Carey (AKA "Sullivan") has been a very vocal proponent of special education and the IDEA law. I wonder If Mr. Carey shares Kev's view about a cure being a bad thing and unnecessary. If so, how does he reconcile this with the fact that the IDEA has cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, has jammed the courts,and taken away money for other services financed by local property taxes such as police and fire protection which affect everyone regardless of whether or not they are autistic? Does Carey want to pay for all of these things out of his own pocket in lieu of a cure? So, assuming a cure were available, what right does any autistic person or there caregiver have to refuse a cure? Unless of course they are willing to pay the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars the autistic person will cost society over their lifetime out of their own pocket. I do not believe that an autistic person or their caregiver can have it both ways. That they can refuse a cure or something that will help them function better and continue to be a burden to taxpayers.
I agree with Kev that a cure will be found at some point of time, though most likely not in my lifetime at age 55. It will not be easy though given that Ari Ne'eman can be appointed to various government positions, and rogue scientists such as Laurent Mottron and Isabelle Souleries and Morton Gernsbacher can continue to receive funding from public and private sector sources in spite of working against curing autism. Of course I remember the old Arab proverb, the dogs may bark but the caravan moves on.