Friday, October 19, 2007

Autism Is A Disability In West Virginia Woods

The Jacob Allen story has turned out well with the 18 year old low functioning autistic teen with limited communication skills found alive 4 days after getting lost in West Virigina woods while hiking with his parents. His severely limited communication skills could have cost him his life:

A spokesman for the rescue effort said Allen was found in the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area about a mile from where he left his parents during a hike on Sunday.

Because he is in good health and has hiking experience, and because temperatures have not been too cold, searchers had held out hope that he had survived. But his autism prevented him from speaking and responding to calls from searchers.

Neurodiversity advocates would have the world believe that autism is not a disorder; not a disability. This incident in West Virgina puts the lie to that absurd claim. So too does the case of Tiffany Pinckney, an autistic woman who starved to death. unable to help herself, while she depended on the care of her adoptive sister. So too does the case of the 50 year old autistic woman in a Long Island residential care facility who, unable to communicate what was happening to her, was repeatedly assaulted by attendants at the facility until the assaults were caught on video.

Hopefully neuodiversity icons like Professor Morton Ann Gernsbacher and Dr. Laurent Mottron will take time from studying high functioning autistic persons to give some thought to the more severely autistic persons who can not function in the real world and who are dependent on the good will of others to live. Maybe then they will not participate in creating the potentially dangerous myth that autism is not a disability.


Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

"Neurodiversity advocates would have the world believe that autism is not a disorder; not a disability."

Um, no. No one said it's not a disability. Every autistic person will tell you, it is. I don't know where you got that from. We know that it's not a disease.

Unknown said...

Um yeah, there have been neurodiversity advocates who have said that autism is not a disability.

BTW, after commenting here, and after all your complaints about the moderation at this site I was surprised that you refused to publish my recent comments about your autism acceptance article.