You will kindly keep your disgusting words out of my goddamn mouth. Real talk: it’s like 1 A.M., and you’ve accused me of wanting to eliminate an entire group of people, so the niceties here are gonna be few and far between.
Which sort of supports my claim that your tragic mental disorder of Not Being Autistic is a barrier to successful negotiation of life’s challenges, no? Because, guess what, you go on and confirm that, yes, you want this category of people to cease existing.
First off, if you’re going to accuse me of cherry picking, it helps if you aren’t using either anecdotal evidence, or the best possible experiences to validate your claims as well. You say you and a lot of people would say it’s not all that bad. Well shit, I know a lot of people who would say it is. Oh well, guess we’ll never decide what to do!
The entire point is that cherry-picked anecdotal evidence is an adequate rebuttal to cherry-picked anecdotal evidence. We don’t have real numbers available for any of this, for a simple reason: People whose problems aren’t severe enough to be obvious are much less likely to get diagnosed.
And you’re right, pre-natal implies a lack of consent. Except that the mother is empowered to provide consent on behalf of the child. So, how about we actually allow a cure to be developed, and then we can educate parents on the upside of autism, so that they can make an informed decision, instead of putting a moratorium on all research.
Well, that’s an interesting idea. But Autism Speaks is doing exactly the opposite; producing propaganda films that intentionally and significantly overstate the problems, reveal a total contempt for autistic people, and using those to try to promote a strong belief that we absolutely have to eradicate this bane of human existence, and then use that to justify collection of money, some of which is spent on research… but the goals of the research are determined by the propaganda.
I am not necessarily totally and inalterably opposed to people trying to figure out what’s going on with autism, and I’m totally aware that that might lead to a “cure”, but if it came out of study that was based in some sort of respect for autistic people as actual humans who have rights, it would be a radically different thing.
Mental illness is what Autism is, dude.
Is it, now? Because the terms “mental illness” and “mental disorder” are not exactly identical. And remember: Not that long ago, people using the same position on another issue could have said that “Mental illness is what Homosexuality is, dude.” Heck, it woulda been the 70s and they wouldn’t even have sounded out of place saying “dude”.
You’d have better luck trying to have Lupus reclassified because “Autoimmune” implies that it’s the person’s own fault.
No, I wouldn’t, because autoimmune has no such implication. “Mental illness” is a term that’s somewhat stronger than just “mental disorder”.
I’m sorry you don’t like it? I mean, there are other points to make: the genetic links, that therapy helps at all, these are things indicative of mental illness across the board.
Not really, no. Genetic links aren’t evidence of mental illness, unless you’re going to go back to that wonderful case they used to make for homosexuality being a mental illness. And therapy can’t make people not-gay, but it can’t make people not-autistic either. Therapy can make gay people more able to function in a society which won’t tolerate homosexual relationships, and therapy can make autistic people more able to function in a society which is hostile to them. On the other hand, making the society more tolerant has worked much better for gay people than therapy to help them adapt did (and infinitely better than attempts to “cure” them).
And, as neither of us are mental health professionals, any argument we could have on this would be tantamount to two fifth-graders shouting about experimental physics: ridiculous and off-putting.
Well, it’s true that I’m not a mental health professional, but on the other hand, I actually do have a degree in the field. And I have spent, I suspect, rather more time studying autism issues than you have.
Would you tell Byron that his depression had no benefit? Or Nash that his schizophrenia did nothing but hamper him? Hell, look at any list of famous thinkers who fit the criteria for ADHD, or, more morbidly, the list of anorexic models. Very rarely are mental illnesses without some upside. None of that means we shouldn’t look into cures.
That’s a really interesting argument! To make a long story short, having known a few schizophrenics, and having had at least one relative commit suicide because schizophrenia treatments weren’t good enough for them yet, and having a lot of friends who are prone to depression… I would say that since the overwhelming majority of people who are depressed, ADHD, or anorexic actively want treatment, and most schizophrenics probably do except when they think the treatment is some sort of weird plot, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that there’s a good reason to make treatments available there.
