Tales of an Aspie Freedom Fighter

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Our Side/Their Side

I am now going to go into what I believe to to be the opposing viewpoints in the cure/no-cure debate. I feel that this is something that anyone involved in any kind of conflicting points of view. Looking though the eyes of the "enemy" can help you understand their real motives. You might find that you both are fighting for same thing from two different viewpoints. Or at the least you will be able to make more effective arguments. So here is what I think is on the minds of this debate.

The Anti-Cure View

The anti-cure side has one major philosophy at it's core. That Autism is a neurological difference not a disease. So any attempt to cure autism would be tantamount to genocide. One of the misunderstandings between the two side is the use of the cure. To some cure advocates use cure in reference any kind of treatment that reduces the effects of autism or comorbids. But to us cure means eradication of autism from the individual or from society. This leads many to think that we oppose all kinds of treatment or therapies for Autism period. Which is untrue. The Anti-cure group, and the Autistic rights movement in general are fight against primarily three things:

  1. Treatment and therapies that devalue our identity. We are particularly opposed to ABA therapy which we feel is mentally abusive and is a threat to our self-concept. It punishes us for behaviours that feel natural to us.
  2. Discrimination in society. We feel undervalued by society and discriminated against. Particularly in regards to employment. We feel that negative messages presented to the media about autism will make the situation worse. Some that come from "Autism Charities".
  3. Prenatal testing. We believe that this will allow the abortion of the majority of autistic children similar to how downs babies are aborted.
The Pro-Cure View

The pro-cure camp mostly are believes the are acting the best interests of Autistics, They view Autism as a monster that robbed them of their children (They are predominately parents). They are aware of the discrimination faced by Autistics. They seem to view society as something that can't be changed and rather change their children. They view Autism as a disease and are hopeful that it will be "cured" (having more faith in medical science than I do apparently).

I think another driving force behind the cure motive is the struggle to get social support services. The difficulty of getting and cost of such services make the prospect of waving a magic medical wand and removing Autism become very appealing.

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