Ariane Zurcher is a jeweler, author and mother of a child with autism. Zurcher though is tired of people talking about autism as though it were a disorder or group of disorders. In the AOL Huffington Post opinion piece The Depiction of Autism and Why It Matters Zurcher says she is tired of negative depictions of autism. She criticizes those who do talk about the realities of autism disorders because ... well because in her view she has outgrown such views and so must we. No mention should be made of the deficits that led parents to seek medical advice in the first place, to find out what was wrong with their child. No description should be made of the deficits that resulted in a medical diagnosis of autism in the first place. Zurcher wants us all to talk about autism as though it were ... jewelry, pretty, sparkly jewelry.
The word disorder does not appear in Zurcher's opinion piece. There is mention of deficits (without any description of those deficits) associated with autism but primarily for the purpose of chastising the media and anyone who uses negative imagery in talking about autism. She does not describe in any detail the harsh realities facing those severely affected by autism disorders.
Ariane Zurcher has tired of searching for treatment for her child's autism and doesn't want others to talk about autism as though it were a disorder. Like other joy of autism authors before her Zurcher's solution to autism is simple: talk to some very high functioning celebrities with "autism" and talk about autism like it is not a disorder after all. Embrace your child's autism and forget about the deficits your child displays which led you to seek medical advice for him or her in the first place.
I will continue to speak honestly about autism disorders and the autism deficits that limit the lives of so many who suffer from them. I hope that other parents stay strong and continue to support efforts to research and find the causes of, and treatments and cures for, autism disorders.