Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Autism, Self-Advocacy and It's Direction

I usually don't repost other people's articles here on this blog. But John Elder Robinson wrote a piece for Psychology Today that is very important. He questions the tract of the self-advocacy movement. Now I as a parent of two yougnmen with aspergers have always done that. I have never liked the position of many self-advocates, mostly because I think they give the world an excuse to disenfranchise autistics and deny them a future. (Read here) And yes, I have been called names and attacked as something akin to Beelzebub. However, even more importantly I think that those who are most severely affected seem to be left out of the mix when discussing society and its relationship to persons on the autism spectrum. Now I don't agree with everything Mr. Robinson writes. I am not against the rewriting of the DSM, but I think its important that you hear from someone on the spectrum about self-advocacy and its future. What are the unintended consequences of the self-advocacy movement for autistics? How are these consequences avoided and how can we as a society help?

Where is this autism spectrum of ours headed?

It's the time for New Year resolutions, and mine is that we autistic individuals rethink how we present autism to the public.

By now you've likely read that the latest version of the DSM guide proposes to merge Asperger's, PDD-NOS, and all other autistic conditions into one diagnostic category, to be called Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

A number of parents and advocates for people with very severe autistic impairment have criticized that move, saying it will render people with both severe autism and intellectual disability almost invisible.

Some even feel the traditional autism diagnosis has been "taken away from them," to be replaced by a broader, more Asperger-like diagnosis. 

I agree with those sentiments. Read the rest HERE

Until next time,