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TAAAPP - Autism's Confused Anti-Cure, Anti-Parent Movement comments re Facing Autism in New Brunswick

Posted Aug 26 2008 12:37pm

Despite the increasing body of knowledge revealing the neurological bases of autism, despite the fact that people who call themselves autistic either have, or are adopting by self-diagnosis, a medical diagnosis which defines autism as a disorder, despite the severe self inflicted injuries which threaten the health and lives of some autistic persons, despite the lives lived dependent on others in various dependent residential care facilities and institutions there are those, particularly on the internet who claim that autism is not a disorder and should not be cured.

There are some in the autism anti-cure movement who acknowledge that it is a disorder, particularly when they are seeking disability accommodation from employers or the provision of government services, but who still say that autism should not be cured. Implicit in this perspective is an anti-parent theme which emerges fully when parents describe candidly and honestly the realities faced by their autistic children particularly the more severely autistic children. Speculating about whether historical figures such as Einstein or Van Gogh were autistic is fine with the anti-cure movement. Touting any autistic savant, or accomplished autistic persons like Temple Grandin is politically correct but woe to the parent who dares speak honestly on behalf of their autistic child.

An interesting example of The Autism Anti-Cure Anti-Parent Perspective which I will refer to by the acronym TAAAPP can be found at Autism is NOT a disorder that NEEDS to be CURED a blogsite operated by someone called Cathy who does not disclose her interest in autism other than her obvious admiration for Michelle Dawson. Cathy only began blogging this month and has only blogged once - " comments re Facing Autism in New Brunswick ". This comment contains two of the themes which identify the TAAAPP, anti-autism cure and anti-parent and I reproduce it here in its entirety:

comments re Facing Autism in New Brunswick

I have read this article in which Michelle Dawson(autistic) is mentionned and Erin Anderssen (mother of autistic individual).

I guess my main frustration is that individuals such as Erin are looking to somehow modify their childs behaviour. We live in a society that unfortunately is not tolerant of individuals.

I believe that Autism is not a disease to be cured. When is society going to change their way of thinking and allow for all differences, not just acceptable ones.

As far as specialized clinic's and residential care, shame on you parents that give up and take the easy road out.

Erin maybe if you spent more time with your son, rather than trying to denounce Michelle Dawsons "Scathing remarks" as you so put it, you might be surprised at the outcome.

Apart from Cathy's anti-cure belief she also expressly articulates, in the highlighted comments the anti-parent hostility that underlies much of the TAAAPP and Neurodiversity ideology. She expressly denounces parents who seek specialized clinical care and residential living for their autistic children. I am not sure if Cathy intended to denounce Erin Andersson of the Globe and Mail, or if her comments were directed at me personally, but she again makes it clear that parents should not be weighing in on autism issues on behalf of their autistic children - unless of course they agree with anti-cure icon Michelle Dawson. Cathy's logic is, unfortunately, confused by any measure, but it is a clear and concise reflection of the confused logic of Autism's Neurodiversity and TAAAPP ideologies.

For Cathy's benefit though I will plead guilty, guilty to her charge of trying to modify my son's behavior. Guilty of trying to modify his behavior to prevent him from banging his head on the wall until he injures himself, guilty of trying to modify his behavior to prevent him from biting his hands, wrists and ankles. I plead guilty to trying to modify his behavior to prevent him from walking into automobile traffic unaware of the consequences. I plead guilty to advocating for government funded pre-school, evidence based, autism interventions for my son and other autistic children. I plead guilty to advocating for autism trained teacher aides, resource teachers and autism suitable modified learning environments for my son and other autistic children.

Cathy, I thank you for showing me how intolerant I am in imposing on my autistic son Conor my beliefs that he should enjoy as full, enriched and rewarding a life, with as much independence, as possible.

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