Updated and revised as of Jul 24
Yesterday, I tried to place a comment at AoA. I think it's important to acknowledge when AoA manages to run an article that isn't hate-filled or chockful of inaccuracies. For a Crosby piece, this one did fairly well at making the case that Asperger Syndrome is a disability and people with the condition should qualify for services and do. He went on to argue against his mythical ND movement, and I argued against that in my comment, but I didn't go into great deal on Crosby's piece. Yesterdays's blog post was just a quick little thing to note that even when I try to post something generally positive and favorable towards AoA over there that they won't put it on, but let hate-spew on, which was never addressed by another commenter. My original blog post is in blue so that readers know what was up yesterday.
Crosby: AoA and another good article:
You did a very nice job with this.
I don't think all individuals who support accommodation and acceptance of people on the spectrum who get the label of ND are of the belief that ASDs are not a disability. Just as people with ASDs are on a spectrum of differing levels of functioning, people involved in the autism community are on a spectrum when it concerns how best to serve that community. One can advocate the idea of a neurological difference while not dismissing disability. The point is to increase acceptance, minimize discrimination, and make society more receptive to all individuals, regardless of their level of functioning.
And Roger, proving AoA isn't about to drive traffic to me: they won't post the above, but they'll post this:
"Nuerodiverse is a psyop brought to you by our government and pharma. Anybody who falls for the neurodiverse movement is disabled because they lack judgement and reasoning ability. Honestly, people who cannot function are not some higher form of exisitng or whatever nonsense they spew. I honestly don't listen, it's like saying cancer is a kiss from God. Nuerodiverse only exists on the internet, not real life. Nobody would look at a brain damaged person (sorry Jake) and think it's a good thing. Sad that the argument has become well you're less brain damaged so it's ok. "
AoA, keep proving what you are about. You're doing a good job of proving my point made here: http://counteringageofautism.blogspot.com/2009/07/why-not-let-it-on-when-im-going-to-put.html.
Keep spreading the hate. Even when you manage to let a good article on.
In the comments section, jypsy provides a good rebuttal to Crosby's inaccuracies regarding ND. While it appears that each "side" of the neurodiversity equation has its extremists, neurodiversity, as I believe I have written previously, is like ASDs, a spectrum.
Neurodiversity.com on its intro page has "honoring the variety of human wiring." For me, to be a supporter of neurodiversity means that I accord all people regardless of their level of impairment, their diagnosis, their issues, a respect and appreciation for their value and worth, for their rights to be treated with dignity and compassion. The failure to see others who are different as inherently equal in value to oneself, is to be anti-neurodiversity. If Crosby, Best, Mitchell, and others can redefine neurodiversity to be this mythical movement in which its followers do nothing for their children to help them achieve their potential and far worse than that, then we can redefine anti-NDs. And I will.
Best wrote on this blog this comment: "The problem with this deranged statement is that autism is unacceptable. It should never be accepted, only cured and eradicated. Actual autistic people are not simply cognitively disabled. They are cognitively blown away. They have no cognitive function that remotely resembles any human capacity."
I let this comment stand because it meets my comment guidelines, which are lenient, with a rule of 5. This, while containing no name-calling or outright personal abuse, meets my criteria for being considered comment 3 of the 5 Best will be allowed. While I will not directly address Best until there is a retraction of his hateful name calling on his blog and here and an apology for the abuse, I will address the comment itself.
First, "autism is unacceptable."
This is an imprecise statement. The suffering that autism may and does cause for individuals is unacceptable. If the suffering is caused by hate rants like the above, then the suffering is not an inherent feature of autism and lies instead with the people who utter it. The discrimination suffered by people on the spectrum is unacceptable. The lack of acceptance and basic human dignity is unacceptable.
"It should never be accepted, only cured and eradicated."
I think there is much offensive here, but let me start with the idea that autism shouldn't be accepted. What does that mean? Does it mean denial? Best has made clear that he believes all autism to be mercury poisoning. That's it, that's what autism is. I argue mercury poisoning is mercury poisoning and autism is autism, two different things entirely.
Best would have people believe that accepting autism means not working with children on the spectrum to help them achieve their full potential, that it means leaving them as they are and offering no intervention. This is his mythical ND movement.
What about "cured and eradicated"?
To Best, autism/mercury poison should be cured with chelation, and I believe, lupron, as well. Failure to provide this is child abuse to Best. Autism is not mercury poisoning and no "cure" exists, although there are certainly children who do incredibly well as they grow up and see huge improvements in functioning due to intense early intervention and continued supportive therapies. The degree of impairment varies widely and the number of comorbid conditions varies, as well. This impacts the level of improvement some will see over time. Profound intellectual disability does coexist with autism, and improvement may not be significant for some.
So what about eradication? Nasty word, nasty concept, that. What is Best suggesting with the use of this term? That where it can not be cured, it should be eradicated? How? What does he mean by this specifically?
"Actual autistic people are not simply cognitively disabled. They are cognitively blown away. They have no cognitive function that remotely resembles any human capacity."
Okay, going on the assumption based on Best's previous comments here, I believe that he is restricting actual autistic to the most seriously impaired and for which he is blaming mercury poisoning. He does not appear to ascribe to the notion of current accepted definitions of ASDs by the neurological or psychological communities, or even particularly with AoA's positions. So, if you restrict your view to Best's view that it is that small proportion of profoundly autistic and intellectually disabled individuals who are his focus, his comment still remains deeply offensive.
Human capacity? I believe this statement reflects more on Best than it does on the individuals he is referring to. My mother has approximately two decades of working as a nurse at a local assisted living center for the mentally and physically disabled; my husband worked there as direct care staff for over two years. Because the first decade of my mother's work at the ALC was while I was a child, I grew up around the profoundly disabled. Human capacity? Oh, my. That and so much more. A capacity for profound joy, for simple appreciation of human kindness. And Best would say these profoundly disabled individuals have no human capacity?
There is no doubt that there is a sizable proportion of our society who is dismissive and cruel towards those who are disabled. This says far more about them than it does the disabled. We have to stand up to these bullies. We have to say that all people are valuable. We have to teach our children to not only value others, but to stand up to such blatant hateful discrimination when they see it. Abuse occurs when the people who care for the disabled who need 24 hour care are allowed to not see these individuals as human beings who have value. Best and his fellow hatemongers foster this idea that the disabled lack human capacity. They perpetuate this abuse.
This is unacceptable and must be countered wherever and whenever it is seen.