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Featured Excellent rebuttal of a scurrilous article about autism.

Discussion in 'Autism Spectrum News, Events and Research' started by Autistamatic, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Some of you may be aware of the horrendously misinformed and highly inaccurate article about neurodiversity published in the UK publication "The Spectator" last week. The author is a notorious American internet troll and bully, but somehow managed to get his views published in a mainstream current affairs magazine. The article was potentially highly damaging to autism advocates and puts forward ideas and attitudes that seek to unravel decades of work towards achieving parity of respect and opportunity for autistic people.

    The article below is a superb and magnanimous rebuttal of the article, paragraph by paragraph which states the truth we all know about our variety. It's a long(ish) but worthwhile read. The original article is reproduced within to save you giving the original unwanted "clicks".

    An Open Letter to The Spectator in Riposte to the Article Against Neurodiversity

    An alternative rebuttal by another writer is linked below which is equally worth reading afterwards.

    An open letter to the Spectator’s anti-neurodiversity article: THE DANGERS OF NEURODIVERSITY
     
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  2. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Active Member

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    Uhhhh... the rebuttal is really bad? The original article says nothing outrageous that needs to be argued against in the first place?

    The whole ND movement is pretty much all made up of HFA. People who by definition do not have a severe disability but just want everyone to behave according to their needs. The original article stated that it is incorrect to lash out against those that want to prevent or cure Autism because there are those that are severely disabled due to Autism, and those people have no voice.

    I'd say the whole ND thing is quite the cult. The reaction where Autism Speaks' crappy attempt at an artistic PSA was likened to genocide, I think it's a bit over the top. Primarily because Autism Speaks is not talking about your average 130 IQ Aspie engineer. They are talking about kids that need round the clock care.

    Don't get me wrong though. To say all NTs need to be forced to accommodate HFA is going a little overboard. Nobody should be forced to accommodate anyone.
     
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  3. china autie

    china autie friend to dogs and frogs and cats

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    The movement also has people in it who communicate by means other than their voices, people who cannot safely live along, people with autism plus other impairments. Amy Seqienzia, Julia Bascom, (the late) Amanda Baggs easily come to mind but there are others.

    Here is a blog post by Julia Bascom: Dear “Autism Parents”,

    Next thing is that some of us-- including me-- were what you would call "low functioning" as children.

    Finally, it is not Autism that causes extensive physical involvement nor is it "sub-normal intelligence."

    In biogenetics there is often a tradeoff. Dyslexics (my doc is one of them) often have superior spacial relations abilities. Getting rid of the gene mutations that cause dyslexia does not guarantee an individual will still have the superior spatial relations ability.

    Getting rid of the genetic stuff that accompanies Autism-- 98% of us are lactose intolerant, some of us are face-blind may or may not render an individual who is also missing the things we are good at. Stuff we are good at includes creativity (we generate less ideas than NTs in testing but ur ideas are more original, attention to detail, and intense focus on our passions.

    Until genetics advances to the point of being able to engineer out our weaknesses while keeping our strengths, I am opposed to a cure.

    Meanwhile, more babies will get aborted (look at how many downs syndrome babies are aborted) because they show markers for autism. These markers that do exist in combinations (meaning there are variants of genes that make us autistic) do NOT show how much support we will need.

    So Harry Cavendish can be aborted right along with a child considered to need "custodial care".

    Furthermore, the use of functioning labels do not tell what support someone needs. By low functioning, do you mean diapers? Not walking? Not using a mouth to speak? SIBs?
    By high functioning do you mean someone who talks with their mouth? Can read and do maths? Can walk?

    Disability is a social construct as much as it is a reality. I know someone who uses technology to communicate, can't walk or talk, is Incontinent. They also snow ski, are on social media, and teach a class. Are they high functioning or low functioning? When we can't work full time, have problems with money or transportation or trusting the wrong people, when shutdowns render us incapable of functioning for one, two, or three days, are we high functioning or low functioning?

    As some #ActuallyAutistic bloggers have noted, the same human being can vary in ability to function. Designating someone as "low functioning" gives some professionals an excuse for having low expectations of us and not getting creative. Designating someone as "high functioning " ignores the very real struggles of someone and is an excuse for not working to meet their needs.

    I like the rebuttals myself.
     
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  4. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    When you said it was long-ish, I didn't expect to read the whole thing, but that was intriguing!

