I've just finished reading an interesting piece by writer Amy S.F. Lutz, the parent of an autistic boy with an intellectual disability. She challenges the mantra 'presume competence' that is repeatedly uttered by neurodiversity proponents in their zeal to claim that acceptance and accommodations will resolve all of the problems autistic individuals have, no matter how severe their disability is.
Ms. Lutz writes about a woman who claims that parents signing guardianship papers for their severely disabled adult is an abuse of human rights and tantamount to slavery. She invited the neurodiversity proponent, Theresa Degener, to come to her home and probe her son's (IQ of 40) feelings about what his take on guardianship is and if it is violating his human rights.
Current ASAN president Julia Bascom answers the comment of parents who state that if they could blog as well as she could they'd consider their child cured. Ms. Bascom inquires if they had ever taught their severely disabled child to write a blog post or given them the correct tools and accommodations to do so. She seems to believe that any given child, no matter how gravely disabled, regardless of no matter how nonverbal or severely retarded they are is capable of writing a blog post the way she does. The only reason they can't is because their parents presumed incompetence and failed them. Ms. Lutz has invited Ms. Bascom to come to her home and work with her son and teach him to write a blog post. To the best of my knowledge, no member of neurodiversity has done so. They have only produced a phony baloney PSA video with a nonverbal autistic girl as a cartoon character. showing her typing on a computer with all ten figures, as fluent in language as any non-autistic person, expressing her dislike of autism speaks. I echo Ms. Lutz's sentiments that if the ND's really have some method for training and accommodating a low functioning nonverbal autistic person that they should stop being so selfish and share it with her and the rest of the parents. I wonder if Ms. Bascom has accepted her invitation and if no why not?
The most interesting example of all was of the ubiquitous John Elder Robison who wrote a piece in response to parents who he claims are not presuming competence in their very severely handicapped children. At an IACC meeting Ms. Lutz asked about housing options for her severely autistic son. Showing his typical insensitivity and ignorance of the problems of severely autistic individuals he asked Ms. Lutz why her son could not choose where he lives. In a ROFL example, Robison stated that his dogs are perfectly capable of choosing where they live. They just roll on the floor and sleep where they want. Somehow trying to find a group home does not seem to be the same thing as a dog just sleeping where he wants on the floor of a house he already lives in. Likewise, Ms. Lutz extended an invitation to JER to visit her home and meet her son and ask him where he wants to live. I wonder if JER has accepted her invitation and if the answer is no, Why not?
I admire Ms. Lutz for her polite responses and her polite challenges to neurodiversity proponents to do something which she knows they are not likely capable of doing.
However, unlike Lutz, I'm autistic, have worse social skills, and am probably older than she is and certainly grumpier, so I'm going to be more blunt. Theresa Degener, Julia Bascom and John Elder Robison, if you truly believe all these things, then I suggest you put up or shut up. If Ms. Degener can get inside the mind of an individual with an IQ of 40 and ask him about guardianship, if Julia Bascom can teach him to write a blog post the way she does, and if Robison can have discourse with her son about where he chooses to live, then all the power to them. If not, I suggest they shut up and abandon this farcical crusade known as neurodiversity.