Michael John Carley disses nonAsperger's lower functioning autistics
Posted Feb 12 2010 12:00am
I have recently read an interesting post on the autism jabberwocky blog about neurodiversitite Michael John Carley. Roger Kulp of the new "smash the spectrum" blog mentions Carley in his post also. It would seem that Mr. Carley, an individual who was able to get married, have two children, support a family and was not diagnosed with an ASD until age 36 and only after one of his sons was diagnosed with an ASD feels that the new changes in the DSM which would eliminate Asperger's and make all ASD's part of a group just called autism are in his words "hard to swallow".
Carley has stated in his book Asperger's from the inside out that there is a universal feeling among persons on the autism spectrum that they don't want to be cured. He seems to want to speak for me in spite of being Asperger's which means he likely never had a speech delay as I had or spent several years in special education as I did. Naturally Carley has no basis for this blanket statement other than various things he has read on wrongplanet or other ND websites. So he spreads the same baloney that Alex Plank spreads. Carley takes pride in his Asperger's diagnosis because he states that Einstein and Jefferson had Asperger's syndrome. As at least some readers of the gadfly blog know I have written an essay which refutes this notion by Carley and other NDs.
Carley apparently does not like the idea of being called autistic because it means he would be classified along with persons who head bang or who are adults in diapers rather than being able to fancy himself another Albert Einstein or Thomas Jefferson.
MJ, author of the autism jabberwocky blog, who, if I am not mistaken, has two twin daughters who are both on the more severe end of the spectrum (I guess if MJ reads this he can correct me if I am wrong), naturally took umbrage at this comment. Carley's beliefs seem to be rather condescending if not somewhat bigoted. MJ pointed out that it would seem strange that this man who at one time made a living as a diplomat working with the United Nations would in fact be so undiplomatic and I agree with his assessment.
Roger Kulp, in the above linked post, pointed out some MRI studies that suggest that on a neurophysiologic level that autism and Asperger's may be more dissimilar disorders than people at first thought. So there may be something to the autism is not Asperger's mantra.
One wonders if other ND's share Carley's sentiments. They claim to be about dignity and human rights. They claim that autism speaks and the autism genetic resource exchange largely exist to deliberately come up with a prenatal test that would enable autistic fetuses to be aborted. Yet Carley does not seem to care about anyone but Shiny Aspies besides himself.
One can only hope that the new changes in the DSM will mean that most neurodiversitites who state they are on the spectrum who have asperger's rather than autism will no longer be able to call themselves autistic and say they are people like me, who had a speech delay as a small child and was probably pretty severely autistic and went to special schools for 8 years etc. I can also hope that perhaps the new DSM might mean the end of the neurodiversity movement. I wrote about this idea in a previous gadfly post but I reckon it is really too much to wish for.