Neurodiversity has completely taken over all facets of the autism discourse. Autism speaks reversed itself saying they will no longer look for a cure or prevention of autism. They appointed two neurodiversity proponents alleging to have autism to their board of directors. One has said that autism is a superpower. The other has said that autism is not a disability, but a strength. The Simons Foundation's newsletter, Spectrum routinely publishes articles from some of the most hardcore neurodiversity proponents such as Julia Bascom, Shannon Rosa and Sara Luterman. The U.S. Government no longer will combat autism and has appointed seven neurodiversity proponents as public members, six of them identifying as being on the autism spectrum. As far as I know, they've appointed one anti-vaxxer, one or two parents who support the concept of prevention and cure and zero pro-cure, pro-treatment autistics, though two applied to be on the IACC and were turned down. They also have multibillionaire George Soros on their side who has given over $300,000 to the autistic self advocacy network, the premiere neurodiversity organization in the United States.
Last, but as far as this post goes, not least, they have completely taken over the International Society of Autism Research. Their president is Simon Baron-Cohen, a neurodiversity proponent. On their board of directors is well-known neurodiversity proponent John Elder Robison who has recently called for an adult prevalence study and should be in the Guiness Book of World Records for writing a journal article with the most factual errors of all time. Autism Research, INSAR's journal, published his article.
However, this is not enough for them. In a redux of SB's BS, Simon Baron Cohen has published an article attempting to make a case for why neurodiversity is a legitimate philosophy and should not be controversial He gives a rehash of all of his old and ignorant talking points.
In trying to say that the autistic brain is a variation of normal, he again neglects to cite the findings of gliosis in Bailey's postmortem studies. This is a response of glial cells to damage of neuronal cells, clearly a pathology and not just a different form of brain wiring. He neglects to cite the work of Wegiel which finds heterotopias in four autistic brains and none of the controls. This is where germinal cells fail to migrate to their proper spots during fetal development, causing seizures and other brain abnormalities. It is no less of a normal variation than an ectopic pregnancy or inguinal hernia.
He goes on to talk about the superiority of autistics on the block design subtest of the Wechsler as showing autism to be a variation of normal, but neglects to mention the subpar scores on the comprehension subtest which results in autistics having severe social judgment impairments and getting into trouble in social situations.
In his statements about genetic variations, he neglects to discuss the research showing autism in a number of cases is the result of de novo mutations, such as the research of Jonathan Sebat demonstrates. He neglects to discuss the evidence for environmental factors in autism such as the California twin studies and the work of Tanai in Japan showing much larger concordance in fraternal twins than in non twin siblings, even though they have the same genetic makeup. Not to mention thalidomide and various types of birth complications which have been found in association with autism.
However, these are old talking points of SB's BS and I've commented on them before
What's new is that he says the concept of neurodiversity should not be controversial, but apparently the concepts of curing autism and prevention should be. This man who attempts to be the voice of reason has stated anyone who wants to cure and prevent autism is no different than a nazi or a member of the Ku Klux Klan, Ergo, cure and prevention are controversial positions and neurodiversity is a benign thought that should have no controversy whatsoever.
He has admitted there are autistic people who can't speak and have other serious impairments. Yet, the neurodiversity movement he emboldens has constantly insulted parents who want cures for their children or to prevent other children from going through the hell they have gone through.
Why should wanting to cure self-injurious behavior, seizures, etc. be controversial?
Even a cure for more mild problems such as the one's I've had with holding down jobs, fine motor problems, celibacy, etc is controversial? Why should this be so?
Perhaps it's time to rethink what should be controversial and what shouldn't be in the field of autism.