Individuals involved in autism, including parents, professionals, and autistic people themselves have a wide range of opinions on a variety of issues. These include persons who believe that vaccines cause autism, though the evidence for this is lacking. This also includes people who believe in the concept of neurodiversity, though the evidence of this concept as a biological fact or effective way of resolving the problems of autism are also lacking. There are also individuals such as myself who don't agree with either camp and have their own strong opinions about autism. The various sides have been at loggerheads with one another going back to the nineties when the internet had widespread use and diagnoses of autism increased rapidly. There have been nasty insults traded back and forth by all sides. On occasions there have even been death threats such as when one neurodiversity individual threatened to murder as many NTs as he could Likewise researcher Manuel Casanova stated that he'd received death threats from some people who believed vaccines caused autism when he made statements contrary to their beliefs. Temple Grandin's mother, with the exception of her unfortunate statement linking autistics to pedophiles, has stated that she usually stays out of autism debates because of all the political disagreements in the autism world. Bernard Rimland's widow (forgot her name) has made a similar statement.
Lately, there have been some suggestions that these divisions can and should be resolved for the common good of all concerned. This line of thought is that if we all worked together on common goals then we'd actually be able to do things to help persons on the autism spectrum and their families vis-a-vis, insurance, lobbying legislatures, etc. John Elder Robison recently wrote a blog post to that effect. This was partially in response to Amy Lutz who expressed concern that JER did not understand that she needed help in finding a residential placement for her son, when he suggested that if his own dog could make a choice that Lutz's son could too. Ms. Lutz cordially invited John to come to her home and have a dialogue with her son about where he'd want to live, possibly to show to him he might not understand the problems someone with an IQ of 40 might have with that. I realize at some point when John's busy schedule permits him time and he's in the Pennsylvania area he might accept Amy's invite. I hope he does.
Though he has not yet accepted her invitation, he did write a conciliatory response to her concern. This gave her encouragement believing that at some point the autism community could work together for the common good.
In a facebook exchange with Thomas Clements (the autistic buddha) he expressed unhappiness at being attacked by a neurodiversity SJW and asked for my input as well as John Robison's and Steve Silberman and others. My only comment was that he was now learning what neurodiversity was really about. This prompted a response from Silberman stating that my comment was an example of all the infighting among those interested in autism and it prevented those afflicted from receiving the help they needed.
Roger Kulp stated that there were no way all the sides could work together because of the great disparity of the groups in their goals. Also he seemed to blame the psychiatry profession for being too inclusive of too many people to be included under the autism rubric when they wrote later versions of the DSM. Roger makes what I believe are some valid points as there is a huge difference in functioning and clinical profile between lets say Alex Plank and Amy Lutz's son and Jill Escher's children.
I would like to give my take as an individual and go beyond just the entire group.
I don't believe the divisions in the autism community will ever be resolved nor will I make an effort to do so.
I will never work with neurodiversity people who have called me a nazi or at least implied this. I will never work with people who have insulted my mother called her a witch and a yapping shrew and have stated that she's a danger to the autism community. I will never work with people who have implied I might be out to engage in click bait and publicity for my blog after I angrily responded in one thread in another blog when they were ridiculing my celibacy and calling my mother names, I will never work with people who state that persons who want to find treatments and cures for autism are looking for a way to intentionally abort autistic fetuses. When journalist Erika Hayasaki was writing a profile about me that was eventually published in Newsweek magazine, a bunch of NDs wrote her en masse, urging her not to write about me. They probably also wrote Newsweek urging them not to publish the article. I will never work with these people.
There is no way my goals and theirs will ever be reconciled, so I'm not going to try. I don't believe that doing research on whether or not vaccines cause autism will get any results as this has been done ad nauseum. I don't believe acceptance and accommodations are going to resolve all the problems of autism. I don't believe that embracing businesses like specialisterne, SAP, Mindspark, etc. stating that the neurodiversity model will enable autistics to make a living will help.
In a facebook exchange with Amy, when she was enthused with Robison's post and felt that all the factions could work together, I stated I did not agree. She asked me if I felt she was naive. I told her I believed she was. I still believe people who think this way are naive.
I hope that scientific research will be done that helps find treatments and prevention(not abortion) for autism. However, at the present time, there are no easy answers, and I believe it is naive to think so.
Though John Robison may have had good intentions with his post, I don't believe the various factions will ever work together nor should they attempt to.