Today is autistics speaking day, which MJ of the autism jabberwocky blog
has commented on. I'm not sure whether or not MJ's percentages of higher functioning who are capable of communicating versus lower functioning unable to communicate are accurate. A significant portion of the reported increase in prevalence, I suspect, is because of increased awareness that autism can exist in persons of normal or above average intelligence. However, that may be neither here nor there. MJ does make some excellent points in this post about how the number of autistics unable to communicate or who may not have the inclination or education or both to write blog posts are not being represented.
Another problem is that one of the dirty tricks of the neurodiversity movement is to have members log on using different identities to give the impression that more persons with autism share their view than anyone would have thought and preach Alex Plank's dictum that "most autistics don't want to be cured'.
some time ago, I wrote about one of these unsavory characters doing this as did Elyse Bruce of the Midnight in Chicago blog before me.
This is aside from the demographic issues that I've written in the past about ND being heavily female skewed (Coreen Becker, who originated the autism speaking day, is just one example) and the other problems of these people claiming they represent all of us.
Exactly one year ago today,I wrote a blog post entitled "shallow brooks are noisy" to comment on when this event first started. This is still true today. Ms. Becker and other neurodiversity proponents at best have nothing to say that is not superficial that has not been said ad nauseum. At worst they are preaching nothing but hate mongering and propaganda how autism is a gift and Bill Gates and Einstein were autistic, so autistics can do just fine and there are no worries.
Well, let me have my say on this auspicious day. I hate having this disability and having accomplished so little at age 56. I hate not being to have good fine motor coordination, not being able to support myself and being given the runaround by various government agencies. I hate my unpopularity with others, the celibacy that goes with this. I hate that Iwas a chronic bedwetter until age 13. I long for a cure, but I realize I am a discontented child crying for toasted snow as the Arab proverb goes.
Last year I pointed out to Ms. Becker that indeed still waters run deep and she and her friends are some noisy shallow brooks. She replied to me that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. This may be true. The majority of neurodiversity proponents are probably know nothing college kids who have too much time on their hands and spend it protesting. As MJ pointed out, others more severely afflicted aren't in a position to refute what these people say. But what about their parents? One problem is that parents of autistic children are often busy trying to find treatments. They are busy litigating in court for treatments they feel they are entitled to under IDEA or whatever government benefits they need to make life easier. Though I don't know first hand, I believe that having a child like this is far more time consuming than a typical child, though I know some people might not like hearing the sad truth. So, the parents don't have the time to tell their side of the story either in many cases, one disadvantage they have over the unencumbered neurodiversitites. Ergo, they don't have time to lobby government officials, organize protests against ASAN akin to the protests organized against Autism Speaks, etc.
Is Ms. Becker correct with her squeaky wheel analogy? I don't know. I realize that autism speaks has listened to their concerns. One example is the affirmative action in recruiting a high school dropout on their scientific advisory board along with the M.D.'s and Ph.Ds. The young activists may have successfully pushed for other changes. But we still have the combating autism act, we still have scientific research in genetics and neuroscience hoping to find a cure or treatments that will lead to a better life for these people and their parents. Let's hope another proverb rings true: The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on.