    And scary. That Autism speaks passage is terrifying. Whoever wrote that must have been so angry. :(
     
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  5. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Missionary ☝ Cybernaut

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    There are two types of autism,
    • Without complications [ASD1]. This is the face of neuro-diversity (along with asynchronous giftedness and others), and
    • With complications, [ASD2/3]. Their aggravated co-morbid conditions (not their autism) warrant investigation into therapy & prevention of such. (I have two such children.)
    Agencies like Autism Speaks seek to eradicate the beneficial parts of autism indiscriminately from said external complications. Opposition should be expected.
     
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  6. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Active Member

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    First to address the elephant in the room: When I say LFA/HFA etc I mean purely from an intelligence standpoint. Is Stephen Hawking LF? Since LF/HF is usually used in the context of Autism I'm sure we can say that wheelchairs and physical disabilities do not have anything to do with it. We don't call people in wheelchairs with IQ's above 115 "HF" and the others "LF".

    Bringing up the few which were genius and just so happened to be Autistic as well is making a judgement and taking it as gospel despite not knowing the details. We first of all do not know with 100% certainty which geniuses were actually Autistic, and we do not know if they would have been genius if they weren't Autistic. To link Autism to any form of genius while dismissing any difficulties as co-morbid conditions is taking an unrealistically positive view for which there is no proof.

    The co-morbid conditions mentioned are also far more common in those with Autism than they are in the general population. As such, a genetic marker for Autism essentially functions as a risk factor for these co-morbid conditions as well. Even if 1% of the Autistic children born turn out to be geniuses, what about the 99% that aren't?

    This is simply a first step. Eventually the science will get to the point where Autism with high IQ, Autism with co-morbid conditions and Autism with low IQ can be separated. Pushing for more research into this area is exactly what Autism Speaks does. Right now we don't even have a 100% accurate idea about the causes of Autism, yet the ND movement is screaming "Genocide" because they are afraid that science might deflate their safe little bubble.

    I don't particularly like Autism Speaks myself, they conjure up the image of 2 parents that had a child for their own benefit with the father going "Wuuuut he huz Utism?! Dose dat mean he wunt love futball! OOooh mah baby is retardud!" after finding out his kid has Aspergers. But at least I can see that this is mostly a hyperbolic emotional view on the issue. Worst case scenario Autism Speaks wastes the money of it's donors, best case scenario they help increase our scientific knowledge pertaining to Autism and it's causes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  7. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    The core idea behind the neurodiversity movement is inclusion of all people on the spectrum and associated differences/disabilities to seek better representation, treatment options for co-occurring conditions and public understanding. That is a noble cause of benefit to all people on the spectrum and with associated neurological differences, so for any autistic individual to dismiss that or fight against it is against their own interests. There are without doubt some agitators out there who spout controversial opinions purely for the attention it brings them, and I've encountered those on both sides of the fence. They are the "bad apples" who spoil the barrel for all those others doing their honest best to foster change.

    Seeking a mythical and likely impossible cure for autism is both a pipe dream and a waste of resources that could be better spent helping autistic people lead better lives, now and in the future. There are so many genetic markers already known to be indicators of potential autism, any practical gene based treatment is likely centuries away, if possible at all. Those markers are present in both "types" of autism. That leaves selective termination of foetuses carrying genetic markers which MAY be indicators of future autistic traits but with limited certainty. That is something which I, and countless others, cannot condone.

    Anyone who writes people off as a "cult" because those people care about the welfare of all autistics including those less fortunate than themselves, then they have that right. They also have the right to exclude themselves from any benefits that come from the greater awareness and provision of services ND advocates are fighting for.

    Dw909PKXgAIHnhF.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  8. china autie

    china autie friend to dogs and frogs and cats

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    So people with low intelligence scores on their testing results have lives of less value than the rest of us?
     
  9. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I just see such arguments where a common denominator is more often reflected in an opinion based on advocates of NT parents with autistic children.

    -Not advocates for autistic people.

    We don't need a "cure" that science may be empirically incapable of providing. We just need understanding that is more or less humanly possible. Despite our species' propensity for predatory behavior towards those who for whatever reason seem "different".
     
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  10. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    That is often the case @Judge but unfortunately, in the case of the guy who wrote the original article, he's a loner who advocates only for a cure for himself. He is one, who along with a few others who identify themselves with similar opinions, mounted a campaign of intimidation against a number of well known ND autistic women online on the same weekend the article was published, possibly emboldened by that fact. One of the people targeted was a 15 yr old girl and one of the more polite terms they frequently used was "slut".
     
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  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Point taken.

    Tragic- and twisted, but it just goes to show that apart from the spectrum of traits and behaviors is the variety of how we either do- or don't accept our own autism.
     
