TPGA guru Shannon Des Roches Rosa (SDDR) is aghast and angry because Slate.com has dared publish "Is the Neurodiversity (ND) Movement Misrepresenting Autism?", a gentle critique by autism parent Amy S.F. Lutz, of the harmful, irrational Neurodiversity ideology embraced by the leaders of the ironically named "Thinking" Person's Guide to Autism. Self labelled as a guide for "Thinking" Persons the TPGA is harshly critical of anyone, especially autism parents, who disagree with them; anyone who portrays autism as a disorder or as a group of disorders, deficits or symptoms. In the Neurodiversity world of the TPGA the autism and related symptoms of a child must be accepted as blessings, and attempts to treat and cure those symptoms, deficits or disorders rejected, by THINKING persons. That is the true autism path according to Neurodiversity, that is the true autism path according to SDDR and the "Thinking" Person's Guide to Autism. Woe to any parent or publication that dares disagree with the self appointed arbiters of rational autism thought at the TPGA.
In a quick and angry response to the Slate article Des Roches Rosa was, to her credit, open and honest about WHY she was upset. SDRR. as reflected in the title of her response, was upset because the author of the article questioned Neurodiversity ideology: Why Did Amy S.F. Lutz Attack the Neurodiversity Movement?. The alleged attack consists of pointing out the fact that very high functioning self advocates who do not required medical treatment, or treatment of any kind, misrepresent the harsher realities of low functioning persons with autism disorders. She points out correctly that such misrepresentation, especially coupled with the DSM5 substitution of Asperger's for autism, will probably result in ever fewer autism treatment advances. Ultimately this misrepresentation and misdirection of resources will probably result in the very limited progress to date in autism treatment research being slowed even more ... to the detriment of the low functioning autistic persons most in need of progress in autism research.
The TPGA and other ND faithful will undoubtedly deluge Slate.com with demands that they be permitted an opportunity to present their replies to the Lutz article. They truly believe theirs is the one true path and voices of dissent must be silenced or at least drowned out. They believe that strangers are better placed to speak on behalf of low functioning autistic children then their parents, including me, who speak on behalf of our own children.
I have no desire to tell high functioning autistic self advocates that they must seek treatment. I have no desire to tell SDDR, or Kristina Chew referenced by SDDR, that they should seek treatment for their low functioning autistic children. I absolutely will not, though, let them speak on behalf of my son. I urge all parents who want to see treatments developed for their autistic children to continue the fight. The ND movement including the TPGA are set in their ways and will continue to try and impose their views of autism on the world. For our children's benefit we will have to continue to speak up and attempt to counter their misguided efforts.
Thank you Amy S.F. Lutz for speaking out.