Wednesday, October 01, 2008

ASAN Straw Man

"To claim, as some continue to do, that we on the autism spectrum are all incapable of speaking for ourselves is an ignorant and damaging falsehood."

- ASAN Coalition Comments on IACC Draft Plan

The above statement is taken from the comment titled ASAN Coalition Comments on IACC Draft Plan on the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, SW Ohio blog.

I have never heard or read a statement to the effect that ALL persons on the autism spectrum are incapable of speaking for themselves. In the vast world of modern communications there may well be some totally uninformed persons who make such an "ignorant and damaging falsehood". But I have never seen this statement made by anyone with any degree of knowledge about the Autism Spectrum of Disorders.

One truth, which may be resented by some of the highly articulate, self appointed, spokespersons of ASAN, who do not speak for my son amongst other severely autistic people, is that there are many persons with Autistic Disorders with very limited communication skills. The lack of such skills restricts and impairs their life prospects immeasurably. That is why their parents fight for them to help increase their ability to live and and enjoy life to its fullest. ASAN, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, does a fine job of promoting the interest of its highly articulate leaders. Perhaps the day will come when those leaders are no longer ashamed to acknowledge the existence of the much less fortunate, the severely autistic who live out their lives dependent on the care of others.

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