Pete McMartin, Vancouver Sun
This week, Premier Gordon Campbell and Children's Minister Tom Christensen signed an order making an IQ of 70 or under one of the criteria for receiving services. They did so to do an end-run around a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling that the province could not deny services to the developmentally disabled on the grounds of IQ. The reversal arises from legal advice following an appeal court decision and is described as "temporary".
McMartin crticizes the arbitrary reliance on IQ as opposed to more realistic assessments of ability to function in society ... or face real life challenges ..... and uses the examples of two autistic persons whose parents he worked with in researching Faces of Autism, one just below the 70 IQ cut off, will be eligible for services, and one well over that number who will not. The mother of the autistic son with the higher IQ points out that her son has serious problems with socialization and problem solving, alone he might have no idea what to do if a fire breaks out in his home. He needs life long support to be able to cope.
But being "smarter" means Schuman's son needs fewer services and is better prepared to face the world as an adult, right?
Wrong. Autism is uneven in its effects. A child with autism might be able to, say, recite long passages of poetry from memory, but the same child may not be able to tie his shoes.Pete McMartin called the Campbell government decision vile. I fully agree.