Severity is not acceptable

There was a big splash on the internet about a news bit that ABC Good Morning America did on the Neurodiversity movement yesterday. I just listened to the clip. And read this woman’s response.

From what I understood, the slant of the news story is this: Its ok for Ari Ne’eman and other “high functioning autistics” to advocate for acceptance, but it is not ok to ask parents of “severely” affected children to stop seeking a “cure” from autism. Lots of bunny ears…sorry…the language is charged with meanings.

So, if my future kid is outwardly profoundly autistic, I have every right to want this kid cured instead of seeking for a better environment/culture for the child as s/he is. The ABC slant clearly said, well, fine enough for you guys who can talk and dress up in a suit, but if you cannot stand to wear suits (who does?) and cannot verbalize (maybe could type or use picture language instead), you need to be fixed.


The Autism Self Advocacy Network is incredible!


5 Responses to “Severity is not acceptable”

  1. 1 amberpeace June 11, 2008 at 9:52 am

    You need to do a post on what coping skills severly autistic people have developed, because you and a 10 year old are the only autistic people I know.

  2. 2 cbrunette June 11, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Good idea, Amber! I will work on a post this week. 🙂

  3. 3 agatha June 24, 2008 at 7:53 am

    I’d like some help with this. I have an autistic son who doesn’t use words very much, nor pecs, or sign, etc. I know it is VERY frustrating for him when he can’t communicate. Usually we can figure it out but sometimes not. Then he bites his arm to the point of bleeding, hits his head and cries.

    Also he will not eat and so uses a feeding tube.

    I don’t want a cure! I love him. He’s perfect. But obviously he’s not happy that I can’t totally understand him! What does the neurodiversity/acceptance movement recommend for us? He goes to therapy and LOVES it, and we work with him throughout the day using lots of techniques. He’s happy when we’re working on learning!

    I tend to be anti-ABA so I’m just asking how I can wrap my mind around this and not feel extremely sad about the horrible tantrums and self-injury!

  4. 4 Ari October 28, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Agatha: I don’t know your son specifically, but I’d be glad to chat with you and we can try and think together how to approach maximizing your son’s quality of life from a neurodiversity-friendly perspective, if you’re interested. My idea of the neurodiversity movement says that if we are not succeeding in fulfilling the needs of autistics like your son as well as those like me, we are failing in what we need to accomplish for the autistic community. Drop me an e-mail, if you are so inclined. I’m not always great with keeping current with correspondence, but I hope I can be a useful resource.

  5. 5 sandrar September 10, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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