By contrast, as noted, I’ve yet to meet an autistic person who would really rather not be autistic. I have heard of them, but that’s it — and so far, the one case I know any of the details of, it’s no different from someone growing up gay in a fundamentalist family. They hate being the person their family hates.
Stuff about being autistic being equal with being a woman which is dumb and I’m done acknowledging because seriously, think about for yourself;
I didn’t say “equal”. I pointed out analogies. Look, what’s the deal here? I’m the autistic one; why are you having trouble processing figurative language and analogies?
"Eliminating autism" "Curing a developmental disorder" Plato cave reference, blah blah blah. For what it’s worth, awareness campaigns help the same way gay pride marches work, they normalize it. Which leads to destigmatization. So yes, while they focus more on finding a cure, it’s not because "Fuck those autistics, I CAAAAAAAAAN’T STAND ‘EM" but because when you are a nonprofit tasked with curing a disease, it behooves you to actually try to cure that fucking disease, idiot.
See, this is where you could have done yourself a world of good by actually reading the fucking post before commenting. See. Awareness campaigns run by autistic advocacy groups do indeed help normalize things. But Autism Speaks doesn’t; instead, they actively try to denormalize and stigmatize autism, by using propaganda techniques to emphasise the horrors. And the thing is… The non-profit isn’t “tasked with” anything in any meaningful sense. They came into existence for the purpose of… well, honestly, for the purpose of siphoning money from people by being highly visible on an issue that no one else had staked out yet. Or did you not notice the stuff about their financial responsibility?
Thing is, your argument here would work just as well about, say, an organization which was trying to eliminate an ethnic group. “If you’re a non-profit tasked with improving the gene pool by removing <X> from it, it behooves you to actually try to remove <X> from the gene pool, idiot.” That’s not an argument at all; that’s question-begging. Man. Wouldn’t it be cool if you had some kind of weird mutation such that your brain allowed you to distinguish between “a set of words that make me feel good” and “an argument that in any way at all actually supports my claims”? Wow, that’d be cool.
You’re pretty selfish, explaining why you get so mad when you feel your sense of self is being looked down upon. Wah.
Yup. It’s the one thing I do that is characteristically human, really. :)
Here’s something, as someone who is waaaaaaaaay right of the bell curve on empathy, I find that any future in which the lack thereof is seen as anything but room for improvement bothers me.
See, empathy is cool, except you gotta stop letting it substitute for actually thinking through what you say. I suck at empathy, so if I want to not-hurt-people, I have to stop and reason through things about them. But this cuts the other way; if you have really strong emotive responses, you tend to rely on them and use them as a substitute for reasoning stuff through.
I’d like to talk to you about this, some other time, if you’d be down.
Not really, no. I mean, really, you’re just demonstrating a complete and total failure to put in even the few seconds it would have taken to read the picture that started this, complete with some actual details about what the objections to Autism Speaks are. Why should I be interested in talking to you about this? You’re not listening, and you’ve made it clear that you have no information at all on the topic, nor any interest in processing that information even if it’s carefully cut up into little bite-sized chunks for easier consumption. There’s not exactly a lot of potential here for great insights.
No, not being a dick is an internal choice. It’s in language, it’s in cognition, it’s in prejudice. Things like soothing, picture boards, special toilets, those are external factors.
This is a stupid distinction at best. For fuck’s sake! Are you even aware that “news” is a thing which you could read to find out about things? Consider that we recently had to spend time and effort amending some of our laws to make life a little easier for gays. That’s an external thing… But it’s an external thing which has roots in internal things, like deciding which people we care about, or evaluating our presuppositions about the nature of marriage. Internal and external is a bogus distinction at best. And, as James put it so eloquently:
"Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
What you do externally is the only information anyone else ever has about your internal state.
The net sum is to say that the best option here is to change the world to accommodate people with Autism, as opposed to trying to cure the disease.
