About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hey, you can't please everyone.

Apparently, some autistics don't like the "mild" label. The Autistic Bitch From Hell (her description, not mine) makes the case against the "mild" label:
When...behaviors are falsely characterized as unique symptoms of a tragic disorder, "severe autism," the repercussions are harmful to all autistics. Those with the Asperger's diagnosis may be denied access to services because of the mistaken view that they can have only mild problems.
Resources should be allocated in a manner that's just. Creating a fiction to justify services is not the answer. If "mild" spectrumites are underserved, reform the system, or lobby to reform the system. But don't collapse a distinction that does in fact exist to further a socio-political purpose. She continues:
Conversely, autistics who fall into other diagnostic categories are at risk of being written off as worthless burdens to society. And the prevalence of "severe autism" stereotypes, often perpetuated by nonprofit groups that drum up publicity for their fundraising activities by depicting autism in the most pathetic light imaginable, has caused many people to support eugenics research to eliminate the entire autistic population by means of prenatal testing and abortion.
This is a tricky ethical issue. We screened for several Ashkenezi genetic disorders when we were trying to conceive. I don't think this was unjust. But where does one draw the line? The slope is slippery indeed. I can imagine a day when we'll be able to screen for blue eyes. Voila, genetic designer babies. As a society, we'll face a number of difficult ethical issues. I imagine that, for the sake of our gene pool, we'll need to pay consideration to genetic diversity of all kinds. But again, the answer isn't to create a fiction to support a certain ethical position (i.e., against eugenetics).

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