Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Neurotypical" or neurodiversity propaganda ?

I see that soon a new documentary film which appears to extoll the virtues of neurodiversity is slated to air on PBS on Monday, July 29, at 10 p.m.  I looked at my local PBS station for the listings though and could not find it.  But hopefully I will see it eventually. Perhaps I should not judge this film before seeing it, but it seems heavily pro neurodiversity.   Here is the trailer:  We see a gentleman stating that he is opposed to people trying to cure him and that being a neurotypical is not a better way of life but a different way of life.  First of all, a cure for autism does not exist and in the words of Far From The Tree  author Andrew Solomon it's sort of like arguing intergalactic space travel.  If a cure did exist I would not be in favor of forcing it on this individual.  I would want a cure for myself and for others who need it. 

I believe being a neurotypical is a better way of life.  I don't see how anyone can argue, not having decent interpersonal relationships including marriage, being able to earn a decent living and being able to be productive and get things done during the day is not a better way of life.  Certainly those on the severe end of the spectrum who can't speak, aren't toilet trained and self injure themselves are certainly leading a different way of life, but it certainly isn't better. 

I also see ASAN's Paula Westby Durbin is featured in this too, so more evidence of a pro neurodiverse documentary. 

I hope that no one will take this documentary seriously and that research leading to finding legitimate treatments and ultimately to a cure will still be pursued. If I ever see this documentary I may have more to say about it.  Stay tuned. 


jonathan said...

Roger I don't know if Durbin is autistic or claiming to be. If she is, I don't know whether or not she is self-diagnosed.

Jake Crosby said...

I think the video wrongly defines "neurotypical" as being a term used by autistics for non-autistics.

However, a couple years ago I was taken to task for implying that neurodiversity is only confined to autism when in fact it can apply to a whole host of disorders such as Bipolar Disorder, ADHD and Dyslexia.

jonathan said...

@Roger: That's interesting because I remember reading somewhere that Jim Sinclair was claiming that he coined the term 'neurotypical' This was about in 1994 when ANI first started. I'd be interested in seeing examples of the term being used before that.

Yuval said...

*This film does not feature, espouse, or discuss autistics like Christian Weston Chandler or Dov Shestack.

I wouldn't be surprised if my prediction here turns out to be true.

......I'm Anonymous said...

Paula Westby Durbin is self diagnosed. How do I know this? She told me in 2007.