Nick Walker is a neurodiversity proponent whose profile and exposure has recently been growing. Mr. Walker, who claims to be on the autism spectrum, has a rather interesting background for an autistic person He's a sixth degree black belt in aikido and owns and operates his own dojo. He also owns a publishing company and is a college instructor at two colleges. He has a wife and a daughter. Though he's written prolifically about neurodiversity, as far as I know, he's never described on what basis he's been diagnosed as autistic (assuming he's not self-diagnosed) or how autism manifests itself in his life.
Mr. Walker has also complained about Temple Grandin and John Elder Robison, referring to them as "tame autistics". Apparently, they are not strident enough in promoting the neurodiversity movement or adopting a bellicose enough attitude to suit Saint Nick. Based on some of my behavior on the internet over the years, I don't think he could say that about me. Though our ideologies are diametrically opposed, I think Walker or anyone else would have a hard time calling me a tame autistic. If anything, I've been a pretty controversial and wild autistic.
I recently renewed my interest in Walker as some months ago (though I was not aware of this until recently) he was claiming Autism in a Different Key authors John Donvan and Caren Zucker were in the process of making an anti-neurodiversity documentary. This was something I'd be interested in seeing. He warned neurodiversity proponents about this, urging they not consent to be interviewed by the authors as they would present any pro ND in the most unflattering manner possible. He correctly states that Donvan and Zucker presented Ari Ne'eman in an unfavorable manner in their book. It could be argued it was well-deserved, and if anything they were being charitable to Ne'eman in not presenting to their readers how truly bad he's been over the years.
If they're making this documentary, I'm curious why they didn't contact me. After all, I've had a pretty high profile as an autistic anti ND activist. I've been profiled in Newsweek, I've been on public radio shows and the Autism Live podcast, presenting this. Or perhaps Donvan and Walker don't want to get my side of the story, assuming this statement is not a fabrication on Walker's point. I won't provide the link to it, but the interested reader can certainly find it on YouTube and other places. I'll be interested to see if this documentary Walker claims is in the works will ever be made. I guess I'll see it if it is and it's available to me.
My interest was particularly piqued by some of his writings in a piece titled "five steps toward autism acceptance." He states:
Individuals and organizations that speak of autism as a “disease” or
“tragedy,” and that talk of “curing” it, should be prosecuted for hate
speech and incitement to violence, just as if they were advocating a
“Final Solution to the Jewish Problem"
I have repeatedly said that I believe autism is a disease, a tragedy, and I've brooked no quarters in stating that I want to cure it. According to Nick, I should be a criminal and I should be prosecuted and apparently imprisoned. Apparently, Walker has never heard of something the people who founded this nation more than two hundred years ago wrote called the constitution. The very first amendment to the constitution gives us the right to free speech. Apparently Walker would like us to live in stalinist Russia. As a Jew, I'm also offended that Walker would bring my ethnicity and the holocaust into this. I strongly suspect that Walker is not Jewish unlike myself.
Walker is certainly not on the fringe of the neurodiversity movement. His neurocosmopolitan website is frequently quoted by individuals as giving valid information as to what the neurodiversity movement itself is about. It appears high in the google search on neurodiversity.
I feel the same way about describing autism as an alternative way of being rather than a disorder or the statement that people who want to cure autism are advocating prenatal abortion and genocide. But I would never advocate denying an ND proponent their free speech, no matter how vehemently I disagree with them.
I wonder how long it will be before Walker is appointed as an autistic member of the IACC. How long will it be before Autism Speaks has some involvement with him or maybe appoints him to their Board of Directors? Will the Autism Society of America have him as a keynote speaker at one of their national conferences? I wonder when I'll be imprisoned for stating my beliefs about autism because it's hate speech and I'm inciting violence. The way things are going in the autism world, it might not be a long way off.