Most of us have heard the old saw if at first you don't succeed, well try try again. That seems to be what the well-known autism blog Left Brain/Right Brain is doing. After a very lame attempt on the part of the main author of the blog, Kevin Leitch, to justify the absurdity known as "neurodiversity", we see that his partner, someone who calls themselves "Sullivan", is trying to help save face. Like Leitch, Sullivan, also falls flat on his/her face in trying to justify this movement which has claims that autism is not a disorder or disease but just a different way of being.
Sullivan starts out with the copout argument that neurodiverse just means different types of thinking and different types of brains. Sullivan starts out with the obvious that no two brains are exactly alike. Then goes on to try to distinguish this idea from being neurodiverse to the movement known as neurodiversity.
He then states the tired cliche of so many involved in this movement that there is no set definition of neurodiversity and no organization. The first part of the statement may be true, there may not be any set definition of neurodiversity and different people have different takes, but there are some commonalities, like claiming a cure for autism would be bad and that the efforts of autism speaks and other similar organizations are thinly veiled attempts at eugenics. There are a number of organizations that subscribe to this philosophy such as GRASP and ASAN, though there may not be one organization. One of my readers, Marius Filipis (sp??), put it well: that pretending that it does not exist fools no one and that even though there may not be one brand of communism you can have Marxists and Maoists who may not agree on everything but have some underlying similarities.
Sullivan then goes on to make this galling and outright hypocritical statement:
And, just as we need to respect each other even though we come from diverse gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, and other backgrounds, we need to respect each other even though we think in different ways.
That’s not so hard a concept, is it
Since when have neurodiversitites treated anyone with respect. They have cussed me out calling me "mitchell-shite", called me Joseph Goebels, insulted my mother calling her domineering and a witch. They have blamed Katie Mccaron's murder on those of us who want a cure. Ari Nee'man, now ND's very young but high profile spokesperson has not been above the fray stating that autism speaks was somehow morally complicit with McCarron's murder due to a temporal relationship between Allison Tepper-Singer's melodramatic statements about sometimes wishing she could drive off a bridge with her daughter and the murder of 4-year-old mcccarron by her obviously deranged mother. My friend brain researcher Matthew Belmonte has received emails from ND's calling him a nazi. When I had insults hurled at me out of the clear blue sky in the comments section of the whose planet is it anyway blog and I just did not feel like turning the other cheek that day, I was somehow accused of provoking this fight in order to deliberately generate traffic to my blog! There have been other episodes of rudeness and condescension towards me from other NDs. No, ND's who are respectful are the exception and not the rule.
Sullivan continues with the old ND canard of criticising those of us who oppose the ND movement because someplace along the line we got the idea that they were saying autism is not really a disability when they mean nothing of the kind.
Perhaps we did get this idea from someplace and that was from the originator of the term neurodiversity Judith Singer.
Ms. Singer states on her website:
Coming from this multi-layered background I want to encourage the development of new 'ways of seeing" that depathologise AS as much as possible, which is why I pioneered the idea that AS should be seen as a neurological minority rather than as a "disability". But I have now come to the conclusion that balance requires us to acknowledge that that not all is for the best in this brave new world that the "neuroscience revolution" delineates.
So yes, the originator of the term did see at least some forms of autism as not being a disability and perhaps that is where we got this idea that current ND proponents are claiming are a strawman.
Sullivan then goes on to say that neurodiversity is about "human rights", another weary cliche. Those of us who want a cure for autism are certainly in favor of human rights and dignity for autistics. Many of us do realize that in spite of our desire, a cure for autism will probably not be in the cards in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, i think most "curebies" want to accommodate persons with autistics, help them in any way we can, though it is my personal belief that these options are quite limited. The desire for help and accommodations and the desire to fund a cure should not be mutually exclusive.
How about the right not to be abused when we are trying to surf the web in peace? How about the right for an autistic child to be treated or even cured when these options become available? How about the right to do the research in neuroscience and genetics so these options will become available as soon as possible? It seems to me if anyone is violating the human rights of those of us involved in autism it is people on the ND side.
I suppose another of the LB/RB's team of authors will make another excuse for neurodiversity. Well if at first you don't succeed.......... well you know the rest.