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  12. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Active Member

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    As from the results, 11% of Nonverbal and 15% of those with learning disabilities want a cure.

    To say they can't have a cure because your "movement" says it's "wrong" is cult-like behaviour to me. Those searching for a cure are not doing any harm to those that don't want a cure. Parents that want an NT child and choose to end a pregnancy are not doing any harm to those with Autism that are perfectly happy the way they are.

    In the end it is up to the parents what kind of child they want, they are not harming society by only having NT children. All this crazy loony behaviour has been holding back humanity for long enough, we can't even research genetic engineering to make 130+ IQ humans because of this collective inferiority complex of the general public despite the fact that it would permanently solve poverty and global inequality. But we can't... because feelings.

    To say a cure is not possible is untrue. It is 100% possible, it just isn't clear as to how complicated it is or how long it will take before research gets far enough. Genetic manipulation through viral or nanobot vectors and regeneration of all body tissues including nerves and neurons would cure all diseases.

    I am not familiar with rudeness of the author in other situations. I am judging the arguments made in his article and the rebuttal to it. All he stated was that not all Autistic people are happy being Autistic, and that this minority should not be drowned out by the loud voices of the ND police. It is better to have a cure available for those that want it rather than not having a cure available at all.
     
  13. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    As soon as you label those you disagree with as a "cult" or as the "......police" of anything, you undermine any credibility your objective argument may have.
    Those searching for a cure are hurting all of us by sucking up funds that could benefit us all rather than being wasted on a search which, at best, we are technologically incapable of realising.
     
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  14. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    The fact that eugenics doesn't affect me directly isn't relevant to its morality, or lack thereof, and neither does that argument work for the acceptance of anything.

    And I wonder if the idea that a society of people with only IQs of 130s+ solving any problems is an idea of yours that you're throwing out there or if you have anything to back that up? My initial response is laughter, but I'll wait and see.
     
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  15. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Missionary ☝ Cybernaut

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    Because of how statistics works, the mean would always be 100, though their 100 would be our 130...
     
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  16. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I put "funny" because I'm laughing at me and the other guy.

    I feel like I knew that on some level but didn't put everything together. I love that! Thank you!
     
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  17. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    It is funny @Fino because the true principle behind eugenics is not eliminating the "impure" as much as aggressively breeding the "pure". The theory runs that the "impure/inferior" must always exist as servants of their superior masters, but they must be distinct. The irony lies in that those who support ND who accuse their opposites have missed some of the intention behind eugenics, yet those who deny eugenics are at play come up with nonsense about breeding high IQ humans as described above.
    It's basically Ayn Rand rubbish again, but intentionally bred into the population. Real nasty philosophy masquerading as science.
     
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  18. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    To make sure I understand correctly: the goal would be to widen the gap between the "superior" and "inferior," as well as increase the ratio of "superior" to "inferior," and the goal would not be for everyone to be equal but "superior" to prior generations, like a collective boost?

    Sorry about all the quotation marks, I annoyed myself with them, but also didn't want to give the impression that I think anything discussed has had anything to do with actual "superiority" or "inferiority," whatever that even is.
     
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  19. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Active Member

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    It would solve all problems related to low IQ. Crime would drop massively (Higher IQ in the prison population is much rarer than it is in the general population, with chronic offenders in western nations having an average IQ of 85). Violent crime, from rapes to murders, are almost exclusively committed by low IQ individuals. Crime in general is mostly committed by people in the 80-90 IQ range, with a sufficiently high average IQ such individuals would be nearly non-existent and therefore crime would likewise be nearly non-existent. IQ determines the wealth of nations with the only exceptions being Communism and oil. And even oil can't fix a 60-70 IQ nation, the proof being that African nations with oil are still among the poorest countries in the world. IQ determines lifespan, health and happiness. So a higher IQ population generally lives longer, is healthier and happier. And this can not be fully accounted for due to socioeconomic reasons. Oh, I don't think I have to mention that poor people have a lower average IQ and wealthier people have a higher average IQ. So from a macro to a micro level, everything gets better.

    In the end, what you want doesn't matter. China is already progressing a lot in researching which genes are associated with high IQ and how to increase IQ through genetic manipulation. Just like the Middle-East was left in the dust around 1000 years ago when math was deemed devilry, the Western nations will be left behind due to the decree that genetic manipulation is unethical. There will always be those that hate any kind of progress, but there will also always be those that will do what they want regardless of that.
     
  20. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Missionary ☝ Cybernaut

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    In every society, when referenced against themselves, the mean IQ is 100. By that standard, every society has the same percentage of 80s-90s.

    IQs grade on a curve.
     
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