Sunday, January 20, 2008

Does being against neurodiversity mean being against human rights for the disabled?

I have just been recently shocked to learn that I am against human rights for those with autism and all other disabled people. I am opposed to providing wheelchair access for disabled people. I have also been told that I wish autistic persons would cease to exist and that they can not make decent employees of any sort. I was shocked to find all these things about myselfout on michelle dawsons's TMOB comment board, but apparently Ms. Dawson feels she can get inside my head and find out exactly what my opinions are and then turns around and tries to accuse me of omnescience. She is quit mistaken. I am for rights for handicapped people. I am for wheelchair access for handicapped people and I would probably be for the accommodations Ms. Dawson was not alloted for on her job, that she claims i am opposed to. I was even more shocked to find out that I want to prevent autistic people from trying to stop people from attending segretated special education schools. This seems strange in light of the fact that on my webpage and in usenet news groups and in other writings. I have presented some of the most anti-special ed opinions imaginable. I have favored abolition of the IDEA and I have stated that I am opposed to spending on ABA at taxpayer expense. I have also advocated mainstreaming and regular education for developmentally disabled persons whenever possible. I have also taken the ABA proponents to task on what I felt were their poorly done studies She and her friend janet norman bain (aka Jypsy) seem to be upset that I recently wrote an unfavorable piece about neurodiversity. Jypsy took me to task for saying that a consensus exists among a number of high functioning autistic persons feel that all autistic people feel the way they do. I conceded that perhaps this was a poor phrasing in an informal blog entry and perhaps I should have said a number of autistic persons seemed to think most (rather than all) shared their views. Consensus may have been a poor choice for a word.

Ms. Dawson's arguments on her comment board are very typical of those who have this point of view. They want to put words in people's mouth without debating any of the facts. By trying to evade the issue of their problematic philosophy by making false statements about me claiming i am opposed to human rights and I want all autistic persons to cease to exist. It is interesting that if i felt that way i should have committed suicide by now rather than writing this blog entry. This is similar to the strawman arguments about cure and prevention really being code words for abortion.

Does being against neurodiversity mean being against human rights for disabled people. No it certainly does not. It means I don't believe that autism is merely a different way of being, I wish there could be a cure for autism, and I don't believe in the viewpoint of Ms. Dawson and others that accommodations can be made for autistics and they will perform as well as others.

Ms. Dawson does research apparently trying to show that autistic intelligence is underestimated because of discrimination and because instruments such as the Wechsler IQ test do not provide a valid measurement. Perhaps she has a good point and many autistic persons deemed cognitively impaired have hidden abilities that we never imagined, I really don't know.

Ms. Dawson, unlike myself is aligned with Ph.D. academic researchers such as lauren mottron Morton Gernsbacher and others. She publishes work in peer reviewed journals such as JADD. It seems in her writings that she is a stickler for scientific rigor and the practice of peer review. I will never be in a position to do controlled studies and provide empirical evidence for any of my viewpoints, therefore Michelle has certain advantages that I don't have. If autistics really don't need a cure and they are capable of functioning ably in a society that allows them to use their hidden abilities that she suggests they have, I suggest that she and her colleagues start providing empirical evidence in the research literature for such. They have the opportunity to show that harnessing these abilities autistics were never known to have before will enable them to be successful in heterosexual relationships and marry, will enable them to complete college and graduate and professional schools and have satisfying careers. Will enable them to have good handwriting and motor coordination for those like me who have this impairment will be able to perform. They will cease to be disruptive in public places make untoward sexual advances towards people as one autistic person i know does, they won't bite themselves or engage in self-injurious behavior, etc. They can also provide the adult outcomes in the peer reviewed literature that lovaas and company have failed to provide in spite of being given NIMH funding to do so and have just presented these findings informally at conferences. I look forward to seeing Ms. Dawson's results in the peer reviewed literature.

No comments: