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Alex Plank with Aspergers Does Not Want To Be Cured But He Does Not Speak for My Son with Autistic Disorder

Posted Aug 24 2008 7:09pm

The major media is again featuring a high functioning person with Aspergers who claims that autistics don't want to be cured . In the Chicago Alex Plank offers the anti-cure ideology promoted by Jim Sinclair, Michelle Dawson and Amanda Baggs, all very high functioning persons with pervasive developmental disorders which are often casually referred to as autism spectrum disorders. Mr. Plank according to the article " has a girlfriend and is interested in computers, writing and acting. " So why should Mr. Plank want to be cured? I am not sure how or why Mr. Plank, or family members, sought and obtained his pervasive developmental disorder diagnosis. Given his own self description it is hard to see why he was even diagnosed in the first place but he certainly is not qualified to make the statements about autistics not wanting to be cured.

Mr. Plank according to the Tribune article:

1. Is a college student and founder of a Web Community.

2. He has a girlfriend and is interested in computers, writing and acting.

3. Had friends and had no problem with eye contact or socialization.

Given the above description I can understand why Mr. Plank would not want to be cured although I am not sure what he could be cured o f since it sounds like he is an ordinary functioning individual.

What Mr. Plank is not is a person with Autistic Disorder with profound developmental delays like my son. Unlike Mr. Plank my son does have problems with language and has cognitive challenges. He can not function in the world without 24/7 supervision. Occasionally he bites himself and he has put his hands through windows and smashed holes in walls. He does not understand all the dangers of everyday life like automobile traffic and he will not be able, like the fortune blessed Mr. Plank, to live an independent life with girlfriends, college and computers.

Mr. Plank though is offended that parents like me talk about the harsh realities faced by our severely autistic children because it makes him uncomfortable as an "autistic". He is also offended that parents seek treatment and cure for their own children which, given Mr. Plank's good fortune are almost assuredly more severely disabled than he. Mr. Plank, by his own self description, does not face the severe challenges that are faced by many autistic people with actual Autistic Disorder. He should be thankful for his blessings and quit posing as a spokesperson for all "autistics".

Mr. Plank, Michelle Dawson, Amanda Baggs, Jim Sinclair and other very high functioning persons at the upper end of the "autism spectrum" should be thankful for their blessings and stop attacking parents trying to help their own children. No one wants to cure you Alex, stop trying to keep my son and other persons with Autistic Disorder down so that you can feel better about the "autistic" label you have embraced.

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