Well, yeah. Although I don’t think I accept the “disease” label to begin with. A disease is a thing which happens to you. But yes, I think that would be a better choice, because the things we get from having autistics around are worth the (very small) costs.
This is unreasonable, and my reason for calling you selfish.
Ahh, see. That part’s not the selfish part. That part’s the cold-blooded economics. I want me, and my friends, and the kids some of us are raising, and their kids, to be as healthy and happy and safe and successful as possible. And it seems to me that a “cure” for autism would result in a much poorer word, both metaphorically and quite flatly literally. Autistics are providing really important functionality to society. Losing that would suck.
Your boss doesn’t care if you’re in the middle of a major depressive episode, he isn’t going to be happy if you keep calling out.
That depends on who my boss is, and how long-term he’s thinking, and what his goals are. And even if he’s not happy, he might decide that he’d rather work to accommodate a good worker than not do so. Because, see. A good worker might be worth it. That’s why we have sick leave at all, it’s why we have mental health coverage in with our health care. Because a boss who fires all the depressive people for being too down to work effectively sometimes is gonna get his ass kicked by the boss who realizes that some of his workers are really damn good, and backs them when they need his support.
And I know, I know, we build ramps for the handicapped. And from what I know, most schools have special classes set aside for children with dev. disorders. We still strive to cure paralysis, we need to continue to strive to cure Autism.
Which would be parallel, except that I’m not aware of any major contributions to the world that are possible only because someone is paralyzed, but I know of plenty that are possible only because someone is autistic.
Now for the words in my mouth. I never said you weren’t people.
Of course not. You merely said that, as a category, autistics are not entitled to a vote as to whether or not they exist, and that it is right and good that an organization which has carefully avoided including autistic people in its discussions should be making the calls as to the direction of autism-related research.
You’re lobbing insults so you can feel better about hating me for arguing with you.
This? This is why I can’t take you seriously. Of all the accusations to make, this is the dumbest, because the entire premise of this conversation is that my brain doesn’t have the piece of wiring that would make this motivation possible. I don’t hate you. So far as I know, I can’t hate people. I don’t have any experience mapping onto what people describe as “social status”. I don’t hate people. I think I love people, although for all I know what I experience is totally different. I also don’t experience anything much I can map onto descriptions I’ve heard of “pride” or “shame” in any recognizeable way. I don’t hate you. And why would insulting you make me feel better about it? That’s stupid.
Feel free to accuse me of the many, many, personality flaws I have. I am an asshole, and won’t deny it. I have been snarky and insulting at times, but that’s not because of some elaborate meta-game thing about trying to feel better about hating you, it’s because I am sometimes mean to people for fun, because I am not a nice person except when I remember to make the effort, and I’m not bothering because you annoy me.
But I should point out: I would love it if you would argue, in the sense of advancing logical claims, with supporting evidence which relates to those claims. But I frankly don’t think you can yet. Maybe in a couple of years? There’s parts of the brain that aren’t fully developed in humans until the late 20s. It’s pretty obvious sometimes. Of course, that varies some. For instance, some obscure neurological conditions might result in delayed or absent functionality for some social and emotional processing, while making coherent logical reasoning often develop faster and earlier than normal. Weird, huh?
Either that will stop, or this discussion will. I don’t have time for people who stoop to such petty tactics. Nor was I implying that you shouldn’t existed. Only that a cure should. I did outright say you aren’t special, and you aren’t. because nobody is.
Except that the petty tactics are all in your head. Welcome to Neurotypicality, a mental disorder characterized by delusional beliefs that one has magical insights into the motives of other people, delusions so powerful that the victims frequently simply don’t have any way to comprehend the notion of other people having motives other than whatever they’ve invented and ascribed to those people.
If this is your “step back” to thinking clearly, then I don’t see where. I could build a monolith in the desert with all the self-aggrandizement you left in that response while you were stepping back.
Cool! Be sure it’s 1x4x9, thx.